As the Second World War led to massive migrations, port cities swelled with workers and military personnel. Newly arrived residents sought leisure and social connections, and entertainment districts, such as San Francisco’s Tenderloin, Fillmore, and North Beach, expanded as well. Freed from the watchful eyes of hometown family and neighbors, many saw bars and nightclubs as sites of social and sexual experimentation. Military and municipal authorities, concerned to maintain both the racial color line and sexual discipline, began to monitor San Francisco’s intersectional nightspots. But nightspot owners and their patrons also pushed back, resulting in the formation of both formal and informal socially conscious networks and institutions that used entertainment districts as places of connection, protection, and liberation.
Soldiers, Sailors, B-Girls, and Out-of-Bounders: Military and Civil Policing of San Francisco Nightclubs, 1942–1965
Stephen R. Duncan is an associate professor in the department of history at Bronx Community College-CUNY. He specializes in U.S. intellectual and cultural history, with research that examines the intersections of culture and politics in the twentieth century. This includes attention to the civil rights movement, American empire, gender and sexuality studies, and film history. His first monograph, The Rebel Cafe: Sex, Race, and Politics in Cold War America's Nightclub Underground, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2018. Also in 2018, he published the chapter on Social and Cultural History in The Routledge History of the Twentieth Century United States. In 2014, he published “Not Just Born Yesterday: Judy Holliday, the Red Scare, and the (Miss-)Uses of Hollywood's ‘Dumb Blonde’ Image,” as a chapter in Laura M. D’Amore’s collection, Representing Women’s Intellect in Film and Television; and “Bohemian Rhapsodies: Sylvanus Cadwallader, Ulysses S. Grant, and Civil War Journalism” in A Press Divided: Newspaper Coverage of the Civil War, edited by David B. Sachsman. Dr. Duncan received his PhD in 2014 from the University of Maryland, where he was awarded the Walter Rundell Dissertation Prize for United States History. He was also awarded the University of the Pacific’s Dave Brubeck Papers Research Fellowship in 2012.
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Stephen R. Duncan; Soldiers, Sailors, B-Girls, and Out-of-Bounders: Military and Civil Policing of San Francisco Nightclubs, 1942–1965. California History 1 November 2021; 98 (4): 59–86. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ch.2021.98.4.59
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