Miami residents woke up on Easter morning to the news that Metro police overnight had raided the “E Club,” located at the corner of Tamiami Trail and SW 37th Avenue in East Coral Gables. Police conducted the raid “at the request of a citizen,” and hauled in twenty-three, including the manager. They were charged with disorderly conduct “by being in a known homosexual hangout.” According the Miami News:
Habitues of the place were reported to embrace each other, wear tight-fitting women’s pants and bleach their hair, (Metro Capt. Patrick) Gallagher said.
When Gallagher and six other officers descended on the place Friday night, they found the dim-lit bar full of men, some of them paired off in “couples” he said.
The only woman in the place told police she just dropped by for a drink, and she was not detained.
Officers took all the men in the place to headquarters. Several were released after a screening and 22 were booked.
It’s telling that the disorderly conduct charged was based on “being in a known homosexual hangout.” If that the case, then the one woman in the bar was just as guilty as the men. But, of course, none of the men were afforded the excuse of having just dropped by for a drink.
The Miami News, which had never passed up an opportunity to instigate an anti-gay witch hunt, dutifully printed the names, addresses, ages and occupations of everyone arrested. It also contacted the employer of one of the men, who taught at Miami Military Academy:
Superintendent C.E. Sampson of the military school said “we will drop him immediately … without question […]
“We just can’t have a thing like that,” Sampson said. “We have enough headaches as it is. I will get in touch with him tomorrow and find out if he was arrested.”
Another man from Coral Gables told police he was a teacher. But the News was terribly disappointed to learn that he was actually a former teacher who hadn’t taught since 1956.
On the Timeline:
Miami Police raid “Deviates’ Den”
Headlines for April 16, 1960: Paris kidnappers release unharmed 4-year-old Eric Peugeot, son of a wealthy French auto family, after the family pays a $100,000 ransom. French President Charles de Gaulle arrives in Gettysburg to meet with President Eisenhower. South Africa is rocked by strikes after the government banned the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is established at a meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, to help coordinate lunch counter sit-ins across the South. A bomb damages an Atlanta home recently purchased by an African-American family in an all-white neighborhood. Miami civil rights leaders suspend a threatened boycott of Miami stores pending negotiations with the Miami City Commission.
On the radio: “The Theme from ‘A Summer Place’” by Percy Faith and His Orchestra, “Puppy Love” by Paul Anka, “He’ll Have To Go” by Jim Reeves, “Wild One” by Bobby Rydell, “Greenfields” by the Brothers Four, “Sweet Nothin’s” be Brenda Lee, “Sink the Bismark” by Johnny Horton, “Mama” by Connie Francis, “I Love the Way You Love” by Marv Johnson, “Footsteps” by Steve Lawrence.
On television: Gunsmoke(CBS), Wagon Train (NBC), Have Gun, Will Travel (CBS), The Andy Griffith Show(CBS), The Real McCoys(ABC), Rawhide (CBS), Candid Camera (CBS), The Price is Right (NBC), The Untouchables (ABC), The Jack Benny Show (CBS), Bonanza (NBC), Dennis the Menace (CBS), The Danny Thomas Show (CBS) The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS), My Three Sons (ABC), Perry Mason (CBS) The Flintstones (ABC), 77 Sunset Strip (ABC).
New York Times best sellers: Fiction: Hawaii by James Michener, Advise and Consent by Allen Drury (Pulitzer Prize winner). The Constant Image by Marcia Davenport. Non-fiction: May This House Be Safe from Tigers, by Alexander King, Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health by D.C. Jarvis, Act One: An Autobiography by Moss Hart.
“Trail bar raided as deviate’s den.” Miami News (April 17, 1960): 12A.