tv American Artifacts Stonewall the LGBTQ Rights Movement CSPAN July 3, 2019 10:58pm-11:23pm EDT
occupying 65% may be of the best german troops, fighting us. if we hadn't done that, if they hadn't , if we had failed that moscow or stalingrad or crist , any of those troops could well have been on the normandy beaches, and it could've been a different outcome. so, the story that has to be told is that that is a significant contribution to winning the war. watch on american history tv. on c-span 3. each week, american artifacts takes viewers into archives, museums, and historic sites around the country. up next, we visit the wise up, rise up exhibit in washington dc to learn about the 1969 stonewall riots. and how they served as a catalyst for the modern lgbtq rights movement. welcome to the museum. patty rhule, the
vice president of exhibit some content here. we're here at the prologue of our newest exhibit, rise up. stonewall and the lgbtq rights movement. stoma was an event in the summer of 1969. an uprising in a bar in new york city that propelled forward that modern-day lgbtq rights movement. this is where we tell that story of how ordinary americans use the first amendment items, freedom of speech, of press. petition, assembly, religion, to advocate for change and to really change society. we are going to walk around the corner in this prologue area, and look at some artifacts from two of the earliest lgbt organizations that was up in the 1950s and 60s. americans lived in fear and secrecy for much of the early 20th century. people could be arrested for showing affection in public. police prowled park to arrest people who were seeking -- there. it was a difficult time to be a american.
but this is when you see the rise of a few early lgbtq groups , social groups, such as the mattachine society and daughters of --. when people are meeting in secret in their homes, largely, to talk about what it's like to be a man, to talk about what it's like to be a lesbian woman. to socialize, to dance, to have fun. but out of these social groups, rose movements for social justice, where instead of simply seeking tolerance by the public, they decided they want more than that. they wanted actual acceptance. and here, you see some artifacts from the mattachine society. matchbook which would be passed on to people in public basis. of people that they thought were like- minded people. again, a very secret way to say, are you ? i am too. let's talk about it. and here is a legal book that was published for people who were arrested by police. get them advice about what the rights were. when dealing with the police. over here, you see some early pioneering lgbtq publications such as the mattachine review , the letter which was put out
by the daughters of mellitus. and one a famous first amendment case in the supreme court, when the post office was refusing to distribute it. ultimately the supreme court decided they did have a right to publish that magazine. next, we're going to go down to the main gallery of this exhibit. right now, we were in -- right before the main gallery of rise up. stonewall: the lgbtq rights. we decided that -- popular culture played a popular role in shaping attitudes. early on in 1961, the first images that you see are of homosexuals, because as a people were called back then. it's in a pbs documentary that aired in san francisco. it is called the rejected. talked about homosexuality as an issue and is a problem. and then suddenly, you see gradually more lgbtq people being represented in sports, on television and movies. and here is martina
navratilova with a tennis racket. he's an incredible effort. multiple tennis champion who comes out as being . rock hudson , a famous hollywood celebrity, who reveals that he is dying of aids. huge earthquake in popular culture, and in the lgbtq rights movement. then you saw , in philadelphia, tom hanks portrays a man with aids. and an academy award-winning movie. we have the script that is signed by all the cast embers of that. and i, of course, ellen degeneres, who comes out on the cover of public magazine. the repercussions that came from that. who show was canceled soon after that. she received death threats because of that pickup nevertheless, that moment in time is a really powerful moment. forward movement for the lgbtq rights community. then you have more shows like will and grace. even vice president biden spoke about the tv show, will and grace, as doing more to get more
americans used to the idea of same- sex marriage than anything else. because in that event, they had invited people into the living rooms. in case when they saw that people might not know people in their lives. >> will and grace, we have movies like look back mountain, modern family. he is a popular sitcom. and then of course, katelyn jenner coming out on the cover of vanity fair is a transgender woman. these are all moments in time that moved attitudes about the movement. that brought popular understanding to the issues of the lgbtq community and what they are facing. next, we're going to walk into the main gallery. were going to see what happened to the stonewall inn 50 years ago in the summer of 1969.
now we are going to go back to a hot summer night in june 1969, to greenwich village in new york city. the stonewall inn. stonewall inn was not a particularly nice by. the drink water down. it was run by the mafia. but it was a place that people could come and dance together and socialize. remember, back then, it was illegal for people to socialize together, to be seen showing affection in public. stoma they could dance together. the stonewall prayed on thewall street workers who socialized there. that was sort of a blackmailing ring going on it. again, nothing nice about this place, but it was a place that people could call their own. so, the police crackdown on such illegal establishments going on. me police came in and started raiding the bar and tossing people out of it, they were a little bit rough with a lesbian and they threw her out onto the street. and of the crowd went wild. this is kind of a pent-up feeling by the people there at the stonewall. police had been harassing people for a long time. arresting them for showing them affection in public. at this point in time, in 1969, we have got all kinds of youth movements, counterculture.
sexual revolution is happening. people are just gonna take it anymore. they are done would not be who they are. they are done with not being accepted for being . they are just fed up. so, this starts six nights of on and off up rising, rioting, glass throwing, brick throwing. interactions with the lease. and, out of this moment springs forth what we call the modern lgbtq rights movement. you see here, here is the headline in the mainstream media. again, you see how dismissive the main street publications are of people. the headline here is, nest rated. queen bees are stinging mad. really insulting. really derogatory terminology. the mainstream media did not cover this for a couple of days. several days of fighting rioting have been going on in greenwich village until they were actually paying attention to what's going on it. in the strip we have some historic publications from the museum's collection of how the rights movement was covered by other publications. had the advocate, which is an early lgbtq publication, based in la. you have the latter, which is a lesbian publication that reported on
uprising at a bar in the california region. and then you have mainstream publications saying what is going on? time magazine a few months after stonewall occurred, covered the homosexual in america, in which they are saying, never before have homosexuals been in the forefront of the conversation of what is going on in the united states today. okay out of this moment, springs forth what we call the modern lgbtq rights movement. so, organizers -- not chronologically so much as --. annexing we come to is fighting for the work, right to work and to serve. >> to come to the story noah franke m&a. he is a harvard educated phd. government employee who was fired from his job because of an arrest for solicitation. solicitation was a charge that was commonly used against people. oftentimes, they would not fight back because of the repercussions for fighting back from such a crime. you could lose your
job for being . your neighbors what a bubbly distance themselves from you. your family, if you are a parent, you could lose your children. so, to be was really to live a life of fear and secrecy in the 1950s and 60s. so, bank decided that he was going to fight back against government rules against people. and indeed, president eisenhower actually signed a law into effect that homosexuals could not be hired by the federal government. frank decided that there really should be no reason for such a law. that homosexuals deserve rights to work in the federal government and anywhere else, just as much as anyone did. he organized a series of protests. it was 1955. where people who were would picket in front of the white house as the civil service commission. going public with signs such as this. america, the land of opportunity for homosexuals, too. quarter million homosexual federal employees protest civil service commission policy. civil service commission of course is an organization that controls who gets hired by the federal government.
so, kennedy is a figure who is considered the father of the lgbtq rights movement. and his story pops up throughout it. when we go around the corner, we'll talk about a woman named barbara gettings. she took it upon his own to fight back against the american psychiatric association. which at this point, deemed homosexuality a mental illness. barbara gettings was a college student in 1949 when she was actually diagnosed as being homosexual. she did a little bit of research about what that meant, and she found out that homosexual people were frequently institutionalized. had electroshock treatments and various other horrible things that could happen to people like herself. and she thought that there was something very wrong about that. she took on the american psychiatric association. in 1972, she peered at their convention in dallas texas. she spoke on a panel. with a psychiatrist who was so fearful of the repercussions of coming out and speaking publicly as a person, that he wore this mass .
barbara haddad information booth. you see a sign up there the information booth, they get positive images of what people were all about. and a year later, the american psychiatric association took away the designation of homosexuality as being a mental illness. rank m&a, who we heard from before, sent a letter to his friends saying, it is a miracle. we have been cured. >> next were going to talk about harvey milk, who was one of the pioneering lgbtq people to be elected to office in the united states. harvey milk was elected to the san francisco board of supervisors in 1977. milk proceeded to get various -- increasing rights for lgbtq citizens. and he served for about a year before he was brutally cut down. he was assassinated, actually, by a former policeman and former commissioner himself. in this case, you can see an envelope was found in milk's jacket. you see the bullet holes that were left in that car that he had written
to somebody. the white sentence that the person who shot harvey milk and george -- moscone received, that resulted in the white night riots, when people were just coming forth with fury and frustration at the lack of attention toward the death of this pioneering figure in lgbtq history. in this case, we have artifacts from tammy baldwin and barney frank, pioneering lgbtq congressperson's. tammy baldwin in 1998 was the first openly woman elected to congress. this was the red suit she wore when she was elected to the red wisconsin legislature. we have a newsweek magazine featuring barney frank on it. he had served three terms as congressman in
massachusetts before he came out as being a person. the citizens of massachusetts reelected him several more times. and after he left office, he married his longtime partner, jim ready. this is a button that they handed out at their wedding.
>> we are going to walk around the corner and explore the story of lgbtq activist fighting for the right to serve in the military. in 1974, leonard -- was a sergeant in the air force. he was a decorated vietnam war veteran. he had served three tours of duty. in fact, he had the bronze star. he decided to challenge the military ban on people serving. and again, working with frank how many, the father of the lgbtq rights movement, he decided to push back against the air force. the air force discharged him and offered him a settlement, instead of trying to do change its policy. but you see, this person brave stance going on the cover
of time magazine in 1975, saying, i am a homosexual. the firstperson to appear on the cover of time magazine. these story started to chip away at attitudes that prevented people from serving in the military. in this case, you can see some news
coverage of the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, as a policy the clinton administration that allowed people to serve in the military as long as they were quiet about who they were and what their sort sexual orientation was. >> nancy -- a piece of the gavel nancy pelosi is to repeal don't ask don't tell and 2010. out of stonewall comes a new effort of military, militancy" for the movement. is up protest that. they was so called because they were really provocative designed to get press coverage. got a lot of attention to what the activists were fighting for. you had groups like the raiders out of philadelphia, who actually got themselves into the news with walter cronkite. got on the stage and had a protest and appeared as american watched the evening news guest. the protesters said the cronkite time after the newscast to talk to them about what the issues were. he actually change the way cbs covered the movement at that time. he saw the rise of these incredible publications. when groups and nationalities that were not, the
stories are not being told by the mainstream press, they frequently start their own newspapers and magazines. here you see activist tommy see the lesbian type. many other publications rose up out of the stonewall era. and and, you see this incredible flight that is now iconic. the symbol of the lgbtq rights movement. gilbert baker called himself the betsy ross when he was encouraged to come up with a flight that would symbolize the movement. it had two more stripes than the flight is. the reason for that is two of the colors were too hard to reproduce at the time. so that they cut them down. they got rid of the hot pink and the turquoise. but, that flag was made by gilbert. this was a sewing machine on which he created the original flight. the slide is not, this flag is not the original, but it is one of the first of that flag on the template. >> next were going to go in and talk about the aids crisis and how that activated and mobilized lgbtq activists. >> in every movement, you see signs of progress and then push back. after his incredible
spirit of openness, people being public about their sexuality, who they were, their sexual orientation, testing in the streets, quickly on the heels of that comes the aids crisis. in the early 1980s, stories about aids, this mysterious illness that is striking man in los angeles, and new york, comes to the forefront in publications first. quickly, the mainstream press catches up to epic about the early headlines, because no one knows what causes aids, other, really more fear mongering than anything else. at least the lgbtq, being further ostracize. so here, you see two journalists who are part of the mainstream press. again in the early 1980s, it was not incredibly welcoming to be a person on the staff of an organization like a newspaper. is journalists reported about the aids crisis in both of them succumbed to aids as well. it wasn't until 1992, that drugs
were found that actually made aids not a death sentence, but a disease that people could live with. >> here you saw again, activist using zap. very provocative, flamboyant protest. you see the -- that to lace. the st. patrick's cathedral in new york and also. there were protests outside the sda, where activists were advocating for drugs to come to market quicker. for more research by the government. more support of people with aids. the community was providing meals, support, information about drug trials, and organizations like after and other organizations really advocating for people with aids and for the community as a whole. >> more than 362,000 americans died of aids before treatment for became widespread in the late 1990s. and to illustrate that story, we have a section of the aids --. the main project in 1987 laid patches of a quilt across the national mall here in washington dc.
this is evidence that, while aids is now a treatable disease, the aids crisis is really not over. this is a piece of a quilt that tells a story of a transgender woman in atlanta who died in 2016. her name was cheryl courtney evans. next, we're going to go to a section that talks about the battle for same- sex marriage. and the role that states in religion played in that. >> -- communities welcomes members of the community, but not all. 1977, dade county, florida, joined about a dozen other communities in passing legislation aimed to prevent discrimination against people , and housing and other areas. anita bryant was a christian singer and a spokeswoman for the florida orange juice industry. she thought that this law would end up having children
corrupted by the community. supper she fought back against it. and it was her save the children campaign. here again, you see the creativity of the lgbtq activists who fought back against anita bryant. in this case, you see an -- put out by olivia -- was a lesbian record label. it is called lesbian concentrate. there are a variety of songs on that are pushing back about anita bryant and orange juice. bartenders stop selling screwdrivers, which were drinks made with orange juice and vodka. orange juice sales plummeted as a result. bartenders started serving a drink that they called the anita bryant, which is apple juice and vodka instead. again, you see this zap rising up. the lgbtq community rising up, pushing back against people who are trying to erode their essential rights. and then, you see -- people like the reverend gary falwell and jerry graham. powerful evangelical leaders, who are blaming people for the aids crisis. again, a setback for the community because these powerful spokesmen are pushing back against the community. and their essential rights. >> next we are
going to come to a section about the historic district that laid the same- sex marriage being laid made legal across the country. the first amendment gives every american the power to petition the government for change. at their policies or laws or things that are happening that they do not like. and that is really evident throughout the -- had been planning to marry his long-time partner, john arthur. but in their home state of ohio, it was illegal for two men to marry. so that they flew to an airport tarmac in maryland. mr. arthur was dying of a neurological disease at the time. mr. arthur died a few months later. but jen -- wanted him to be listed as a surviving spouse on john arthur's death certificate. okay he joined 14 couples and a few other widowers in the supreme court case, then in 2015 made same-sex marriage legal across the country. in this case, you could see the jacket that he wore
on his wedding day. the bowtie that he wore on announcement day. and the wedding rings, the fused wedding rings of his and john arthur's. he had been fused together with some of john arthur's ashes after he died. these were the first artifacts that we got on loan for this exhibit. and it is a really powerful statement because at its essence, this whole exhibit is about who do you love? and who you have the right to love. these are powerful exhibits that tell the story of how everyday americans petition the government for change. using the first amendment freedoms. >> the struggle for same-sex marriage was a decades long process. here in this case, you see in 1953, the pioneering lgbtq publication, one, puts on its cover, homosexual marriage? of course it is not until decades later that that supreme court ruling in 2015 made same-sex marriage legal across the country. and there were many players who played a role in shifting away at attitudes that prevented same-
sex marriage. -- was one of those people. she was with her longtime partner, the aspire, for many years, when thea died. edith was stuck with a rather large inheritance tax bill. and she decided that she was going to challenge the irs, saying that she was being denied the same rights, that heterosexual couples had. more than 1000 of them. years later, the supreme court decided in her favor, and this is a copy of the check that she got from the irs for back payment of those inheritance taxes that she had paid plus of course the interest. that's always a favorite artifact for people to see. especially around tax time here. >> here you see posters that were used by protesters who were heralding the supreme court decision, that ds wins or took part in. and the on the wall across here you see some really iconic
figures who, 50 years ago, would never have been open about the sexual orientation. the sexuality. we call this wall, once rejected, now embrace. and a see how attitudes have changed toward lgbt -- john 20 americans. are influencers, politicians, their activist, their actors, the journalist. these are people who are much admired for who they are and what they do. >> here is a museum , our mission is to promote understanding of the importance of the free press and the first amendment. and we hope more people will come and visit this exhibit, because stonewall, the events at stonewall, and rise up stonewall and the other in the lgbtq movements, really tells a story about how everyday americans use the first amendment freedoms, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of petition. freedom of speech. to rise up, pushback, and advocate for change. that is what we are all about here at the museum. explaining to people the story of the first amendment. this movement, the story of the lgbtq
rights movement, really embodies everything about the first amendment. would help people come here to experience it, as well as the movies and interactive and many more of the stories and the retail here in this exhibit. >> you can watch this or other american artifacts programs at any time by visiting our website. c-span.org/history. this is a special edition of american history tv. a sample of the compelling history programs the air every weekend on american history tv. like lectures in history, american artifacts. real america. the civil war. oral histories. the presidency. and special event coverage about our nation's history. enjoy american history tv. now and every weekend on c-span 3.