50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots
June 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots which occurred at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, New York City, in June 1969. During the early morning hours of June 28th, 1969, the gay bar still known today as the Stonewall Inn was raided by police, in what was a standard tactic at the time to harass members of the LGBTQ community. The police raid resulted in several violent arrests during which patrons began throwing pennies, cobble stones from the street, bricks, bottles, and any other items they could find at the arresting officers.
The Stonewall Riots inspired the Pride celebrations we know today, the first of which was the Christopher Street Liberation Day March on June 28th, 1970, in New York City. Though the Stonewall Riots have been widely regarded as the beginning of the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement, activists had been organizing, protesting, and rioting in prior decades. The Stonewall Riots, however, provided an opportunity for activists to leverage national press coverage to bring more attention to LGBTQ equality.