Fifty years ago, on July 4, 1965, activists first convened in front of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to demand equality for lesbians and gays. This first of five “Annual Reminders” (1965-1969) was organized by Barbara Gittings and Washington, D.C.’s own Frank Kameny. The forty protesters, including seven women and thirty-three men, came from Philadelphia, New York, and Washington D.C. A modest showing by modern standards, the First Annual Reminder was at its time the largest gay rights protest in world history (Source).
The photo depicts 27-year-old Jack Nichols, co-founder of the Mattachine Society of Washington, marching in the first Annual Reminder. “15 Million U.S. Homosexuals,” declares his sign, “ask for equality / opportunity / dignity.”