Exterior picture of the Stonewall Inn in New York City.

The Stonewall Uprising

On June 28, 1969, a police raid occurred at the Stonewall Inn that is widely considered to be the spark that ignited modern LGBTQ
The Stonewall Uprising
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June 28, 1969
The Stonewall Uprising

On June 28, 1969, a police raid occurred at the Stonewall Inn that is widely considered to be the spark that ignited modern LGBTQ rights movement. During this period, New York City police raids on LGBTQ-friendly establishments – many of which were operated by organized crime groups – had become routine. Police arrested bar employees for serving bootlegged alcohol and patrons for breaking the state law against so-called “cross-dressing.” Fed-up customers and angry Greenwich Village crowds threw objects at police to stop the arrests. What began as another discriminatory and harassing raid culminated in six days of protests. The community fought back. 

 

Exterior picture of the Stonewall Inn in New York City.
The Stonewall Inn following the uprising, 1969. Diana Davies, Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library

 

Supporters marked the first anniversary of the rebellion with the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, which evolved into the Pride parades we celebrate across the world each June. 

 

A spontaneous celebration outside the Stonewall Inn when marriage equality passed in New York State.
A spontaneous celebration erupted at the Stonewall Inn when marriage equality passed in New York State, 2011. Photo by Spencer Platt, Getty Images

 

The Stonewall Inn was first recognized on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, and has since been named a National Historic Landmark (2000). In 2016, President Obama named the area surrounding Stonewall a national monument, the first honoring LGBTQ rights; the same year, Governor Cuomo named the Stonewall Inn a New York State Historic Site. The location is also a New York State Path Through History attraction.

 

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo at the Stonewall Inn during the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo co-sponsored a vigil at the Stonewall Inn for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, 2016.