|Image: Viking/ Penguin|
Fact Friday features Stonewall: Breaking out in the fight for gay rights by Ann Bausum. Prior to the 1970s, it was illegal to identify as anything other than heterosexual. Police would routinely raid gay-friendly bars, often coercing and accepting bribes from people hoping to avoid arrest. On June 28, 1969, a raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City's West Village turned into a full-on protest when the patrons refused to yield to arrest and barricaded themselves in the bar. They were soon joined by thousands of supporters that outnumbered police. The protest eventually became a riot and galvanized the movement to fight for gay rights. Bausum's thorough research is belied by the conversational tone that makes understanding this important moment in history easy. The text is sprinkled with black and white photos from the era.