Not much information is available for the clip below. But one sign in the parade reads “Adolph Hitler is Alive and Well in Florida” which is probably about Anita Bryant. Bryant’s anti-gay “Save Our Children Campaign” began in 1977 so I think it’s safe to date it as 1977 or 1978.
As you can see in the clip. Shirtless guys, drag queens, floats, and performers in Central Park. Not a far cry from today’s PRIDE.
The Everard Baths was a Turkish bath founded by financier James Everard in 1888 in a former church building. Everard also operated the Everard Brewery on 135th Street. He converted the building located at 28 West 28th Street in New York City into a bathhouse. Everard’s originally intended it to be for general health and fitness. But 30 years later that would change.
By the early to mid-1920 it became the community’s preeminent social venue andhad the reputation of being one of the “classiest, safest, and best known of the baths” eventually picking up the nickname The “Ever-hard”
On the quiet morning of May 25, 1977, nine patrons aged 17 to 40 years old were killed, and nine others were injured when an out-of-control fire swept through the establishment. Seven died from smoke inhalation, one from respiratory burns, and one man jumped from an upper floor.
Police said a fire had started about 6 a.m. in a mattress and patrons extinguished the flames themselves. But the mattress smoldered and the fire erupted again about an hour later in the same room. Electricity was cut off by the fast-spreading flames, leaving patrons trapped and screaming in dense smoke.
As the flames engulfed the brick building, scores of male customers ran into the street in towels, underwear, or trousers.
When the first of some 200 firemen and 32 pieces of equipment arrived shortly after 7 a.m., some of the occupants were hanging from the windows, crying for help.
Three stories of the rear portion of the building collapsed as firemen searched for victims.
“It all happened so fast,” said Michael James, 29, who said he had driven up from Philadelphia Tuesday evening. “I was in Room 242, and I was awake. It was just after 7 o’clock so I figured I’d wake Christopher, my friend, so we could get started on the drive back.”
“When I opened the door I could see a red glow coming from underneath the door of the room across the hall. I could smell something burning, so I ran down to the lobby and yelled to the man at the desk that there was a fire.
“I tried to run back to the room to get my things, but the maze of hallways had filled up with smoke. People were yelling, ‘This way down! This way down!’ I only had a towel around me, but I had to leave.”
The fire spread rapidly through the building which was filled with 6 1/2-foot-by-4-foot wooden cubicles separated only by partitions. By the time firemen arrived at the scene on West 28th Street flames were roaring through two floors of the bathhouse. Many occupants ran onto the street wearing only towels. Some were injured jumping from the third floor. About a dozen others were brought down from windows by firemen.
Fire officials said firemen had to hack their way through into the inside since many windows had been sealed with sheet rock or asbestos
All in all between 80 and 100 patrons left the building; nobody knows the exact number of men who were inside the club because it did not have a registration book and at the time in 1977 many patrons did not want to be publicly identified.
Most of the dead were identified by friends rather than family.
In the aftermath, Fire Commissioner John O’Hagan’s men found several spent fire extinguishers in the charred ruins of the two upper floors. A sprinkler system had been installed at the baths but was not hooked up to a water supply. The bathhouse had been ordered to install the sprinkler system a year ago, but the deadline for its operation was not until July 27th. of that same year.
Despite the tragedy and the destruction of the top two floors The Everard Baths would be rebuilt and stay open for another nine years until April of 1986. It would eventually be closed down by New York City Mayor Ed Koch during the city’s campaign to close gay sex venues during the AIDS epidemic.
List of the Fatalities:
HILLMAN WESLEY ADAMS, 40, South Plains, New Jersey. AMADO ALAMO, 17, Manhattan. ANTHONY CALARCO, Bronx. KENNETH HILL, 38, Manhattan. BRIAN DUFFY, 30. PATRICK KNOTT, 38, Manhattan. IRA LANDAU, 32, Manhattan. YOSEF SIGNOVEC, 30, Czech. JAMES CHARLES STUARD, 30, Manhattan.
*** *New York Times article May 27, 1977: (Notice how the article goes out of its way to name the men who were killed and injured effectively outing them at a time that was very dangerous in our history. )
Studio 54 was a legendary nightclub located in Manhattan, New York City that operated from 1977 to 1986. The club’s opening night on April 26th, 1977, was a glittering affair that marked the start of a cultural phenomenon.
As the doors opened at Studio 54, on May 26, 1977 the crowd of eager party-goers flooded into the space, which was once a CBS television studio. They were greeted by a surreal and extravagant world of disco balls, glitter, and flashing lights that immediately transported them into a world of hedonism and debauchery. The space was designed by renowned theatrical set designer, Steve Rubell, who spared no expense in creating a venue that was unlike any other. The dance floor was an expansive space that could accommodate up to 2,000 people, with balconies overlooking the dance floor, and a grand VIP room that catered to the rich and famous.
The opening of Studio 54 marked the beginning of a cultural revolution. The club was a symbol of the hedonistic and carefree nature of the late 1970s, and it became an icon of popular culture. It represented a break from tradition and a rejection of the conservative values that had dominated American society for decades.
The masterminds behind Studio 54 were Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were college roommates at Syracuse University who got into the nightclub business after their first venture, a chain of steak restaurants, failed to flourish. But before taking Manhattan by storm and becoming famous for openly and shamelessly excluding all but the most chic, famous or beautiful patrons from their establishment.
Rubell and Schrager invested about $400,000 to renovate the old CBS studio which was a giant risk.
A relatively unknown woman who deserves the lion’s share of the credit for making 54 into the celebrity playground that it became was Carmen D’Alessio, a public-relations entrepreneur in the fashion industry, whose Rolodex included names like Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol and Truman Capote. Her buzz-building turned the grand opening into a major item in the New York gossip columns, and her later efforts—like having Bianca Jagger ride a white horse into the club for her 30th birthday party—stoked the public’s fascination with Studio 54 even further. Not just the usual celebrity suspects—actors, models, musicians and athletes—but also political figures like Margaret Trudeau, and even Jackie Onassis.
We’ll never know the amount of cocaine that went up nostrils at Studio 54 – suffice it to say, or the tons of glitter dumped from the ceiling helped conceal the thin layer of wall-to-wall powder. ut we do know that hundreds of thousands of “unacceptable”New Yorkers and tri-state area (bridge and tunnel crowd) never make it past the velvet rope.
We’ll never know the amount of cocaine that went up nostrils at Studio 54 – suffice it to say, or the tons of glitter dumped from the ceiling helped conceal the thin layer of wall-to-wall powder. but we do know that hundreds of thousands of “unacceptable”New Yorkers and tri-state area (bridge and tunnel crowd) never make it past the velvet rope.
Schrager, took more of a behind-the-scenes role, but Steve Rubell basked in the glory of his newfound celebrity status. Rubell was often spotted in gay NYC clubs, and was infamous for pressuring his own bartenders and busboys to sleep with him to stay employed but still, for some reason, remained in the closet. Soon, this double lifestyle and intense drug use took its toll.
Rubell could be a very bad boss to his employees. Attribute it to his drug use and insane lifestyle if you wish, but whatever the case, it created some very disgruntled employees…. one in particular would cause the whole thing to come crashing down.
A male waiter went to the IRS and told them about Rubell and Schrager’s shady bookkeeping practices. Apparently, they had been keeping vast sums of cash in Hefty garbage bags and stowing them in the ceiling. Turns out, Rubell and Schrager had only paid $8,000 in taxes since they opened, while were making more than $75,000 per night.
Rubell hired close friend and the infamous and vile Roy Cohn to represent him and also bargained with the IRS, saying he would reveal a big secret if they’d be lenient.
The secret? Rubell claimed that President Carter’s Chief of Staff, Hamilton Jordan, had snorted cocaine in the Studio 54 basement. The allegations couldn’t be substantiated, but they made life miserable for Jordan. They brought scandal to the White House and had the FBI knocking on Jordan’s door.
In the end, Rubell and Schrager pled guilty and were sentenced to three years in prison.
On February 4, 1980Studio 54 was over. Liza Minnelli sung “New York, New York” at the farewell party and the doors were closed.
Studio 544 reopened later in the 1980s under new management, but it just wasn’t the same. Disco was dead and it closed a short time after opening.
After serving their sentences, Rubell and Schrager amazingly rebounded and became “respectable” hotel operators – making more money than ever.
Steve Rubell died of AIDS in 1989, but Ian Schrager has kept the hotel business thriving to this day.
The opening of Studio 54 was a groundbreaking event that marked the start of a cultural phenomenon. The club’s extravagant design, exclusive door policy, and diverse clientele made it a symbol of the carefree and hedonistic nature of the late 1970s. Its influence on popular culture cannot be overstated, and its legacy continues to inspire and fascinate people to this day.
As Ron DeSantis and Florida backside 45 years for the love of Goddess #Boycott Florida
In 1977, the Florida Citrus Commission launched a new advertising campaign that featured a spokeswoman named Anita Bryant. The campaign’s slogan was “Orange Juice: It’s Not Just for Breakfast Anymore,” and it was designed to boost sales of Florida orange juice. However, the campaign quickly became controversial when Bryant, a well-known singer and beauty queen, became an outspoken opponent of gay rights.
Bryant, who was a devout Christian, had previously been involved in anti-gay activism in her home state of Oklahoma. In 1977, she launched a campaign in Miami, Florida, to repeal a recently-passed anti-discrimination ordinance that protected gay people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Bryant argued that the ordinance threatened the safety and well-being of children, and she claimed that gay people were more likely to be child molesters.
Bryant’s campaign dubbed “Save The Children” received widespread media attention, and she became the face of the anti-gay movement in the United States. She organized rallies, appeared on talk shows, and even wrote a book called “The Anita Bryant Story: The Survival of Our Nation’s Families and the Threat of Militant Homosexuality.” The book argued that homosexuality was a sin and a disease that could be cured through prayer and therapy.
As Bryant’s campaign gained momentum, gay rights activists began to organize a boycott of Florida orange juice. The boycott was launched by the San Francisco-based group Gay Activists Alliance, which sent out a press release calling on people to “dump the juice” in protest of Bryant’s anti-gay views. The boycott quickly spread across the country, with activists staging protests outside grocery stores, distributing leaflets, and convincing consumers to boycott orange juice produced in Florida.
The boycott was a significant challenge for the Florida citrus industry, which relied heavily on sales of orange juice. The industry responded by launching a counter-campaign that emphasized the economic importance of orange juice to the state of Florida. The campaign featured slogans like “Florida Orange Juice: You Can’t Keep America Running Without It” and “Take a Stand for America: Drink Florida Orange Juice.”
Despite these efforts, the boycott continued to grow in strength, with many celebrities and public figures joining the cause. The campaign received support from politicians like Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to public office in California, and musicians like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who released a song called “John Sinclair” that included the lyrics, “We will boycott Florida citrus fruits until the prisoners are free.”
The boycott eventually had a significant impact on the Florida citrus industry, with sales of orange juice dropping by an estimated 25%. The industry responded by launching a new advertising campaign that emphasized the health benefits of orange juice and featured a new spokesperson, singer and actor Dionne Warwick.
Meanwhile, Bryant’s anti-gay campaign suffered a setback when the Dade County Commission voted to uphold the anti-discrimination ordinance. Bryant responded by launching a campaign to recall the commissioners who had voted in favor of the ordinance, but the effort failed to gather enough signatures to force a recall election.
The Florida Orange Juice boycott of 1977 was a significant moment in the history of the gay rights movement. It demonstrated the power of boycotts as a tool for social change, and it brought national attention to the issue of discrimination against gay people. The boycott also had a lasting impact on the Florida citrus industry, which was forced to confront the economic consequences of supporting anti-gay views. Today, the boycott serves as a reminder of the importance of standing up for equality and justice, even in the face of powerful opposition.
We did do it before and we can do it again.
So the question is: Why aren’t we?
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, or Ally. BOYCOTT FLORIDA TOURISM!
If you are LGBT and currently in the state. ONLY PATRONIZE LGBT AND LGBT FRIENDLY BUSINESSES.
Uptight neighbor Arthur has launched a crusade to close a nearby gay bar, so Maude convinces him he should visit the bar before condemning it. A classic 1970s sitcom “gay episode” and still unfortunately somewhat relevant today.