On this day in 1969, the Stonewall Riots broke out in New York’s West Village. This is seen as the symbolic birth of the Gay Rights Movement, and it’s the reason that Gay Pride all over the country is in June. In honor of this anniversary and all that has been accomplished since, I recommend that you read June Thomas’s excellent series on Slate.
The truth though is that the riots could have passed into history completely forgotten. The real birth of the movement came on the first anniversary of Stonewall when LGBT activists marched in the first Christopher Street Liberation Day parade. That has been going on year after year, morphed into the gay pride parades we all know and are ambivalent about.