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Back in the Day: Gay pride explodes out of the closet

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Back in the Day: Gay pride explodes out of the closet


June 28, 1969. Riots erupt after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York, a popular club among the gay community, in what is seen as a watershed moment in the history of gay rights. Police raids were common on gay clubs at the time, with officers making arrests for illicit drinking or illegal cross-dressing but the Stonewall riots were the first example of the gay community confronting the police. Hundreds of protesters took part in violent clashes with police for several nights. Some historians describe the event as the ‘Rosa Parks moment’ of the gay rights movement. Exactly one year later, on June 28, 1970, the first Gay Pride march marked the anniversary of the riots and today marches are held at the end of June in countries across the world. The Stonewall Inn (see picture) is listed as a US National Historic Landmark.

Also on June 28: Adolphe Sax receives a patent for the saxophone (1846); Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, is assassinated in Sarajevo (1914); signing of the Treaty of Versailles (1919).

Born on June 28: Peter Paul Rubens (1577), Mel Brooks (1926), Hans Blix (1928), Leon Panetta (1938), Muhammed Yunus (1940)

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