History of morals and fashion
Page last modified 25/6/2019
See also Child Welfare
See also Clothing and Cosmetics
See also Crime and Punishment
See also Race Equality
For world map of dates of legalisation of abortion, same sex marriage.
Abortion & Birth Control – see Appendix 1 below. For divorce see Women’s Rights.
Animal Protection – see Appendix 2 below
Beauty contests – see Appendix 3 below
Drugs – see Appendix 6 below
Family relations – see Appendix 7 below
Gambling – see Appendix 8 below
Homosexuality and attitudes towards – see Appendix 9 below
Pornography and intimacy – see Appendix 10 below
Religion – see Appendix 11 below
Temperance & Prohibition (of alcohol) – see Appendix 12 below
Tobacco and Smoking – see Appendix 13 below
1/4/2002, The Netherlands became the first country to legalise euthanasia.
2/10/2000, The Human Rights Act came into force in the UK. It incorporated into English law the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.
1/3/1993. Funeral of two-year-old James Bulger, abducted from Bootle shopping centre on 12/2/1993 and later murdered by two youths on a Liverpool railway line; his body was found by the tracks on 16/2/1993. Two boys aged ten from Walton, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were charged with the murder on 20/2/1993. The case provoked a moral panic about social breakdown in society and ‘loss of values’.
4/2/1987. Death of US pianist Liberace, unofficially of AIDS. The official cause of death was a brain tumour.
8/4/1977, The Dammed played in New York, the first punk band to play in the USA.
5/3/1977. The first Punk Rock LP, Dammed, Dammed, Dammed, was released.
6/1/1977. EMI dismissed the Sex Pistols due to their outrageous behaviour and foul language, with a £40,000 payoff. The resultant publicity boosted sales of the Sex Pistol’s album Anarchy in the UK; sales reached 50,000.
1/12/1976, The Sex Pistols, a punk rock group, were interviewed by Bill Grundy on Thames TV Today.
6/11/1975. The punk rock band Sex Pistols played their first gig at St Martin’s College of Art in London.
6/9/1974. Mary Whitehouse described as ‘completely irresponsible’ a sketch on the BBC children’s programme Jackanory in which actors walked away unharmed after blowing up a car.
4/1/1974. Teachers requested that 16 year old ‘bovver boys’ (“they don’t even speak English, they just grunt”) should be allowed to leave school as soon as exams were over rather than having to stay on till the end of term.
12/10/1973. Students jostled the Queen when she visited Stirling University.
8/2/1972, Fans demonstrated outside the Albert Hall, London, after Frank Zappa and the Mother of Invention concert was cancelled due to obscenities in one of their songs.
2/7/1970. The London Tourist Board spoke out against young tourists roughing it in London, sleeping out around the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park, causing ‘squalor and moral problems’. 250 seal pups were shot in The Wash in the last cull of the open season, before the Conservation of Seals Act finally outlawed the seal killing on 29/8/1970.
1/1/1970. In the UK the age of majority was reduced from 21 to 18.
26/5/1969. John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a ‘bed – in’ at a Montreal hotel in aid of world peace. See 8/12/1980.
15/6/1967. In Britain the Latey Commission reported that the voting age should be lowered to 18.
29/11/1965. Mary Whitehouse began her clean up campaign concerning TV broadcasts, by setting up the National Viewers and Listeners Association to tackle ‘bad taste and irresponsibility’.
5/9/1965, The word ‘hippie’ first appeared in print, in an article in the San Francisco Examiner by reporter Michael Fallon, who was writing a series about the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. "Five untroubled young 'hippies'," Fallon began, "sprawled on floor mattresses and slouched in an armchair retrieved from a debris box, flipped cigarette ashes at a seatbelt in their Waller Street flat and pondered their next move."
15/1/1963. The BBC ended its ban on mentioning politics, royalty, religion, and sex in comedy shows.
11/1/1963, The world’s first disco, called Whisky a Go Go, opened in Los Angeles.
9/3/1959, A doll named Barbara Millicent Roberts, or Barbie for short, was exhibited at the New York Toy Fair, wearing a black and white swimming costume.
13/2/1959, The first Barbie Doll went on sale, priced at US$3 (£2), in a zebra-stripe swimsuit. She was created by Ruth Handler, whose daughter was called Barbara.
18/10/1958, Two Americans, Shirley Sanders and Robert Kardell, married in a church in Hollywood, the first couple to be matched by computer.
3/9/1956, After riots in several towns at cinemas involving Teddy Boys following the film Rock Around The Clock, the film was banned.
24/9/1942, Linda McCartney, American photographer who married ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and campaigned for animal rights, was born.
14/2/1933, Oxford students declared that ‘they would not fight for King and Country’.
1925, Coco Chanel, fashion designer, appeared with a suntan, challenging previous notions that a lily-white skin was the height of sophistication. This created a demand for suntan oils, and in 1936 L’Oreal began marketing the first mass-market sun lotion, called Ambre Solaire.
1921, John William Gott, Bradford trouser salesman, became the last person jailed in Britain for blasphemy. He was sentenced to 9 months hard labour for calling Jesus a ‘circus clown. He died soon after his release.
13/4/1914, George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion caused a stir with its use of the word ‘bloody’.
1/1/1913, Film censorship began in Britain.
5/11/1912, The British Board of Film Censors was appointed.
13/6/1910, Mary Whitehouse, General Secretary of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, was born.
23/5/1909, US police broke up a lecture given by the anarchist Emma Goldman.
22/4/1909, In Westminster a Bill was introduced to abolish censorship in plays.
See also Education for improvements in Child Education during the 19th and 20th Centuries
29/4/1874, In Britain, the Cremation Society was formed.
1851, Census figures in Britain showed that only half the population regularly attended church on a Sunday.
12/10/1845, The social worker and prison reformer Elizabeth Fry died.
1840, In Britain, the Select Committee on the Health of Towns exposed slum conditions in many industrial cities.
16/6/1835, Social reformer Mr William Lovett founded the London Working Men’s Association, to tackle poverty amongst low paid labourers.
1824, In the UK, the Vagrancy Act made it an offence to sleep rough,out of doors. This was modified in 1935. See also price and economics.
18/12/1792, Thomas Paine was tried in absentia for publishing The Rights of Man.
1/11/1781. Austria abolished serfdom, and gave all citizens the right of marriage, free movement, and instruction in any handicraft. This initially applied to Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia; to Galicia soon after, and to Hungary in 1785. Landowners had certain rights remaining, such as corvee, but these were reduced by later laws.
19/7/1695, The first dating advertisement appeared, in Britain. A gentleman of about 30 years of age of some wealth sought a woman with an estate of around £3,000 to match with.
1623, Patent laws introduced in England, to protect inventions.
1233, The practice of staining the teeth black (ohaguro) began to be adopted as a sign of beauty in Japan after it was taken up by one of the aristocratic families.
150 BCE, The Romans closed all schools of dancing because they viewed it as effeminate. However dancing was still appreciated as public entertainment, although dancers then had a low social status. In the Bible, Saul’s daughter also look down witrh scorn when King David ‘danced before Jehovah with all his might’ when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Jerusalem. The early Christian Church similarly looked down on dancing, but again, like the Ro,mans, dancers were used as entertainment yet denied social standing in the Christian Mediaeval world. A similar attitude prevailed in the Islamic world. Dancing rose up the social scale in Europe as the Renaissance got underway.
Appendix 1 – Abortion & Birth Control (for divorce see Women’s Rights)
14/5/2019, The US State of Alabama passed very restrictive abortion laws,
25/5/2018, Ireland voted to legalise abortion by a large majority of 66.4%. This left Northern Ireland as rather an anomaly, with its strict anti-abortion laws, whilst abortion was now legal in both Ireland and Great Britain. However the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, who support Mrs May, British PM, needs to remain in power, was like all other NI Parties, anti-abortion.
25/4/1990. The UK Parliament reduced the time limit for abortion from 28 to 24 weeks.
3/4/1990, In Belgium, King Baudoin temporarily abdicated to allow the passing of a law legalising abortion, which he refused to sign on principle.
30/4/1987, In Britain, the Court of Appeal ruled that a man could not prevent a woman who was carrying his child from having an abortion.
17/10/1985, In Britain, the House of Lords voted to allow doctors to prescribe contraceptives to girls aged under 16 without parental consent, despite a campaign against this by Catholic mother Mrs Victoria Gillick.
26/7/1983, Mrs Victoria Gillick lost her case in the High Court to prevent doctors prescribing contraceptives to girls under 16 without parental consent.
17/5/1981, In a referendum, Italy voted to legalise abortion.
20/6/1977, The US Supreme Court ruled that States were not required to fund elective abortions on Medicaid.
22/1/1973, The US Supreme Court ruled, in Roe vs Wade; a ruling that resulted in the liberalisation of abortion laws, so women had the freedom to choose a private abortion. Abortion was subsequently legalised in France (1975) and Italy (1977). The actual case was between Henry Wade, Dallas County District Attorney, and Norma McCorvey; McCorvey’s name was disguised as Jane Roe.
1/4/1972. Hounslow Borough Council began to offer free contraception on the rates. There was no restriction on the type of contraception nor on the marital status of the applicants; they only had to be aged 16 or over and resident in Hounslow.
1971, Italy legalised the sale of birth control information and contraceptives.
5/1969, Canada legalised abortion and contraception.
27/4/1968. Abortion was legalised in Britain, as the 1967 Abortion Act became Law. The Liberal MP David Steel had introduced the Abortion Act to Parliament.
27/10/1967, The UK’s Abortion Act received Royal Assent.
25/10/1967. UK Parliament passed the Abortion Act, decriminalising abortion.
14/7/1967. Parliament in the UK voted to legalise abortion. This was after a record 64 hour debate. The 1967 Abortion Act allowed for the legal termination of pregnancy if two registered doctors believed that continuation of the pregnancy could damage the physical or mental health of the woman, or of members of her family, or where there was substantial risk of the baby being born with physical or mental abnormalities.
25/4/1967, Colorado became the first US State to liberalise its abortion laws. Abortion was now permissible in the case of rape or incest, where the woman’s physical or mental health was in danger, or was likely to result in a child with severe mental or physical issues. The abortion had to be performed in a licenced hospital with the approval of three physicians.
19/2/1966. Lord Silkin’s Bill to legalise abortion ran into difficulties in the House of Lords.
4/12/1961. The birth control pill became available on the National Health Service.
30/1/1961. The contraceptive pill went on sale in Britain. It was called Conovid, see 18/10/1960.
18/10/1960, The first approved contraceptive pill, called Enovid 10, went on sale in the USA; it was only available to married couples. Catholics objected. See 30/1/1961.
18/8/1960. The birth control pill, the world’s first oral contraceptive, was launched in America.
2/10/1958, Marie Stopes, promoter of birth control, died (born 1880).
1955, Legalised abortion was restored in the USSR, although both abortion and birth control were discouraged.
5/10/1951, The oral contraceptive was patented
1949, Japan legalised abortion, over concerns about continued population growth; the population of Japan had risen from 64 million in 1930 to almost 80 million in 1949.
1936, The 1920 legalisation of abortion in the USSR was reversed; abortion was now only permissible if the woman’s life was in danger or the child was likely to have some certain specified inherited disease.
28/1/1935. Iceland became the first country to legalise abortion, on medical grounds, under Law no.38, allowing abortion at up to 28 weeks if there was a threat to the mental or physical health of the mother. Most subsequent abortion laws followed this pattern. However in Ireland the import or sale of contraceptives became illegal.
1930, Italy, under Mussolini, made abortion ‘a crime against the integrity and health of the race’; however illegal abortions in Italy continued at more than 500,000 a year.
14/8/1930, The Church of England grudgingly accepted birth control.
15/10/1927. Britain’s Public Morals Committee attacked the use of contraceptives for ‘causing poor hereditary
17/3/1921. First birth control clinic opened in Holloway, London, by Marie Stopes.
1920, Abortion was made illegal in France, because of population losses suffered in World War One. However the law was widely flouted and by 1970 there were 500,000 illegal abortions a year in France, with botched operations causing some 500 deaths per year.
16/10/1916, Margaret Sanger, who coined the term ‘birth control’, opened the first family planning clinic in the US. It faced considerable opposition,
1920, Abortion was legalised in the USSR.
1873, In the US, the Comstock Act authorised the postal services to restrict dissemination of information about contraception,even from doctors.
1872, Germany enacted a new law punishing abortion by up to 5 years in prison.
1/10/1847, Annie Besant, social reformer and theosophist, was born. With radical atheist Charles Bradlaugh, she promoted birth control, for which she was prosecuted.
28/4/1780, The first advertisement for an abortion clinic appeared on the back page of London’s Morning Post. The address was 23, Fleet Street, London
Appendix 2 – Animal Protection
3/4/1993, Animal Rights activists disrupted the Grand National at Aintree, Liverpool.
18/10/1927. Dancing bears were banned from the streets of Berlin.
20/9/1917. The first RSPCA animal clinic was opened in Liverpool.
1876, In the UK the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed, to curb the use of live animals in scientific experiments.
1866, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Aniamls (ASPCA) was founded by New York shipbuolder’s son Henry Bergh, 43, who served as the first president of the ASPCA. It’s main objective was preventing the abuse of horses.
1835, Animal fighting – cockfights, bear and bull baiting – was banned in the UK.
15/6/1824. The RSPCA was founded in London.
1822, The UK Government passed a Bill outlawing cruelty to cattle.
Appendix 3 – Beauty contests
13/6/1988, The first beauty contest was held in the USSR.
17/11/1970. The Sun published its first ‘page three girl’, Stephanie Rahn.
7/9/1968, Protests by the New York Radical Women (NYRW) Group disrupted the Miss World competition in New York.
11/9/1954, The ‘Miss America’ beauty contest, held in Atlanta City, New Jersey, was televised across the USA.
19/4/1951. Eric Morley, publicity officer for Mecca, devised the first Miss World beauty contest as part of the Festival of Britain. The contest was held at the Lyceum ballroom off The Strand, London. The Swedish entrant, Miss Kiki Haakonson, won.
10/9/1938. Death of the dog show founder Charles Cruft.
7/9/1921. The first Miss America beauty contest was held in Atlantic City. The winner was 15 year old, blonde, Margaret Goorman, of Washington DC.
14/8/1908, The first international beauty contest was held at the Pier Hippodrome, Folkestone, Kent. Contestants included six English, three French, one Irish, and one Austrian.
23/12/1905, The final of the earliest known beauty contest in Britain was held at Newcastle on Tyne.
19/9/1888. The world’s first beauty contest took place at Spa, Belgium. The winner was 18-year-old Bertha Soucaret from Guadeloupe, who won a 5,000 Franc prize.
10/3/1886, The first Cruft’s dog show in London took place, in Islington; the first ever Cruft’s was in 1859 in Newcastle on Tyne. The show is named after its founder, Charles Cruft. In 1948 the show moved to Olympia, and from 1979 was held at Earls Court. Since 1991 it has been held at the National Exhibition Cenyre, Birmingham.
13/7/1871, The first cat show took place. It was held at Crystal Palace, London, organised by Harrison Weir.
14/10/1854, The first baby show was held, at Springfield, Ohio. There were127 exhibits.
Appendix 6 – Drugs
17/10/2018, Canada became the second country (after Uruguay in 2013) to legalise the sale of cannabis.
1/1/2018, The US State of California legalised the sale and consumption of cannabis for personal use. The substance was already legal in five other US States; Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
1/1/2014, The US State of Colorado legalised the sale and consumption of cannabis for personal use.
1996, US President Clinton increased the obstacles to drugs convicts of accessing the US welfare system.
1986, The Anti-Drug Abuse Act opened up a racial divide in the punishment for drugs possession. Possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine (used mainly by Black people) attracted a sentence of 5 years without parole – as did possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine (used mainly by White people).
1985, US President Reagan hired a team of staff to raise a moral alarm about the emergence of crack cocaine.
1982, US President Reagan restated a commitment to the ‘war on drugs’.
22/4/1979, Keith Richard of the Rolling Stones escaped a drugs conviction in return for performing a benefit concert for the Canadian National institute for the Blind.
2/2/1979, Sid Vicious (born as John Ritchie), former band member of the Sex Pistols, died of a heroin overdose at a party in New York, aged 21.
1973, The Governor of New York, Nelson Rockerfeller, passed draconian drugs laws, making possession of even small amounts of drugs punishable by 15 years to life imprisonment.
31/8/1973. The growing drugs menace in Britain was investigated by the TV programme Midweek on Drugs.
1/3/1972, A 14-year-old boy, Timothy Davey, from London was convicted of conspiring to sell cannabis in Turkey.
1971, US President Nixon declared a ‘war on drugs’.
25/1/1970. Mick Jagger was fined £200 plus 50 guineas costs for possessing cannabis resin.
23/1/1969, The British Government rejected proposals to cut penalties for smoking cannabis.
31/12/1967, Hippies embraced love, flower power, LSD and the Rolling Stones as a cure for the world’s ills.
30/10/1967. Statistics showed that the number of Britain’s drug addicts under 20 rose from 145 in 1965 to 329 in 1966.
24/7/1967, Graham Greene, Francis Crick, and The Beatles were among those who signed a full-page advertisement in The Times, saying the law against marijuana was ‘immoral in principle and unworkable in practice’.
6/10/1966, California made possession of LSD illegal.
16/7/1966. The Home Secretary Roy Jenkins decided that the drug LSD-25 should be controlled under the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act, following a rise in use of the drug by young people.
1/2/1964. The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain called for unauthorised possession of amphetamines to be made an offence.
26/1/1956. The UK banned the import and export of heroin.
28/8/1928, In Britain the Dangerous Drugs Act (1925) was amended to make the use of cannabis illegal.
1914, In the USA, Congress passed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, restricting the sale of opiates and cocaine; the country’s first ‘war on drugs’.
Apendix 7 –Family relations. See also Women’s Rights for Divorce (dates of legalisation of)
14/7/1997. In California a Bill was signed allowing women to breast feed in public.
12/1/1993. London’s first refuge for battered husbands opened.
14/4/1992, In Florida, an 11-year old boy successfully ‘divorced’ his parents in court.
10/12/1991, The marriage rate in England and Wales was less than half what it was 20 years ago, as nearly a third of couples in their 20s chose to cohabit, not marry. At least 10% of marriages ended in divorce within 5 years.
1975, A survey in the USA found that 30% of women thought extramarital sex was wrong; in 1963 80% of women thought it was wrong.
1960, In the US, the percentage of married women who were employed had risen to 32%, up from 25% in 1950.
19/11/1959, The Archbishop of Canterbury said adultery should be a criminal offence.
16/3/1958. Mothers who worked full-time were condemned as enemies of family life by the Bishop of Woolwich.
27/3/1947, To stem the rising tide of divorce, the |British Government pledged more funding for the Marriage Guidance Council.
28/11/1946, In Britain the House of Lords was told of a ‘tidal wave of divorce sweeping Britain’.
445 BCE, In Rome the Lex Canuleia permitted intermarriage between patricians and plebeians in Rome.
Appendix 8 – Gambling
7/5/1995. UK betting shops opened on Sundays for the first time.
1/5/1961. Off-course betting shops became legal in Britain. They were legalised under the Betting and Gaming Act, 1960. 10,000 of them opened within the first 6 months thereafter.
1/6/1957. The Church condemned the £1 Premium Bonds as a ’squalid raffle’.
25/4/1938, Postal workers, tradesmen and Baptists joined forces against the growing popularity of football pools. Baptists disapproved of them on moral grounds, as a form of gambling. Post offices wanted extra payments for handling the rapidly growing volume of pools traffic. Meanwhile a butcher in Worthing claimed his customers were buying cheaper cuts of meat to save up for the pools.
3/7/1902. In Britain, a House of Lords ruling restricted betting to the sites of sporting events.
Appendix 9 – Homosexuality and attitudes towards
17/5/2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage. At this time Israel recognised gay marriages conducted elsewhere but they could not be performed in Israel. Homosexuality could be punished by death in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The taboos against homosexuality were slowly vanishing in Vietnam and Nepal. In Africa, South Africa was the only African country where same sex marriage was legal. In Suda, Somalia and Mauretania, gay people faced the death penalty. A small number of African countries, including Congo (DR), Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Mali and Mozambique, did not have laws against homosexuality.
9/2018, India legalised gay sex.
7/12/2017, The Australian Parliament legalised same-sex marriage, a month after a referendum showed strong support for the move.
11/2016, A planned freferendum on whether same sex marriage should be allowed in Australia was blocked by the upper house of Parliament.
6/2015, With same sex marriages still illegal in 14 States of the US, a Supreme Court decision legalised same sex marriages in all parts of the USA.
23/5/2015, Ireland voted by a margin of 2:1 to legalise gay marriage. The result, 1,201,607 UES votes against 734,300 NO, was remarkable in a strongly Catholic country. The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, said the Church may have become disconnected with young people, and ruled out gay marriages in Catholic churches.
10/2014, Estonia became the first former Soviet republic to legalise civil partnerships.
29/3/2014, Same-sex marriages became legal in England and Wales.
2013, 2% of British Catholics believed homosexuality was wrong, compared to 68% in 1983. However in 2013 52% of British Muslims said homosexuality was wrong.
24/12/2013, Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke the Nazi codes during World War Two but who was convicted of gross indecency for a homosexual act with a man in 1952, was posthumously pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II. He was given chemical castration but his criminal record meant he could no longer work for GCHQ and he committed suicide by cyanide poisoning in 1954, aged 41. Prominent figures including Stephen Hawking and Peter Tatchell had been campaigning for a pardon for several years.
17/4/2013, Same sex marriage was legalised in New Zealand.
2/4/2013, Uruguay legalised same-sex marriages.
7/11/2012, Voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington approved same sex marriages.
17/8/2012, Moscow banned any Gay Pride events for the next 100 years.
7/3/2012, The UN presented its report on violations of the human rights of gay people worldwide. Representatives of several African and Arab States walked out.
2009, Mexico legalised same-sex marriages. Civil unions between same-sex couples had been legalised there in 2007.
5/12/2005, In the UK, the Civil Partnership Act came into force; this gave same sex partnerships the same legal status as heterosexual marriages.
1/12/2005, South Africa became the fifth country in the world to recognise same-sex marriages.
24/8/2005, A Hong Kong Judge, Michael Hartmann, ruled that sodomy laws were unconstitutional.
20/7/2005, Canada’s Civil Marriage Act, legalising same-sex marriages, received Royal Assent.
30/6/2005, Spain joined Belgium and The Netherlands in permitting same-sex marriages.
18/11/2004, In the UK, the Civil Partnership Bill, allowing registered unions for same-sex couples, received Royal Assent.
17/5/2004, Massachusetts legalised same-sex marriages, in compliance with a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court.(Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health).
2/3/2002, The 24th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held in Australia.
2001, The British Virgin Islands legalised gay sex.
8/1/2001, In the UK the House of Commons overruled the House of Lords, which had blocked an equalisation of the Age of Consent for homosexuals with heterosexuals. Homosexual sex had been illegal in the UK until 1967 when the Sexual Offences Act made it legal for people aged 21 and above. This age was lowered to 18 in 1994, and to 16 in 2001, under a policy commitment by Tony Blair’s New Labour Government.
1/4/2001, In The Netherlands, same-sex marriages were made legal. This was the first time such marriages had been legal there since the time of Nero.
3/3/2001, The 23rd Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was held in Australia.
25/4/2000, The State of Vermont passed the HB847 law legalising civil unions for same-sex couples
10/2/1998, Voters in Maine repealed a gay rights law made in 1997, becoming the first US State to abandon such a law.
1/5/1997. Tasmania became the last Australian State to decriminalise homosexuality.
19/12/1994, Civil unions between homosexuals were made legal in Sweden.
21/2/1994, In Britain, Parliament voted to lower the age of consent for homosexuals from 21 to 18.
19/1/1994, Jane Brown, headmistress of a school in Hackney, London, barred pupils from seeing Romeo and Juliet because it was ‘too heterosexual’.
24/6/1993, Ireland legalised gay sex with an equal age of consent as for homosexuals, 17.
1991, The Bahamas legalised gay sex.
1989, Denmark became the first country to legalise same-sex marriages.
24/5/1988, In the UK, the controversial Section 28 law was passed. This made the promotion of homosexuality in schools illegal.
1979, Cuba legalised gay sex.
11/7/1977. British magazine Gay News was fined £1,000 for publishing a poem about a homosexual Jesus.
27/11/1970. The Gay Liberation Front marched in London for the first time.
6/1969, A riot began when police raided the Stonewall Inn, a venue frequented by homosexuals, in Greenwich Village, New York City.
27/71967, In the UK, the Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexuality. Two men could have sex together if they were above the age of 21.
1966, Illinois became the first US State to legalise sodomy.
18/11/1962. Bishop Ambrose Reeves encouraged Oxford students to write to their MPs urging them to repeal the laws on homosexuality.
4/9/1957. In the UK, the Wolfenden Report recommended decriminalising homosexual acts between consenting adults. This would remove a significant cause of blackmail. ‘Adult’ meant aged 21 or over; some feared this would be a licence for child abuse. On 14/11/1957 the Church of England backed the Wolfenden reforms. However the UK government shied away from this controversial change to the law. It was only in June 1967 when the Sexual Offences Bill legalised such homosexual acts as Wolfenden recommended.
1952, In the UK, Alan Turing was convicted of gross indecency and chemically castrated.
31/10/1940, Craig Rodwell, gay rights activist, was born in Chicago, Illinois (died 1993)
1897, The first organisation to promote homosexual rights was set up, in Germany. It lasted until the rise of Nazism in the 1930s.
19/5/1897, Oscar Wilde was released from Reading gaol.
25/5/1895, Oscar Wilde’s second trial ended, and he was sentenced to two year’s hard labour.
26/4/1895. At the Old Bailey, the trial of Oscar Wilde for homosexuality, then a crime, began.
5/4/1895, Oscar Wilde sued the Marquess of Queensberry for libel at the Old Bailey. The Marquess was alleged to have left a note at Mr Wilde’s club accusing him of sodomy. The Marquess, keen on boxing, was annoyed that his son, Alfred, had an intimate relationship with Mr Wilde. Oscar Wilde lost his case.
1861, In the UK, the Offences Against the Person Act repealed the death penalty for sodomy.
1804, Haiti became an independent state; it has never had laws against gay sex.
1533, In England, the Buggery Act was passed by Parliament, making sodomy and bestiality criminal offences.
590 BC, The female Greek poet Sappho was writing about love on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Appendix 10 – Pornography and intimacy
9/8/1979. Brighton established Britain’s first nudist beach.
17/7/1970, The sex comedy Oh! Calcutta! opened in London.
27/9/1968, The Rock musical Hair with 13 naked actors opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, the day after the Theatres Act lifted censorship of it.
10/11/1960, The initial print run of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, 200,000 copies at 3s 6d each, sold out on the first day.
2/11/1960, The publisher of Lady Chatterley’s :Lover was found not guilty on 2/11/1960. On 10/11/1960, the first day of publication, 200,000 copies were sold in Britain.
20/10/1960. D H Lawrence’s book Lady Chatterley’s Lover put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, under the Obscene Publications Act.
19/8/1960, In London, Penguin Books was prosecuted for obscenity over its plans to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
29/2/1960, Hugh Hefner opened the first Playboy Club in Chicago. Brought up in a strict Methodist home, Hefner started the Playboy Magazine with US$ 10,000 in 1953.
27/2/1960. The magazine ‘Playboy’ was banned in Connecticut.
16/6/1930. Mixed bathing allowed for the first time in the Serpentine, Hyde Park.
19/4/1927, The US actress Mae West was convicted of obscenity for writing, producing and directing a Broadway musical called Sex.
9/1/1927. Greta Garbo and John Gilbert - real life lovers – shocked cinemagoers in New York by their uninhibited kissing in the silent film Flesh and the Devil.
1920, At Motzener Zee, Germany, the first official nudist camp opened at Frei Sonnenland.
25/12/1913, In New York, a couple were arrested for kissing in the street.
5/4/1910. France banned kissing on its railways, because it caused delays.
1/11/1905. Police closed George Bernard Shaw’s play, Mrs Warren’s Profession, because of its portrayal of prostitution.
9/1/1902. New York State introduced a bill to outlaw flirting in public.
13/3/1894. The world’s first professional striptease performance took place at the Divan Fayanou Music Hall, Paris. It consisted of a woman getting ready for bed.
9/2/1893. The world’s first public striptease took place at the Moulin Rouge, Paris.
6/10/1889, The Moulin Rouge cabaret opened in Paris.
1883, Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1862-70. These had forced women suspected of prostitution who lived in garrison towns to undergo examinations for venereal disease; refusal meant imprisonment. The Acts were repealed after campaigning by Josephine Elizabeth Butler (1828-1906), a proponent of women’s education and married women’s property rights.
9/3/1562. Kissing in public was banned in Naples, contravention being punishable by death. This was an attempt to halt the spread of the plague.
801, Emperor Charlemagne banned prostitution.
Appendix 11 – Religion, See also Christianity
15/2/1981. Football League games were played on a Sunday for the first time.
25/9/1976. A Danish film director was planning a film on Jesus’ sex life.
8/1/1974. In Rome, youths protested against the film Jesus Christ Superstar. The film’s makers protested that this film should not be confused with the Danish film Jesus Christ Superstud.
4/8/1966, John Lennon suggested that The Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’. Within days US radio stations had banned their music and there were public bonfires of their records.
9/2/1958, A play by Irish-born Samuel Beckett was banned from London stages due to blasphemy.
25/2/1930, In the UK, a Bill to abolish blasphemy as a criminal offence was dropped.
14/8/1870. John Galsworthy, English author, was born in Combe, Surrey. When his Forsyte Saga was dramatised on BBC TV on Sundays in the 1960s, clergymen had to change times of their evening service to get a congregation.
1/7/1559, Missing Church in Britain incurred a fine of one shilling (5p). However by 1581 this penalty had been raised to a swingeing £20 a month.
Appendix 12 - Temperance & Prohibition (of alcohol), See also Food
"I can't think of anything worse after a night of drinking than waking up next to someone and not being able to remember their name, or how you met, or why they're dead." - Laura Kightlinger, US actress
1/6/2008, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, introduced a ban on drinking alcohol on the London Underground.
21/8/1988, British licencing laws were relaxed to allow pubs to open for 12 hours a day.
1/4/1985, The UK Government imposed an alcohol ban on selected football grounds.
15/7/1948. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in London, having been in existence in America since 1935.
12/5/1935, A chance meeting between two alcoholics, Dr Robert Smith and William Wilson, which led to the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous.
5/12/1933. Prohibition Laws repealed in the USA, by the 21st Amendment, after over 13 dry years, leaving individual States free to determine their known drinks laws. See 16/1/1920. Utah was the last state to ratify the 21st Amendment, which nullified the 19th Amendment of 1919 prohibiting the manufacture sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors. Prohibition had not stopped alcohol consumption, but merely driven it underground into the criminal world. America celebrated so much that 1.5 million barrels of beer were drunk the first night. Towns ran dry, and were drunk dry again the next night too. Prohibition had simply created enormous opportunities for organised crime.
11/8/1932, US President Hoover said it was time to scrap Prohibition.
30/1/1932. Finland in a referendum vote chose to end prohibition of alcohol.
12/6/1931. Al Capone and 68 henchmen were charged with 5,000 offences regarding breaching the USA Prohibition laws.
31/10/1929, Nova Scotia voted to repeal Prohibition. This left Prince Edward Island as the only ‘dry’ region in Canada.
1928. Under Prohibition, over 1,500 Americans went blind each year through drinking bad liquor, and bootlegger wars killed hundreds more. Enforcing Prohibition was costly, and had by no means halted alcohol consumption.
13/7/1923, Britain made sales of alcohol to under-18s illegal.
30/4/1923. The US only permitted alcohol consumption on ships 3 miles or more out at sea.
6/10/1922. Alcohol was banned on all US ships in port.
23/11/1921, In the US, President Harding banned doctors from prescribing beer.
4/12/1920. An attempt to introduce Prohibition to Scotland failed.
16/1/1920. Prohibition began in the USA (18th Amendment), and the sale, manufacture, or involvement with alcohol was banned.
See also USA for more dates.
6/10/1919. Norway adopted alcohol Prohibition.
11/4/1919, In a referendum, New Zealand rejected Prohibition.
16/1/1919, The US ratified the 18th Amendment, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors after one year. See 16/1/1920.
18/12/1917, The United States Congress submitted Prohibition legislation to the states. The 18th Amendment was known as the Volstead Act, after its chief sponsor, Andrew Volstead of Minnesota. It took a further 13 months for the necessary three quarters of US states to ratify the Act for it to become law, see 16/1/1919.
2/7/1916. The US States of Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota brought in Prohibition, bringing the number of states banning alcohol to 24.
6/4/1915, In Britain, the King ordered a Prohibition on alcohol in all the Royal Households.
9/6/1911, Carry Amelia Nation, US campaigner for abstention from alcohol, died aged 64.
21/1/1909. Tennessee adopted alcohol prohibition.
18/1/1909. New Zealand brewers abolished barmaids and banned women from buying alcohol in bars.
26/5/1908. The US State of North Carolina introduced Prohibition, banning alcohol.
1/1/1908. The US state of Georgia introduced prohibition, banning alcohol.
12/5/1902, The Court of Appeal reversed the legal decision of 22/4/1902, and allowed barmaids to work in pubs, following protests by pub landlords, barmaids and the public.
22/4/1902, Magistrates in Glasgow ruled that female barmaids must be replaced by men, because of the moral hazards of pubs. Pubs employing female staff would not have their licences renewed. See 12/5/1902.
24/10/1900, In London, the National Union of Women Workers held a meeting about drunkenness and illness.
1893, The Anti-Saloon Leauge was established in the USA, to promote the end of alcohol use through legislation. The Leauge continued to exist during and after Prohibition, and became part of the National Temperance League in 1950.
30/12/1887, A petition signed by over one million women was presented to Queen Victoria, asking for pubs to be closed on Sundays. The petition failed.
18/11/1874. In the USA, the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union was founded. Women would invade saloons and sing hymns and pray; the point being that drunkenness and ill-treatment of women often went together.
4/7/1855. New York became the 13th state to ban the production or sale of alcoholic beverages.
1854, In Britain the 1854 Sale of Beer Act limited pub Sunday opening hours. There were riots, and the UK never attempted the level of Prohibition that was enacted in the USA.
1852, The US States of Massachusetts, Vermoint and Louisiana brought in Prohibition.
1851, Maine became the first US State to ban the sale of alcohol.
2/2/1830, The first Temperance Society in Britain was formed, in Bradford, Yorkshire, by Mr Henry Forbes.
13/2/1826, The American Temperance Society was formed.
1735, In England, distillers were producing 5.4 million gallons of gin annually – 1 gallon per man, woman and child.
1400 BC, An Egyptian papyrus of this date warns “Do not get drunk in the taverns in which they drink ale, for fear that people repeat words that may have gone out of your mouth without you being aware of having uttered them”.
Appendix 13 - Tobacco and Smoking
2017, In the UK, 15.5% of adults smoked, down from 20.2% in 2011.
2015, In the UK, 17.2% of adults smoked. This was down from 46% in 1974, 33% in 1984 and 28% in 1994.
7/2007, The UK banned smoking in ‘enclosed workplaces’, including bars and restaurants.
1/1/1998, California banned smoking in all its bars and restaurants.
2/1/1997, The US State of California extended its smoking ban to bars and other drinking establishments.
7/1/1993, In the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency released the results of a 4-year study proving that second-hand cigarette smoke was killing 3,000 non-smokers a year through lung cancer, as well as causing asthma attacks and respiratory infections in babies.
1992, Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, in Switzerland, produced the first nicotine skin patch.
24/6/1992, The family of US woman Rose Cipollone, who died of lung cancer after 42 years of smoking, succeeded in a lawsuit against the cigarette companies.
1988, In the UK, 33% of men and 30% of women smoked. This was a decrease from 1972 when 52% of UK men and 41% of UK women smoked.
1988, In the US, smoking was banned on all airline flights of less than 2 hours duration.
1/9/1987, Belgium became one of the first countries to ban smoking inside public buildings, two decades before Britain followed suit.
1986, The first nicotine chewing gum, Nicoret, was produced by Pharmacia les Therapeutics AB, Sweden.
29/3/1985, Luther Terry, US Surgeon-General whose report in 1964 concluded that smoking caused cancer, died.
1971, Cigarette adverts were banned on US radio and television.
6/1969, Canada banned tobacco advertising on radio and TV.
1968, US cigarette sales this year were 517 billion, slightly lower than in 1967.
31/7/1965, The last advert for cigarettes appeared on British TV.
8/2/1965. The British Government, Health Minister Kenneth Robinson, announced a ban on cigarette advertising on TV, to take effect on 31/7/1965.
1964, US cigarette consumption this year was 524 billion; or 4,300 per capita for every person aged 18 or over. Public pressure forced the tobacco industry to stop advertising in college newsoapers, sports programs and on college radio.
11/1/1964. Health experts in America published the first warnings that cigarettes could be dangerous for your health.
27/5/1959, Sales of filter tipped cigarettes helped tobacco manufacturers maintain sales after recent reports linking smoking to cancer.
12/7/1957, US Surgeon-General Leroy E Burney announced the US Public Health Service’s belief that there was a direct causal relationship between smoking and lung cancer.
26/6/1957. The UK government began an anti-smoking campaign, despite fears that this would cause tax revenue to fall. As recently as 1956, the Health Minister, Mr R Turton, had said there was no proof that smoking caused any harm, but recent reports in the UK and USA now suggested links to some bronchial and heart diseases.
7/5/1956. The UK Health Minister refused to back an anti-smoking campaign because he wasn’t convinced it was harmful.
12/1/1954, A UK official committee linked cigarettes with cancer.
1930, Annual US cigarette production reached 130 billion, up from less than 9 billion in 1910. Hollywood helped glamourise cigarette smoking by having film stars smoke in many films.
10/8/1928, British cigarette smoking was rising fast. In 1924 the country consumed 77,458,000 lbs of tobacco, up from 23,766,000 lbs in 1907, according to figures from the Imperial economic Committee. In 1927 Britons consumed 3.4 lbs of tobacco per head. All the increase was from cigarettes; pipe smoking and cigars had declined. Cigarette sales were boosted by marketing techniques such as free cards, and cigarette smoking had become a powerful symbol of female emancipation. Younger females also saw the habit as romantic. However some doctors were concerned about links to the rise in various cancers.
24/1/1927, The British Medical Association warned that cancer deaths, especially of the chest and tongue, had risen sharply in the past 20 years. Smoking had become much more popular over this period.
1926, Du Maurier produced the first filter cigarette.
25/1/1926, British surgeon Sir Berkeley Moynihan said cancer of the tongue is partly caused by smoking.
1925, Annual US cigarette production reached 82.2 billion, up from 66.7 billion in 1923.
1923. Annual US cigarette production reached 66.7 billion, up from 52 billion in 1921; the US was a major cigarette exporter.
21/3/1923. Scientists in Paris claimed smoking is beneficial.
1921, US annual cigarette consumption reached 43 billion, up from 8.6 billion in 1910.
11/4/1921, Iowa became the first US State to impose a cigarette tax, of 2 cents per pack. By 1991 this tax stood at 36 cents.
28/10/1912, Birth of Sir Richard Doll, British cancer specialist who proved the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.
1910, US cigarette sales reached 8.6 billion; 62% of sales were controlled by the American Tobacco Trust, set up in 1890. US tobacco companies spent US$ 18.1 million on advertising this year.
2/8/1907, Dr Herbert Tidswell, a Devon GP, spoke out at a meeting of the British Medical Association about the undesirability of allowing children to smoke. He claimed smoking could cause cancer, but other doctors were unconvinced that moderate smoking was dangerous.
1853, In Cuba, Don Luis opened the world’s first mechanised factory for mass-producing cigarettes.
1843, The Manufacture Francaise des Tabacs (French Tobacco Factory) opened as the world’s first commercial cigarette factory.
1761, The first association between tobacco and cancer was observed by London physician John Hill. He reported six cases of ‘polypusses’ related to excessive use of snuff in his work, ‘Cautions Against the Immoderate Use of Snuff’.
1612,Tobacco cultivation began in Virgina, USA.
1604, King James I of England described smoking tobacco as “a custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the nose, harmful to the braine, dangerous to the lungs, and in the blacke and stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless”. He imposed large import taxes on tobacco.
1550, Tobacco first brought to Europe, from the Americas, and cultivated in Spain.