On the night of 28 June 1969, eight officers from the Public Morals Section of the New York Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn in New York, alleging that alcohol was being sold without a licence. The bar’s patrons, mainly gay, lesbian and transgender people, were ejected and a number were arrested. As crowds gathered outside, the mood became increasingly defiant and a confrontation erupted between the police and gay people in the neighbourhood.
The Stonewall riots, as they became known, continued through the next two nights with several thousand people becoming involved in battles against hundreds of riot police. The riots are regarded as marking the birth of the modern gay liberation movement, and in 1999 the Stonewall Inn became the first gay/lesbian site to listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.
‘It’s lucky that the Stonewall Club was not named the Pink Poodle. Imagine our having the Pink Poodle Era? Or, perhaps, the annual Pink Poodle Gay Pride Parade!’
_ Williamson Henderson, Stonewall Veterans Association