Standing in front of the historic Stonewall Inn tavern, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced on Friday the formation of a study group that will be tasked with exploring the LGBT movement’s history in the U.S., with an eye on identifying historic locations for possible inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
The panel of 18 scholars will convene next month to review the history of gay Americans with the goal submitting a list of relevant historical sites that help tell the story of the gay movement.
The Park Service with use this information to determine which sites should be designated as National Historic Landmarks, or receive consideration to become national monuments,
“It’s our job to work with the smartest people around this country to understand this history,” Jewell said. “So we are announcing that we are going to launching a theme study, next month, the tenth of June. We will be pulling together our nation’s finest scholars who will help us tell this story effectively for all Americans.”
Calling the Stonewall Inn, a “very important symbolic place in the struggle for LGBT Americans’ rights,” Jewell explained, “The Stonewall riot, regarded by many as the single most important event leading to the modern LGBT human and civil rights movement, took place here. So it’s our job to work with the smartest people around this country to understand this history.”
The Stonewall Inn was the site of the legendary 1969 ‘Stonewall riot” where patrons of the bar fought back against the constant police harassment of the LGBT community.
The new National Park Service effort is being supported with a $250,000 pledged donation from The Gill Foundation, an LGBT organization founded by computer software entrepreneur and gay rights activist Tim Gill which funds equality initiatives.
Watch the video uploaded to YouTube by the AP: