In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we take you back to the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, when police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn. These raids were common in those days, but on this particular night, when patrons fought back, the world took notice.

The so-called riots that unfolded over six nights has been called a turning point in the movement for LGBTQ rights.

First, we bring you an excerpt from a documentary produced in 1989 by StoryCorps founder, Dave Isay, called Remembering Stonewall. For many of the people involved, this was the first time they had ever been interviewed about their experiences at Stonewall.

The Stonewall Inn in New York, pictured in 1969, and to be featured in the film "Stonewall Uprising" by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner. The film examines a police raid on the establishment in Greenwich Village that touched off three days of unrest and marked a turning point in gay rights history. (Larry Morris/The New York Times)

Next, we’ll hear Michael Levine in conversation with his friend Matthew Merlin about Michael’s involvement in Stonewall and what it meant to him years after the fact.


And finally, excerpts from Stonewall OutLoud, StoryCorps’ effort to document the stories of LGBTQ elders before they are lost to history.


Top photo: Artwork by Michael Caines.
Second photo: The Stonewall Inn on July 2, 1969. Credit Larry Morris/The New York Times/Redux.
Third photo: Matthew Merlin and his friend Michael Levine at the New York City StoryCorps booth in June of 2009. Photo by Katie Simon.
Bottom photo left: Amanda Berry and Christina Cipriani Xavier at their StoryCorps interview for Stonewall OutLoud.
Bottom photo right: Alexis Martinez and Luan Joy Sherman at their StoryCorps interview for Stonewall OutLoud.

Released on June 25, 2019.

Like the music in this episode? Support the artists:
“Overture” by Patrick Wolf from the album Sundark and Riverlight
“The Gold Lining” by Broke For Free from the album Gold Can Stay
“Vittoro” by Blue Dot Sessions from the album Aeronaut