In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969 police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar in the Greenwich Village section of New York City. Such raids were not unusual in the late 1960s, an era when homosexual sex was illegal in every state but Illinois. That night, however, the street erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations that lasted for the next three days. The Stonewall riots, as they came to be known, marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.
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