On July 4 in 1965, the first organized LGBT rights protest in the country took place in front of Independence Hall. This Friday and Saturday, four original participants of the Annual Reminder protests — John James, Ada Bello, Paul Kuntzler and Randy Wicker — are coming back to Philly for a private tour of the National Constitution Center’s Speaking Out for Equality exhibit.
After, at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, the public can join them for a free panel discussion on the equality movement with Evan Wolfson, founder of Freedom to Marry.
Here are three more ways to commemorate the anniversary:
National LGBT 50th Anniversary Celebration: National Legal Panel
Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
National Museum of American Jewish History
101 S. Independence Mall East
In honor of the 50th anniversary, the National Museum of American Jewish History hosts a panel to discuss LGBT rights in the context of history, the present, and what's coming next.
Celebration of Freedom Ceremony
Saturday, 10 a.m.
Sixth and Chestnut streets, on the steps of Independence Hall
Philly is celebrating freedom with music and readings of excerpts of the Declaration of Independence to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first organized gay rights protests in the U.S., the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the 150th of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The four Annual Reminders protestors will be honored.
The Annual Reminders Block Party
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Chestnut to Pine streets, between 11th and Broad
The celebratory street festival organized by Philly Pride includes a dedication of the new rainbow crosswalks in the Gayborhood. Come for the food, drink and party atmosphere.