A violent uprising known as the Stonewall Riots would later be credited as a major turning point in the gay rights movement
In the early hours of June 28, 1969, in New York’s Greenwich Village, a police raid of the Mafia-run Stonewall Inn—a gay bar at 51 Christopher Street—turned violent. New York’s gay community had grown weary of the police department targeting gay clubs, so when officers cleared out the popular bar, roughing up patrons and arresting Stonewall employees for selling liquor without a licence, patrons and local sympathizers began to fight back. Police reinforcement arrived, but as word of the protest spread, gay men and women from other boroughs joined the angry patrons, and days of spontaneous, often violent, demonstrations broke out across the city.
The Stonewall Riots are largely regarded as a catalyst for the LGBT movement for civil rights. Today, Gay Pride events are held annually around the world toward the end of June to mark the Stonewall riots.