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Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library
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12 Photos From the First-Ever Pride Parades in New York City

On June 29, 1970, the headline of The New York Times’ front page read: “Thousands of Homosexuals Hold a Protest Rally in Central Park.”

Holding colorful signs, thousands of people gathered in Sheridan Square before walking along the Avenue of the Americas. They chanted slogans, such as “2-4-6-8. We don’t overpopulate,” and later hosting a sit-in in Sheep Meadow. Marchers reportedly took up 15 city blocks.

This spectacle marked the world’s very first Gay Pride March.

Only a year after the Stonewall Riots, in which patrons of the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, fought back against a police raid, the march was organized by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee to commemorate the riots.

What began as a commemoration quickly became one of the first steps in the broader gay rights movement in the United States.

Activists Kay Tobin and Diana Davies were there to capture the very first parade and photograph those who bravely stepped out of the closet and into the streets.


PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_001.jpgMen hold a banner during Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_002.jpgPeople march for LGBT rights at Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_003.jpgMarchers walk hand in hand at Christopher Street Liberation Day march, 1970.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_004.jpgPeople meet at Sheep Meadow in Central Park, New York, June 28, 1970 at Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1970.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_005.jpgPeople pose on Christopher Street Liberation Day, June 20, 1971.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_006.jpgMarchers on the street during Christopher Street Liberation Day, June 20, 1971.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_007.jpgScenes from Christopher Street Liberation Day, June 20, 1971.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_008.jpgStreet portrait on Christopher Street Liberation Day, June 20, 1971.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_009.jpgA couple poses in Sheep Meadow, Central Park at Christopher Street Liberation Day, NYC, 1971.
Image: Kay Tobin/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_010.jpgStreet scenes at Christopher Street Liberation Day, 1971.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_011.jpgMan and woman with "All You Need is Love" sign at Christopher Street Liberation Day, NYC, 1971.
Image: Kay Tobin/The New York Public Library

PhotoStory_NYCPride_FINALS_012.jpgChristopher Street Liberation Day, 1971.
Image: Photo by Diana Davies/The New York Public Library