President Obama names Stonewall Inn a National Historic Monument

On Friday, the Obama Administration created the Stonewall National Monument to recognize the significance of the Stonewall Inn and surrounding area to the LGBT rights movement in the United States.  The national monument site – which includes the bar, the adjacent Christopher Park, and several surrounding streets – is the first federal landmark to recognize the LGBT rights movement.

“The Stonewall Uprising is considered by many to be the catalyst that launched the modern LGBT civil rights movement… from this place and time, building on the work of many before, the nation started this march — not yet finished — toward equality and respect for LGBT people,” the President wrote in a White House statement.

On June 28, 1969, protests erupted in the area surrounding Stonewall following a police raid on the tavern.  The protests are believed by many to have been a watershed moment in the gay rights movement.  In the years since, the bar, described by The New York Times as “the symbolic heart of New York City’s [LGBT] community for decades,” has become an important gathering place for the LGBT community in times of both triumph and tragedy.

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