Stonewall Becomes First LGBTQ National Monument

June 24, 2016Brian Q. ClayNPF Blog
– Johannes Jordan, Wikimedia Commons

On June 24, 2016, New York City’s Stonewall National Monument was designated as the 412th unit of the National Park System. The site of the 1969 riots and recognized birthplace of the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer civil rights movement, Stonewall Inn and surrounding areas were first declared as a national historic landmark in June 2015.

President Obama’s official designation of it as a national monument now distinguishes Stonewall as the first LGBTQ monument to be incorporated into the National Park System. The announcement was made during Pride Month, reinforcing the National Park Service’s commitment to telling the diversity of narratives that make up our nation’s story.

White statue memorial at Stonewall National Monument
Raphaellsla, Wikimedia Commons

On June 28, 1969 police conducted what had become yet another routine raid of the gay nightclub. The frustration by bar patrons and nearby residents of the continued harassment and arrests culminated in their refusal to comply with police order. Their resistance sparked several days of riots and protests and ultimately ignited a movement.

Within the span of two years of the riot, every major city in America had formed gay rights groups.

Fundamental to its role as America’s storytellers, the National Park Service ensures that the stories of all Americans are preserved and interpreted for this and future generations.

We encourage all people to learn more about our newest national park site. Come #FindYourPark at Stonewall National Monument, learn more about the history of the LGBTQ rights movement, and help us preserve and share this essential piece of our expansive national story. 

Photo Credits: Johannes Jordan, Raphael Isla

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