The Atlantic

An Amazing 1969 Account of the Stonewall Uprising

Despite progress, the circumstances that gave rise to the rebellion that began the contemporary gay rights movement haven't changed as much as we might think.

Despite progress, the circumstances that gave rise to the rebellion that began the contemporary gay rights movement haven't changed as much as we might think.

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Joseph Ambrosini/The New York Daily News

When President Obama briefly mentioned Stonewall during his Inaugural address, it prompted a lot of chatter about of the Stonewall riot and his historic adoption of the gay rights cause as his own.

But what happened at the Stonewall Inn, really? New York papers tend to call it the Stonewall uprising, not the Stonewall riot, because it played out as six days of skirmishes between young gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals and the New York Police Department in the wake of a police raid of the Christopher Street bar in Manhattan's West Village. The raid came amid a broader police crackdown on gay bars for operating without N. Y. State Liquor Authority licenses, which was something they did only

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