Contact: Cathy Renna, 917-757-6123,

Re-Enactment Of “Annual Reminder” Picketing

National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration At Independence Hall

JUNE 23, 2015, Philadelphia, PA - Organizers of the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration, from July 2 to 5, announced that the William Way Community Center will stage a re-enactment of the original “Annual Reminder” picketing at the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony at Independence Hall on July 4th. In 1965, 40 picketers with men in suits and ties and women in dresses carried placards calling for equality. At the National LGBT 50th Anniversary Ceremony, 40 activists will carry placards with identical messages from the first Annual Reminder on July 4, 1965. The reenactment will occur during the Ceremony when the Gay Pioneers are commemorated.

Said Malcolm Lazin, Chair, National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration, "In the early 1960’s, there were only about 200 gay activists in the nation. When 40 picketed at Independence Hall on July 4th, 1965, it was the largest demonstration for gay equality in world history."

William Way LGBT Community Center Executive Director Chris Bartlett said,  “We’re thrilled to be joined by GALAEI in celebrating our history—both through reenactment of the original 1965 picket, and through creation of a modern version of the pickets- with messages representing current activism.”

Youth activists from GALAEI will carry picket signs with current issues when Tamika Butler presents future movement challenges.

The organized LGBT civil rights movement was galvanized when activists from New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia staged demonstrations at Independence Hall for equality each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969. The Annual Reminders were the first time multiple cities organized; first time demonstrators demanded equality; and the first time a gay rights demonstration was repeated. The Annual Reminders grew from 40 picketers in 1965 to 150 picketers in 1969.

Organized by Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings, the father and mother of the LGBT civil rights movement, these “Annual Reminders” laid the groundwork for the Stonewall riot in 1969. After Stonewall, the Gay Pioneers suspended the Annual Reminders and turned their energies to help organize the 1970 march from Greenwich Village to Central Park marking the first anniversary of Stonewall.

There is no registration fee and most programs are free.

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The William Way Community Center encourages, supports, and advocates for the well-being and acceptance of sexual and gender minorities in the Greater Philadelphia region through service, recreational, educational, and cultural programming.


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