Historical Events in the 1950s

1950Writer and film-maker Peter Wells is born (Auckland, New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia, New Zealand Book Council, The Spinoff
11 Nov 1950The first meeting of the Mattachine Society is held (Los Angeles, United States of America)
The Mattachine Society is one of the earliest homophile organisations in the USA.
Links: Wikipedia, LAGANZ
1952Paul De Rungs is court martialed after being charged with buggery (New Zealand)
De Rungs, a 16-year old army cadet, had made a formal complaint about being raped. He was subsequently charged himself.
15 Jan 1952Maata Mahupuku dies (Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Mahupuku is buried in the private burial ground of the Mahupuku family at Kehemane beyond Martinborough.
Links: Te Ara, PrideNZ.com
4 May 1952Politician Chris Carter is born (Auckland, New Zealand)
Carter would later become the first openly gay Member of Parliament in New Zealand.
Links: Wikipedia, Parliament
7 Oct 1952Politician and academic Marilyn Waring is born (New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia
10 Mar 1953Activist Mani Bruce Mitchell is born (Auckland, New Zealand)
Mani is recognised as the first out intersex person in New Zealand.
Links: ITANZ (pdf), Wikipedia, PrideNZ.com
22 Apr 1953Charles Farthing is born (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Farthing would later become a pioneering doctor specialising in the early recognition and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Links: New Zealand Medical Journal, Wikipedia
1954Hard labour is removed as a punishment for homosexual acts (New Zealand)
The punishment is removed from Section 137 (Unnatural Offences) of the Offences Against the Person Act 1867.
Links: Australasian Legal Information Institute, Early New Zealand Statutes
3 Jun 1954AIDS activist and educator Tom O'Donoghue is born (New Zealand)
O'Donoghue would later become a founding member of the National People Living With AIDS Union and Collective Thinking, a publication for people living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS.
Links: New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt, Tui Motu InterIslands Magazine, Tapatoru
7 Jun 1954Computer scientist and mathematician Alan Turing dies (United Kingdom)
An inquest determined Turing had committed suicide. However Turing's mother believed that the cyanide poisoning was accidental, resulting from her son's careless storage of laboratory chemicals.
22 Jun 1954Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme kill Pauline's mother Honora Rieper (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Links: Te Ara, Wikipedia, PrideNZ.com
30 Aug 1954Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme are convicted of murdering Pauline's mother Honora Rieper (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Parker and Hulme were given indeterminate sentences in different prisons and released after five years.
Links: Te Ara, Wikipedia, PrideNZ.com
15 Sep 1954A committee chaired by Lord Wolfenden begins looking into homosexual offences and prostitution (United Kingdom)
The resulting report is published in 1957.
Links: Wikipedia
1955Singer-songwriter Mahinarangi Tocker is born (Taumarunui, New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia
5 Apr 1955Politician Maryan Street is born (New Plymouth, New Zealand)
Street became New Zealand's first openly out lesbian elected to Parliament in 2005.
Links: Wikipedia
Oct 1955The Daughters of Bilitis is formed (San Francisco, United States of America)
The Daughters of Bilitis is the first known lesbian rights organisation in the USA.
Links: Wikipedia
5 Oct 1955Dramatist and performer Paul Jenden is born (Wellington, New Zealand)
Links: Press Reader, GayNZ.com, Stuff
9 Oct 1955Singer Shona Laing is born (New Zealand)
Laing first came to prominence in 1972 as a 17-year-old schoolgirl, coming runner-up in the television talent show New Faces with her song 1905. Laing's biggest hit songs included (Glad I'm) Not a Kennedy and Soviet Snow.
Links: Wikipedia
1956Choreographer and dancer Douglas Wright is born (Auckland, New Zealand)
Links: Wikipedia
28 Apr 1956Daniel Fielding is born (New Zealand)
Fielding would later help establish the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt in December 1988.
Links: Tributes Online
4 Sep 1957The Wolfenden report is published (United Kingdom)
One of the recommendations in the report was that "homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence."
Links: Wikipedia
Nov 1957Politician Georgina Beyer is born (Wellington, New Zealand)
Beyer would later become the world's first openly transsexual Mayor and Member of Parliament.
Links: PrideNZ.com, Wikipedia
21 Nov 1957Historian Gavin McLean is born (Otago region, New Zealand)
4 Aug 1958Politician Tim Barnett is born (Warwickshire, United Kingdom)
While in Parliament Barnett introduced the Prostitution Reform Bill 2003 and was also heavily involved in the Civil Union Bill 2004.
Links: PrideNZ.com, Wikipedia, Parliament
1959The Attorney-General H.G.R. Mason tries unsuccessfully to have the penalties for homosexual acts reduced (New Zealand)
Links: Queer History NZ, Wikipedia