After more than two years of building strong public support in the community, across the nation and in Congress, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) celebrates President Obama’s historic designation of Stonewall National Monument, the first national park site dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history.
New York, N.Y. – After more than two years of building strong public support in the community, across the nation and in Congress, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) celebrates President Obama’s historic designation of Stonewall National Monument, the first national park site dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history. To coincide with national LGBT Pride Month, and just a few days before the 47th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, President Obama today officially designated the area surrounding Stonewall Inn and Christopher Park in New York City’s Greenwich Village as our 412th national park site.
Stonewall is recognized as the birthplace of the modern LGBT civil rights movement. In response to police raids against the LGBT community in the summer of 1969, a weeklong uprising took place in and around the streets surrounding the Stonewall Inn bar and Christopher Park. These are considered some of the most important events in LGBT history. These demonstrations helped set the stage for the progress that has since been made on LGBT equality and the larger push for human rights and civil rights in the United States.
“There are places in America so powerful, they helped shape our nation’s history and culture, and must never be forgotten,” said Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association. “Stonewall Inn, and the area surrounding this historic site, is one such place. Thanks to President Obama, Stonewall is protected and its story will be told for generations to come.”
Two-thirds of America’s more than 400 national park sites are dedicated to cultural and historic significance. Some are focused specifically on the struggle for civil rights, including the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York, which tells the story of the fight for women’s civil rights, and Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which tells the story of the fight for African-American civil rights. And now, after more than 45 years since the uprising, Stonewall National Monument will tell the story of the LGBT community’s struggle for civil rights.
“Today’s historic designation reaffirms the administration’s commitment to preserving special places that define who we are as a nation and that better reflect our diverse and evolving population, added Pierno. “Adding underrepresented stories like Stonewall’s within the National Park System is critical. Today’s designation will forever honor the events at Stonewall that have come to mean so much for so many people, and will continue to inspire many for years to come.”
NPCA and its many national and local partners have worked to build broad support among the local communities and nationally. Together they secured more than 26,000 signatures on NPCA’s petition calling on President Obama to create a national park for Stonewall. Additionally, more than 90 organizations and businesses from around the country publicly supported the creation of a park for Stonewall by signing a letter sent to President Obama earlier this year.
“We commend U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, New York State Assembly member Deborah Glick and New York City Council member Corey Johnson for their leadership, determination and tremendous political support in helping to advance the national park for Stonewall campaign,” added Pierno.
“I am thrilled that today, the events of the Stonewall uprising take their place in history and in the National Parks System as the civil rights watershed it was,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler. “Honoring and memorializing Stonewall–which helped launch the modern LGBT civil rights movement–will allow America to hear and remember the stories of all of the brave individuals who stood up for justice and equality for all at Stonewall. Thank you everyone who lent their voices to this effort and especially to NPCA for all of their advocacy and leadership.”
Learn more at www.npca.org/stonewall and join the conversation online with #NatlParkForStonewall.
About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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