How The Stonewall Inn Became A National Monument

"I never thought there'd be a National Park Service site dedicated to this story."

Over the next three years, Mikah Meyer is traveling to all 400-plus National Park Service sites as part of a campaign to connect young people and the LGBT community to our nation’s parks. Recently, he hit Stonewall Inn, one of the NPS’ newest sites—and the first chosen for its role in LGBT history.

stonewall national monument
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

We joined Mikah at the iconic Greenwich Village location, where he spoke with park ranger Allan Dailey about the significance of President Obama declaring Stonewall a National Historic Landmark in June.

“As an out park ranger, even ten years ago I never thought there’s be a National Park Service site dedicated to this story,” says Dailey. “Now that it is, I definitely think it’s a place where people can realize that the movement we’ve been working on isn’t so different than the movement other groups have been working on to gain civil rights.”

stonewall inn monument
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In addition to Stonewall itself, the landmark designation covers adjoining Christopher Park and the streets where the 1969 riots took place. As with all National Park Service locations, visitors can have their NPS passports stamped at the bar as a memento of their visit.

Follow Mikah’s adventures at the Travel Beyond Convention blog and at @TBCMikah on social media.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.