“Law enforcement has not been turned over to the Ku Klux Klan in Dade County”.The raid also made national news. The New York Times commented:
“Every civic club of the Miami area is sure to approve the Klan’s militant stand against too rough divertissement which has characterized the city’s night life from 1934”,and also opined that “once-famous hot spots” in Miami would now be unavailable.
|Life Magazine, Nov 15, 1937|
- “The Ku Klux Klan Raise a Miami Hot Spot”. Life, 15 Nov 1937. Online.
- “La Paloma ‘Artists’ Handed $25 Fines: Four Plead Guilty to Vagrancy Allegations”. The Miami News, 26 Jul 1939: 2. Online.
- “G-Men Stage Miami White Slave Raid: La Paloma Club Closed and Manager Held in $20,000 Bond”. The Evening Independent, Mar 27, 1940. Online.
- Jack Kofoed. Moon Over Miami. Random House, 1955: 229.
- William Peirce Randel. The Ku Klux Klan: a century of infamy. Chilton Books, 1965: 225.
- Brian Lewis Crispell. Testing the Limits: George Armistead Smathers and Cold War America. University of Georgia Press, 1999: 6-8.
- John A Stuart & John F Stack. The New Deal in South Florida: Design, Policy, and Community Building, 1933-1940. University Press of Florida, 2008: 56.
- Melanie Shell-Weiss. Coming to Miami: A Social History. University Press of Florida, 2009: 120.
- Paul Chartrand. Seeing Red: Paranoia, Politics, and McCarthyism in the 1950 Florida Democratic Primary for the US Senate. Florida Gulf Coast University, 2013: 34-5
- Julio Capó Jr. Welcome to Fairy Land: Queer Miami before 1940. The University of North Carolina Press, 2017: 232-3, 252, 263, 267-271, 277-8.
- Julio Capó Jr. “Why a Forgotten KKK Raid on a Gay Club in Miami Still Matters 80 Years Later”. Time, November 28, 2017. Online.
- Brittany Shammas. “Five Moments in Miami’s LGBTQ History, From 1937 to 2015”. Miami New Times, March 12, 2019. Online.
Youst and Pine sent $25 to Evelyn's mother. Five young women, so $5 each. According to this inflation calculator, $5 in 1939 is worth $92.85 now. Chatanooga-Miami is a bit less than 800 miles/1300 km. So the money was probably for bus fare, with very little left over.
The racist term 'white slave traffic act' was used as a nickname for the The Mann Act, 1910, which was "An Act to further regulate interstate and foreign commerce by prohibiting the transportation therein for immoral purposes of women and girls, and for other purposes". While that wording says nothing about race, the act was use to interfere with with interracial relationships and also premarital and extramarital relationships. Jack Johnson, the black boxer, was charged in 1912 with violating the Mann Act due to traveling with his white girlfriend, Lucille Cameron, who refused to cooperate with the prosecution and whom he married soon thereafter. In 1941 Charlie Chaplin ended his affair with Joan Barry and bought her a train ticket to New York. For this he was charged under the Mann Act. As Wikipedia puts it: "The penalties would be applied to men whether or not the woman involved consented and, if she had consented, the woman could be considered an accessory to the offense".
So the Yousts were convicted in that Youst and Pine had sent bus fare combined with "after-hours activities". Evelyn would seem to have consented in that she ended up as the boss's wife - although nothing is said about the other four.
So we have the irony that a mixed queer-straight night club was raided for being queer and kept going. But was finally closed when the boss was convicted of a technical infraction of a law about heterosexuality.
We might also mention the novel The Saint in Miami, 1940 by Leslie Charteris. On p136, the protagonist goes to a nightclub with the fictional name of Palmleaf Fan which may well be inspired by La Paloma.
"And he realised that there were some things about the clientele of the Palmleaf Fan which were more than somewhat queer.
He wasn’t thinking of the more obvious queernesses, either; although it dawned on him in passing that some of the groups of highly made-up girls who sat at inferior tables with an air of hoping to be invited to better ones were a trifle sinewy in the arms and neck, while on the other hand some of the delicate-featured young men who sat apart from them were too well-developed in the chest for the breadth of their shoulders. Those eccentricities were standard of the honky-tonks of Miami."