From the Archives The 1914 trial of a Long Beach man accused of ‘social vagrancy’ drew large crowds
The Los Angeles Times covered the sensational 1914 trial of Herbert N. Lowe, who was among 31 so-called “social vagrants” arrested and accused of lewd conduct and having gay sex. Authorities accused the men of belonging to two private clubs, the 606 Club and the 96 Club, where, officers said, they cross dressed and had sex. B.C. Brown, one of two vice officers who helped pioneer the use of undercover operations targeting gay men, said on the witness stand that he and his partner, W.H. Warren, received $10 for each confession of a “social vagrant.” Brown had rented a cottage from Lowe, and testified that other officers watched his bedroom from a peephole and window to see Lowe flirting with him.
Sources: Los Angeles Times, Nov. 19, 1914