The city marked the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with a week-long celebration that included a Gay Dance, workshops and speeches.
The week-long festivities ended with approximately 150 people marching from Washington Square Park to the Water Tower at the intersection of Michigan and Chicago avenues, with some continuing on to the Civic Center.
She wasn’t afraid to make a statement, and she was known for her campaigning and organizing.
The march was 51 blocks long from west of Sixth Avenue at Waverly Place, in Greenwich Village, all the way to Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park, where activists held a “Gay-in.” Borrowing a technique that had been popularized by the Civil Rights Movement, the “Gay-in” was both a protest and a celebration.
The front page of The New York Times ran with the headline, “Thousands of Homosexuals Hold A Protest Rally in Central Park.” There were no floats, no music blasting through the streets, no scantily clad dancers: this was a political statement and a test—what would happen when LGBT citizens became more visible?
(Credit: Spencer Grant/Getty Images) The Stonewall Riots, as they became known, made one thing clear—the LGBT movement needed to be louder and more visible.
Nothing was going to change if they continued their passive, non-threatening tactics. Five months after the riots, activists Craig Rodwell, his partner Fred Sargeant, Ellen Brody and Linda Rhodes proposed a resolution at the Eastern Regional Conference of Homophile Organizations (ERCHO) in Philadelphia that a march be held in New York City to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the raid.
The Stonewall was operating without a liquor license at 51-53 Christopher Street in Manhattan. Despite being paid off to ignore this indiscretion, the police officers entered with a warrant and started to arrest revelers inside the bar, but their squad cars did not arrive.