On June 24, 2016, President Barack Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to create the Stonewall National Monument. This site commemorates a 1969 uprising where a police raid in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City helped to spark the modern LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) civil rights movement in the United States. This highest level of federal historic designation was the capstone to a long effort to secure official recognition of places associated with the history of LGBTQ communities. Today, such a statement of “official memory” comes with notably less controversy than earlier episodes of historical acknowledgment, which were fraught with debate and derision. American acceptance of LGBTQ communities has changed over the last two decades, a transformation that is illustrated on the national stage by the establishment of the Stonewall National Monument and by the National Park Service’s recently completed LGBTQ theme study.
Such change in our national character is worthy of substantive reflection and discussion. NCPH welcomes attendees and the public to join in this conversation,
moderated by LGBTQ scholar and independent consultant Susan Ferentinos, on the evolving landscape of LGBTQ historical memory.