Friday, May 24, 2024

New Historic Marker in Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square Honors Early LGBT Sit-In at Dewey’s

Philadelphia marked the beginning of 2018’s LGBT History Month on October 1 with the dedication of an LGBT historic marker to commemorate the nation’s first gay sit-in.

At 17th and St. James streets in the city’s Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, the Dewey’s Sit-In Historic Marker honors LGBT activists who, from May through June 1965, peacefully demonstrated against the then-popular diner’s refusal to serve homosexuals and/or anyone appearing in non-gender conforming attire. After arrests, convictions and public protests, Dewey’s reversed its policy, giving the nation’s nascent gay rights movement one of its first victories.

The Dewey’s Sit-In Historic Marker is Philadelphia’s eighth government-approved, nationally significant LGBT historic marker.

“The LGBT community is the only minority worldwide that is not taught its history at home, in public school or via religious institutions. LGBT History Month is a free online educational resource that provides role models, teaches history and imparts the LGBT community’s important national and international contributions,” stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director of Equality Forum.

“The dedication of the eighth nationally significant LGBT historic marker makes the statement that not only is Philadelphia the birthplace of the nation, but the city is also the foundation of LGBT civil rights movement.”

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