NY Historical Society Honors 50th Anniversary of Stonewall Uprising

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Many Tomatoes are old enough to remember the Stonewall Uprising of 1969.  The NY Historical Society on CPW and 77th is having two great exhibits in honor of the 50th anniversary.  The first is Letting Loose and Fighting Back:  LGBTQ Nightlife Before and After Stonewall which explores the history of LGBTQ bars, clubs and nightlife in NYC during the second half of the 20th century.  The second is By the Force of our Presence:  Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives and it examines lesbian lives pre- and post-Stonewall. 

Then there’s a special installation, Say It Loud, Out and Proud: Fifty Years of Pride, featuring imagery from NYC Pride marches and other LGBTQ protests from the 1960s to the present, as well as a timeline of mile-stones and objects  from LGBTQ  history. 

To quote Dr.Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of NY Historical, The Stonewall uprising on June 28-July 3, 1969, was a watershed moment in the gay rights movement, and we’re proud to honor its legacy at NY Historical during this 50th anniversary year.”  “We hope That with our Stonewall exhibitions and displays, our visitors, many of whom will be learning this story for the first time, will come to appreciate the critical role played by Stonewall in helping our nation towards a more perfect union.”

Letting Loose and Fighting Back highlights the ways in which nightlife has been critical in shaping LGBTQ identity, building community, developing political awareness and fostering genres of creative expression that have influenced popular culture worldwide.  By the Force of Our Presence highlights community building, organization and networking within the LGBTQ movement with a focus on the contributions of lesbians and queer women.

I found it very interesting, not least of all seeing what New York was like 50 years ago.  As a history buff, it brought back memories.

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance writer and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity firm in Manhattan.  She may be reached at silverbergm@mindspring.com


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