The First Post-War Eastern Science Fiction Conference was a convention sponsored by the newly-formed Null-A Men (the later ESFA) and chaired by Sam Moskowitz. It was held in March 1946 at the "gloomy" Slovak Sokol Hall in Newark, NJ. L. Sprague de Camp was invited to give the keynote speech and was effectively the GoH, though he was not designated as such (the idea of a convention having a GoH was not yet a firm part of fannish tradition.) The FPWESFC was later retroactively counted as an Open ESFA.
It's reasonable to think of this as the first Open ESFA.
|from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959|
|First PostWar Eastern SF Conference, 3 March 1946, signaled the return to life of fandom's congoing tradition, which wartime travel difficulties had cramped. It was originally planned by the ESFAns as a local meeting to whip up interest among New Jersey fans but Moskowitz, hearing of more and more old fans coming home from the wars, brainstormed it into a gathering of all possible East Coast fans, promoted originals from the proz, and got a good program together. The get-together of returned Old Fans and wartime New Fans proved highly productive. A proposal to revive the SFL was voted down and Merwin heard a loud "no!" in answer to his feeler on continuing the inanities of Sergeant Saturn. And, wonderful to relate, it got a fine writeup in a mundane publication, Harpers for September 1946.|
See also Early Conventions