Why is LGBT Pride Month in June? A look back at the Stonewall Riots of 1969

Each June LGBT community advocates, activists and allies come together to engage in meaningful conversation, celebrate identity and bust out the rainbow flags in celebration of Pride Month.

But why is Pride Month in June?

The origins trace back to 1969 when the Stonewall Riots marked the first major demonstration for LGBT rights in U.S. history.

In the early morning of June 28, 1969, police raided a popular gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in New York City's Greenwich Village. Located in an area popular with the then-shunned gay community, police claimed they were raiding the bar for serving alcohol without a liquor license, but it was common for law enforcement to target gay hot spots at this time in American history.

But the response from the bar's patrons sparked a wave of LGBT activism previously unseen in American culture.

RELATED: A look back at the Stonewall Inn raid of 1969

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UNITED STATES - JUNE 28: Stonewall Inn nightclub raid. Crowd attempts to impede police arrests outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 06: Daily News page M1 Section Two dated Sunday July 6, 1969..Headline: Covering Firm Covers Up Slums..Construction firm superintendent Birger Nilson looks over housing project plans with project manager Warren Obey...Homo Nest Raided, Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad..The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 24: Two men dance on a mailbox and cheer as the floats pass by at Gay Pride Parade June 24, 2007 in New York City. The parade celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride and honors the Stonewall riots of 1969, when gay bar and nightclub patrons resisted a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 24: Participants wear 'attention needed' t-shirt and march in the Gay Pride Parade June 24, 2007 in New York City. The parade celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride and honors the Stonewall riots of 1969, when gay bar and nightclub patrons resisted a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY LUIS TORRES A banner on a restaurant next to the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street June 23, 2009 in the Greenwich Village section of New York as the community marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The disturbances began on the night of June 28, 1969 as a protest by gays against police harassment and helped trigger the modern US gay rights movement. AFP PHOTO/Stan Honda (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 21: A general view of rainbow flags at the Stonewall Democratic Club Woman's Awards at the Stonewall Inn on January 21, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: A general view of the exterior of the Stonewall Inn on March 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 02: A general view of the exterior of the Stonewall Inn on March 2, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: People stand outside of The Stonewall Inn during the 2011 NYC LGBT Pride March on the streets of Manhattan on June 26, 2011 in New York City.Thousands of revelers had reason to celebrate since New York state legislators approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage which Governor Cuomo signed in to law on Friday June 24. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
Niki Buchanan stands outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village May 9, 2012 shorty after President Obama today announced that he now supports same-sex marriage, reversing his longstanding opposition. The Stonewall Inn, often shortened to Stonewall is an American bar in New York City and the site of the Stonewall riots of 1969, which are widely considered to be the single most important event leading to the gay liberation. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/GettyImages)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 16: Atmosphere at Alex Carr's birthday celebration at The Stonewall Inn on June 16, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 26: Virginia Sin (L) and Gretchen Menter smile after the Supreme Court ruled key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, at the Stonewall Inn on June 26, 2013 in the West Village neighborhood of New York City. The Stonewall Inn became historically important in the Lesbian-Gay-Bigender-Transgender community after playing a key role during the Gay-rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The high court ruled to strike down DOMA and determined the California's proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage was not properly before them, declining to overturn the lower court's striking down of the law. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell speaks to the media in front of The Stonewall Inn announcing a new National Park Service initiative intended to identify places and events associated with the civil rights struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans on May 30, 2014 in New York City. The initiative is part of the Obama Administration's effort for the National Park Service to join other agencies in helping to better explain the complex story of the people and events responsible for building this nation. The Stonewall Inn, an iconic bar in the New York's gay rights movement, is the site of a symbolic riot in 1969 that is widely recognized as a catalyst for the modern civil rights movement in the gay rights community. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 26: (L-R) Anna Parisi, 30, visiting from Brazil, embraces her girlfriend, Rebecca Barreto, 24, also from Brazil but studying in New York, during a rally in front of the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 26, 2015, in support of the Supreme Court's landmark decision guaranteeing nationwide gay marriage rights. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
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A crowd gathered on the street to peacefully watch as Stonewall employees were arrested, but spectators grew outraged when police started forcing three drag queens and one lesbian into a paddy wagon. It was then that the crowd began throwing bottles at the police, forcing officers to take shelter inside the bar.

"The queens were fighting the cops. The cops were fighting back," riot witness Henry Arango told HuffPost in 2015. "I saw police cars being put on fire. The drag queens were calling names, throwing rocks."

Two policemen were "slightly injured," before more officers were sent in to clear the mob scene. But the community was emboldened and rioting continued in neighboring Village streets throughout the morning and following days.

Today, the Stonewall Riots are recognized as the first major demonstration in the name of LGBT rights in American history. The unifying show of outrage and support spurred the creation of the Gay Liberation Front and many other civil rights groups, as well as heightening the LGBT community's overall presence on a national level.

In June 2016, former President Barack Obama declared the Stonewall Inn and the adjacent Christopher Park as the first national monument to LGBT rights in the country.

On June 28, 1970, the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, people gathered in Sheridan Square and marched up the Avenue of the Americas to hold a "gay-in" in Central Park's Sheep Meadow. This upcoming Sunday, lower Manhattan will host thousands of paraders as the city celebrates the 47th celebration of that same historic gathering.

The AOL logo will change colors on Friday, June 23 in honor of Pride month.

Every June, the global LGBTQ community joins together with Allies for Pride month. Since the 70's, celebrations have been held to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in New York and the 2015 Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which guaranteed the fundamental right for same-sex couples to get married. This year marks the first time that AOL and Yahoo are celebrating as Oath: A Verizon company. While individually our companies have shown our commitment to the community, we recognize the increased responsibility, because together, we represent more than one billion consumers. The LGBTQ employees at Oath understand our role as the voice of the queer community, our co-workers, users, friends and family.

Our company has been active across the globe this month educating, marching and remembering those who came before us securing our inalienable rights.

RELATED: A look at Pride month 2017

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LGBTQ Pride month 2017
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 27: Thousands of members of the LGBTQ community gathered today for the Birmingham Pride parade on May 27, 2017 in Birmingham, England. The Birmingham Pride is an annual festival for the LGBTQ community usually taking place over the Spring Bank Holiday. The event begins with a parade from Victoria Square in the city center to the Gay Village in Hurst Street. PHOTOGRAPH BY Jim Wood / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Jim Wood / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
A picture taken on June 5, 2017 shows a new green pedestrian crossing symbol depicting a same-sex couple in Madrid as the capital will host this year's World Pride festival from June 23 to July 2. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZO (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on June 5, 2017 shows a new green pedestrian crossing symbol depicting a same-sex couple in Madrid as the capital will host this year's World Pride festival from June 23 to July 2. / AFP PHOTO / OSCAR DEL POZO (Photo credit should read OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP/Getty Images)
QUEENS, NY - JUNE 4: Members of New York City's gay, lesbian and transgender community prepare to march in the Queens Gay Pride parade on June 4, 2017 in Jackson Heights, Queens. The parade route down Northern Boulevard travels through a working class immigrant neighborhood. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
QUEENS, NY - JUNE 4: Members of New York City's gay, lesbian and transgender community prepare to march in the Queens Gay Pride parade on June 4, 2017 in Jackson Heights, Queens. The parade route down Northern Boulevard travels through a working class immigrant neighborhood. (Photo by Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images)
<> on September 29, 2016 in New York City.
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 27: Thousands of members of the LGBTQ community gathered today for the Birmingham Pride parade on May 27, 2017 in Birmingham, England. The Birmingham Pride is an annual festival for the LGBTQ community usually taking place over the Spring Bank Holiday. The event begins with a parade from Victoria Square in the city center to the Gay Village in Hurst Street. PHOTOGRAPH BY Jim Wood / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Jim Wood / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 27: Thousands of members of the LGBTQ community gathered today for the Birmingham Pride parade on May 27, 2017 in Birmingham, England. The Birmingham Pride is an annual festival for the LGBTQ community usually taking place over the Spring Bank Holiday. The event begins with a parade from Victoria Square in the city center to the Gay Village in Hurst Street. PHOTOGRAPH BY Jim Wood / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Jim Wood / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
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