In the late 1970s Dan White admitted to assassinating both Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in California’s history, and the Mayor of San Francisco, George Moscone. And yet, when White went on trial, he had a defense for his actions at the ready: he blamed the tragedy on Twinkies.

Image: Diana Davies via New York Public Library
Image: Diana Davies via New York Public Library

The roots of the 1970s gay liberation movement can be traced back to New York City. In June 1969 police officers conducted a raid on a Greenwich Village LGBT bar named the Stonewall Inn. And in response, the surrounding LGBT community began staging violent demonstrations against such police actions. These protests have come to be known as the Stonewall riots.

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