Philadelphia will celebrate 50 years of LGBT civil-rights activism with four days of anniversary programming this summer and a four-month-long exhibition at the National Constitution Center.
A huge rainbow banner laid across the lawn of the Constitution Center on Tuesday marked the announcement.
The exhibit, "Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights and the Supreme Court," will run from June 5 through Sept. 7 and coincide with Gay Pride Month in June.
The six-part exhibit will include testimonials and items from public demonstrations called Annual Reminder protests, which took place every July Fourth in front of Independence Hall from 1965 to 1969.
The protests "would become the first sustained national effort to focus attention on the discrimination faced by gay people and became a catalyst for LGBT Americans to organize for equality," said Chris Bartlett, executive director of the William Way LGBT Community Center, which is partnering with the museum on the exhibit.
A series of anniversary events will take place at the African American Museum, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Historical Society, Independence Visitor Center, and the National Museum of American Jewish History. A reenactment of the original Annual Reminder demonstrations will take place in front of Independence Hall on July Fourth, and a block party will be held July 5 in the Gayborhood.
"When you consider Philadelphia's role in the LGBT civil-rights movement, it seems only right that our city, the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection . . . will host one of the largest LGBT rights anniversary celebrations in our nation on the Fourth of July," Mayor Nutter said at a news conference.