The Emperor and The Empress

“History” is defined on as, “events that will or can shape the course of the future.” San Francisco history has shaped much of what we take for granted today. Here are a couple of examples.

We had a world leader living among the first citizens of San Francisco in the 1850s. His name was Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton 1, Emperor of the United States and The Protector of Mexico. He declared himself so in September of 1859.

Here is our Emperor’s story as told in 1973 by British broadcaster Alistair Cooke for his program, “Alistair Cooke’s America: A Personal History of the United States”

The story continues. In 1964 in San Francisco, we had the declaration of Empress Jose 1, The Widow of Norton. Here is her story:

Jose Julio Sarria is described as, “…a proud openly gay Latino, drag queen and one of the great iconic American pioneering political activist and leaders of the modern day LGBT Civil Rights and Social Justice Movements…” by the organization he founded, The Imperial Council of San Francisco.

This nonprofit organization, and the other Imperial Courts around the world that he inspired, have raised millions of dollars for charities since the organization’s creation in 1965. Empress Jose died on August 19, 2013. She was 90 years old, and as planned, she was laid to rest next to our Emperor.

For more information about Empress Jose and the ongoing events that are used to raise money for charities, check out:

Best wishes,