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NYC Oldest Gay Bar “Julius”, Found Eligible to Become National Historic Landmark

 

The oldest gay bar in New York City, Julius has just been named eligible for State and National Historic registers according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

Based upon research and a request made by GVSHP, the New York State Historic Preservation Office has determined Julius’ Bar at 159 West 10th Street/188 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places (read GVSHP’s nomination HERE, and the State’s finding HERE).

The oldest gay bar in New York, Julius’ was also the site of a groundbreaking gay civil rights action in 1966 which resulted in the end of New York State’s prohibition on serving alcohol to anyone known to be gay. The “sip-in,” in which several members of a gay civil rights organization known as the Mattachine Society went to the bar identifying themselves as ‘homosexuals’ and asked to be served a drink, was based upon the “sit-ins” being staged at segregated lunch counters throughout the South, and was one of the first recorded instances of civil disobedience against anti-gay discrimination. At the time, the New York Times covered the incident referring to the protesters as “sexual deviates.”

Only two places in America are listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places that have connection to the gay civil rights movement — the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village (site of 1969’s Stonewall Riots and considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement,
and the Washington D.C. home of Frank Kameny, the co-founder of the Mattachine Society.

If only those walls could talk.

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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