On June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn — a gay bar located in the heart of New York City's Greenwich Village — was the site of a police raid. The raids were not uncommon in the '60s as legal protections for the gay and lesbian community were still far off. But what was different about this raid was this time, the gay community had had enough. They fought back and continued protesting at the site for weeks afterward. It's because of this that the Stonewall Inn has often been associated with the start of the movement for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) civil rights. And now the story of Stonewall will become part of America's story, as President Obama has designated the site as the country's latest national monument.
The newly named Stonewall Inn National Monument encompasses eight acres in Greenwich Village that include Christopher Park, the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding streets and sidewalks that were the sites of the 1969 Stonewall protests.
In his announcement, Obama stressed how Stonewall would become the first national site to tell the LGBT story.
"I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country, the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us. That we are stronger together. That out of many, we are one," he said.
Watch the full video of his announcement, along with interviews with Stonewall protesters and LGBT activists below:
News of the national monument came just days before the first anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states, and just two weeks after the mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida ,that reminded many Americans just how far we have to go to protect LGBT rights.
The addition of Stonewall National Monument as the 412th unit within the National Park Service will go a long way toward helping to protect, preserve and promote the story of America's LGBT community.