The program book from the very first Westercon has been scanned and posted on the LASFS website, reports Lee Gold.
There were very few sf conventions anywhere in 1948, and none at all in the southwestern US, when Walt Daugherty proposed an annual convention be started for West Coast fans. The first Westercon was held on September 5 that year at the Park View Manor (the same hotel used for the 1946 Worldcon).
The day-long convention attracted 77 attendees to hear from a number of well-known local authors. E. Mayne Hull, L. Ron Hubbard and Dr. Eric Temple Bell (aka John Taine) spoke in the afternoon, and astronomer Dr. Robert C. Richardson (aka Philip Latham) was one of three speakers on the evening program.
This copy of the Program Book belonged to Aline and Gerry Thompson, who collected numerous autographs from fans and pros at the con — Genie Willmorth, Jerry G. Thompson, Forrest J Ackerman, Harvard Johnson, Fred Johnson, Roy A. Squires, Rick Sneary (appended: South Gate in 58!), Elmer B. Perdue, Andy Anderson, Stan Woolston, William Rotsler, Dale Hart, Al Ashley, A. E. Van Vogt, Jean Cox, G. Gordon Dewey.
[Thanks to Lee Gold for the story.]