A raid by New York City police officers at the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 1969 was not out of the ordinary, but the response by its patrons secured its place in history. At the time, it was illegal to serve alcohol to homosexuals, so the Stonewall Inn was operated by the Mafia as a “private” club. The police raid resulted in six nights of civil rights protests outside the bar around Christopher Park, gathering approximately 2,000 supporters on the second night. It was not the first gay pride protest in America, but it did have a lasting impact with more than a thousand LGBTQ groups forming in the following year.
Christopher Park, George Segal sculpture
In 2016, President Obama designated Stonewall National Monument in Christopher Park, across the street from the Stonewall Inn. During the summer, park rangers are on site approximately 11-1 and 3-4 every day, but we were told it is best to call beforehand to verify. The Stonewall Inn is still a business and not owned by the National Park Service (NPS), so nobody under age 21 is allowed in.
A sculpture by George Segal entitled Gay Liberation Monument was commissioned in 1979, but not installed in Christopher Park until 1992 due to public opposition. It depicts two standing men and two seated women comforting one another in their shared struggle for acceptance.
Roads are heavily trafficked and there is no designated parking so we recommend you take the subway.
Women’s Rights National Historical Park (New York)
César E. Chávez National Monument (California)
Explore More – The original bar closed following the protests, so when did the current iteration of the Stonewall Inn open?