April 12, 2013: The Project is pleased to announce a new addition to our historical archives - a more detailed look at our first Pride. For three years now, James Andris has been researching St. Louis' first official Pride event, which took place April 12-20, 1980. He has researched the roots of this event that includes information about activities that were held prior to 1980, and the inner workings of the Magnolia Committee, credited for putting together the first event.
Andris' research included interviewing five people who were heavily involved in the first event's planning (John Hilgeman, Cea Hearth/Glenda Dilley, Bill Spicer, Frank Sprayberry, and Jim Thomas). Jim, a Professor Emeritus of Education at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, attended the 1980 event as President of the Gay Academic Union-St. Louis. In addition to the extensive interviews, Andris donated several of his own previously written articles, along with artifacts associated with St. Louis' first Pride to the Project's archives housed at the State Historical Society of Missouri (St. Louis Research Center at UM-St. Louis). The Project thanks Jim for his hard work and efforts to preserve and promote our history.
Pictured: James Andris, April 1980, St. Louis' First Pride.