01/AR0842 Guide to the William H. "Bill" Nelson, Jr. and Jean Nelson Collection (The Dallas Way) Nelson, William H. "Bill" (The Dallas Way) Finding Aid Authors: S. Ivie.

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University of North Texas, Wilis Library 1155 Union Circle # 305190 Denton, TX, 76203 URL: http://libiow.library.unt.edu/Archon321
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Guide to the William H. "Bill" Nelson, Jr. and Jean Nelson Collection (The Dallas Way) 1970/2011 University of North Texas Special Collections Overview of the Collection William H. "Bill" Nelson, Jr. and Jean Nelson Collection (The Dallas Way) 1970-2011 1971-1990 01/AR0842 5.00 University of North Texas Special Collections
University of North Texas, Wilis Library 1155 Union Circle # 305190 Denton, TX, URL: http://libiow.library.unt.edu/Archon321
Administrative History:

William H. Nelson, Jr. (1949-1990), or Bill Nelson, as he was commonly addressed, was a prominent leader in the LGBT rights movement in Dallas during the pivotal years of the AIDS epidemic. Nelson, a former Dallas high school history teacher and coach, was reprimanded after his photograph was spotted in a TWIT (This Week in Texas) publication in 1979, as part of a “Fun-Fest” event for the Democratic Party. In the photograph, Nelson is wearing a March on Washington t-shirt. Nelson fought the reprimand and it was never included in his personnel file. He worked for the school during a span of 10 years without prior incident, receiving an award for teacher of the year in 1974.

Bill was affiliated with the Dallas Gay Alliance, the Dallas Gay Political Caucus, the Foundation for Human Understanding and various other groups. Nelson was also president of the Dallas Gay Alliance during 1984-1987. During these years, Nelson, along with others, formed the beginnings of what became the AIDS Resource Center or Resource Center, as it is known today. In the Dallas area, he was one of the key organizers for the 1979 March on Washington. He was also a founder of Razzle Dazzle Dallas, an annual fundraising event, which continues to this day. Based on ACT UP, out of New York, Gay Urban Truth Squad, or GUTS was another of Nelson’s projects, where he and others raised public awareness on gay rights and AIDS issues through both protests and site installations. Nelson was also president of the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association (North Henderson Neighborhood Association), a member on the Board of Directors for the Dallas Homeowner's League and a member of the Texas Human Rights Foundation.

In 1985 and in 1987, Nelson ran for a seat on the Dallas City Council. In the first City Council run, Lori Palmer won the election. In the second run, in 1987, Nelson received 23,000 votes. During one of these elections, Nelson could not sign one of the candidate forms for the Council because, as an openly gay man, he could not abide by Texas Statute 21.06.

Bill Nelson, along with his partner, Terry Tebedo and their friend, William Waybourn, founded Crossroads Market, a store which supplied magazines, books, antiques and jewelry. Through donations of canned goods for AIDS patients, Crossroads Market marked the beginnings of what would become the food pantry for the AIDS Resource Center

In the Dallas Gay Alliance vs. Parkland Hospital (City of Dallas) case (c. 1988-1990), Nelson, and members of the Dallas Gay Alliance, sued the City of Dallas over discriminatory practices by the hospital towards AIDS patients. AIDS patients were put on waiting lists for health care and some had died because of not receiving treatment. Hundreds of these patients were also assigned to the same doctor, which slowed treatment time.

Nelson passed away in 1990 of AIDS-related complications and was preceded in death by Tebedo in 1988. The Nelson-Tebedo Clinic was named at the AIDS Resource Center in their honor. Jean Nelson, Bill’s mother, participated in gay rights events in memory of her son until her death in 2016.

Administrative Information Conditions Governing Use:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Archives and Rare Books department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection contains restricted items.

Preferred Citation:

William H. "Bill" Nelson, Jr. and Jean Nelson Collection (The Dallas Way), University of North Texas Special Collections

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

Collection is housed in the UNT Archives and Rare Book department vault. The UNT Archives and Rare Book department requires a 24 hour notice from patrons in order to page materials from the vault and ready the materials for use. Please contact the UNT Archives and Rare Book department for further information.

Arrangement of Materials:

These materials are arranged into three separate series. Series 1: Papers contains the papers and photographs of Bill Nelson and Jean Nelson. Series 2: Audio/Visual contains recorded audio and video materials from Bill Nelson's life. Series 3: Artifacts contains three-dimensional or oversize objects.

Scope and Contents

The poetry, writing and memoirs of Bill Nelson are part of this collection. Also included in this collection are the letters and speeches of Jean Nelson, mainly concerning her son, Bill Nelson, as well as correspondence with Bill’s friend, Mike Anglin. Jean Nelson discusses her life with Bill and after his death, presenting a unique point of view as the mother of a civil rights leader and as someone who lost a loved one to AIDS. Letters of support to Jean Nelson and others as tributes to the life of Bill Nelson are included as well.

Detailed List of Contents id136713 Papers id136716 1 704218 id136751 1 1 Historical Poetry Written by Nelson undated id136752 1 2 Poems undated id136753 1 3 Jean Nelson, 'What a Son" Letter undated id136754 1 4 Memories, Clippings, "Never, Never, Never, Never Give Up," 1990-03 Scope and Contents

Contains an article which appeared in AIDS Update in March of 1990.

id136755 1 5 Memories, Dallas City Council 1985, 1987 Scope and Contents

Contains clippings, a Bill Nelson campaign sticker, campaign letters and brochures.

id136756 1 6 Memories, Dallas City Magazine November 25, 1985 id136757 1 7 Memories, Attitude by Charles Swindoll undated id136758 1 8 Memories, My Unbelievable Stroke at 88, Jean Nelson January 6, 2011 id136759 1 9 Memories, House of Representatives Letters from John Bryant 1990-02, 1990-04 id136760 1 10 Memories, Jean Nelson Speech, World AIDS Day, John Wesley United Methodist Church November 28, 2001 Scope and Contents

Contains a speech presented to the church by Jean Nelson in honor of the life of Bill Nelson.

id136761 1 11 Memories, Jean Nelson - Story About Her Life undated id136762 1 12 Memories, Letter to Jean Nelson from William Waybourn undated id136859 1 13 Memories, Letter from Vic Basile February 21, 1990 Scope and Contents

Contains a story about Vic Basile's first introduction to Bill Nelson and the impact it has had on his life.

id136763 1 14 Memories, Letter from Craig Washington February 21, 1990 id136764 1 15 Memories, Al Lipscomb Letter 1990-02 id136765 1 16 Memories, Letter to Bob Ray Sanders from Jean Nelson March 16, 1990, March 18, 1990 id136766 1 17 Memories, Jean Nelson Report on Omega House undated Scope and Contents

Contains Jean Nelson's writing on a Hospice place which cares for AIDS patients.

id136767 1 18 Memories, Jean Nelson's Speech at the Opening of the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic 1990 Scope and Contents

Contains Jean Nelson's first speech at the opening of the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic as part of the AIDS Resouce Center.

id136768 1 19 Memories, Diane Ragsdale Letter on the Life of Bill Nelson 1990 id136769 1 20 Memories, Fax Letter from Lori Palmer February 22, 1990 id136770 1 21 Memories, Fax Letter from Vic Basile February 21, 1990 id136771 1 22 Memories, Forwarded Fax Letter to William Waybourn from Craig Washington February 21, 1990 id136772 1 23 Memories, W.T. White High School Welcome Back Flyer, Clipping, Obituary and Honoring Past VPNA Presidents 1972, March 3, 1989, February 22, 1990, 2006 Scope and Contents

Contains a flyer from W.T. White High School welcoming the former student Bill Nelson back to the school as a teacher, a clipping from the Dallas Times Herald on Nelson's battle with AIDS, his obituary and a brochure with a biography on Nelson's life, showcasing his work as a past president of the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association.

id136773 1 24 Memories, Retrospective Letter to Bill Nelson from Jean Nelson September 20, 1994 id136774 1 25 Memories, David Cain Tribute Letter to Bill Nelson February 22, 1990 id136775 1 26 Memories, Ann Richards Tribute Letter to Bill Nelson February 22, 1990 id136776 1 27 Memories, Bill Hobby Tribute Letter to Bill Nelson February 22, 1990 id136777 1 28 Memories, E-Mail Correspondence About the Life of Bill Nelson and Terry Tebedo 2000 Scope and Contents

Contains correspondence between Karen Estes and family members of Terry Tebedo who mention his life growing up in Michigan and his life in Dallas with responses from both William Waybourn and Dick Weaver.

id136778 1 29 Bill and Jean Nelson Correspondence to Mike Anglin 1980-1981, 1985-1986, 1989 Scope and Contents

Contains postcards from Bill Nelson's trips to New York, Europe, the Mediterranean and Spain, his letters, as well as a letter from Jean Nelson.

id136779 1 30 Black Tie Dinner, Humanitarian Award - Mike Anglin Speech; Jean Nelson Letter 1986, November 20, 2006 id136780 1 31 Black Tie Dinner, Humanitarian Award, Envelope from Jean Nelson 2006-11 id136781 1 32 Photos, Bill Nelson and Terry Tebedo c. 1979-1987, 1989, 2012 Scope and Contents

Contains photographs primarily of Bill Nelson, as well as some color prints of Terry Tebedo and Jean Nelson. John Thomas and others also appear in the photos, as well as a photo of Tebedo when he was ill with AIDS.

id136782 1 33 Photos, Black and White Prints undated Scope and Contents

Contains 3x5 black and white prints, with most of the photography done for a modeling agency.

id136784 1 34 Photos, Quilt 1995-12 Scope and Contents

Contains color photo prints of the AIDS Memorial Quilt as well as a patch of the quilt dedicated to Bill Nelson and Terry Tebedo.

id136785 1 35 Photograph Envelope, Message from Jean Nelson undated id136786 1 36 Reprimand 1, Letters 1979 Scope and Contents

Contains letters from the inside front cover of the reprimand notebook.

id136787 1 37 Reprimand 2, Notebook 1979 Scope and Contents

Contains the September 14th, 1979 issue of TWIT (This Week in Texas) showing Bill Nelson's photograph on page 59, Nelson's formal grievance procedure to have the reprimand removed, case materials and references in defense of Nelson's grievance, Principal Maple's letter denying the grievance, Nelson's formal appeal of the grievance to the Dallas Independent School District, letters concerning DISD involvement in the appeal, letters of support for Bill's grievance, Principal Maple's letter withdrawing the reprimand, as well as the DISD Assistant Superintendent congratulating Bill Nelson.

id136855 2 704219 id136853 2 1 Book from Bill Nelson's Landlady in Paris 1971 id136854 2 2 Journals from Paris 1971 Scope and Contents

A transcription of this diary with a contextual note by Nelson's friends William Waybourn and Mike Anglin is presented in a digital format on the Portal to Texas History. Identifier: UNTA_AR0842-001

id136714 Audio/Visual id136717 3 id136801 3 1 Bill Nelson Interview, Audio Cassette undated Scope and Contents

Contains an audio cassette tape with an interview conducted with Bill Nelson by Linda Mitchell's sister.

id136802 3 2 Bill Nelson Memorial, Audio Cassette February 22, 1990 Scope and Contents

Contains an audio cassette recording on Bill Nelson's Memorial Services at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas.

id136803 3 3 Picture/Video Edit, Joey Kaumo Intro Film/Video undated id136804 3 4 Don's Address to the Texas Human Rights Foundation February 24, 1996 Scope and Contents

Contains a 3.5 diskette with Don Baker's speech to the Texas Human Rights Foundation.

id136805 3 5 Nightwatch with Charlie Rose, Bill Nelson on Issue of AIDS "Quarantines," KERA 1986 Scope and Contents

Contains a DVD recording of an interview with Charlie Rose as part of the Nightwatch series in 1986. Bill Nelson and Congressman Gilmore of Ohio are featured in the recording.

id136806 3 6 Bill Nelson Obituary, Story, News Addition, KERA February 23, 1990, March 16, 1990 Scope and Contents

Contains a DVD recording of two News Addition segments on the life of Bill Nelson.

id136809 3 7 Bill Nelson, Dallas City Council Election 1985 Scope and Contents

Contains a DVD recording of footage from Bill Nelson's run for Dallas City Council.

id136810 3 8 Bill Nelson, Dallas City Council Election 1987 Scope and Contents

Contains a DVD recording of footage from Bill Nelson's run for Dallas City Council.

id136811 3 9 Goodbye, Bill Nelson 1990-02 Scope and Contents

Contains a DVD recording of Bill Nelson's Memorial Services.

id180239 3 10 Bill Nelson's Paris Journal, Vols. 1 and 2 1971 Scope and Contents

Contains the full transcription of Bill Nelson's Paris Journal in DVD-RW format.

id180240 3 11 Bill Nelson's Paris Journal, Vols. 1 and 2 1971 Scope and Contents

Contains the full transcription of Bill Nelson's Paris Journal in CD-R format.

id136715 Artifacts id136718 4 642672 id136831 4 1 Sign Carried by Jean Nelson in Houston Gay Rights Parade 1989 id136832 4 2 Layouts Used for Bill Nelson's AIDS Memorial Quilt 1994 Scope and Contents

Contains collage layouts of Bill Nelson's AIDS Memorial Quilt designed by Jean Nelson and Bill's sister, Sheila.

id136849 4 3 Dallas City Magazine Cover November 25, 1985 Scope and Contents

NOTE: This is laminated material which will most likely require some other form of preservation.

id136850 5 706606 id136851 5 1 Bill Nelson's Grand Marshal Medallion from the Texas Freedom Parade 1989 id136852 5 2 Memorial Service Sign-In Book February 22, 1990