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Preservation Action, Legislative Update
Volume 19, Number 24, June 24, 2016 →

President Obama Designates Stonewall Inn as First National Monument Dedicated to LGBT History

Today, President Obama announced the designation of the Stonewall Inn and surrounding area in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City as a National Monument. This designation makes the Stonewall Inn the 411th unit of the National Park Service and the first National Monument specifically dedicated to the history of the LGBT community. The Stonewall Inn designation has long been anticipated and comes just days before New York City’s gay pride parade and during LGBT pride month.

The Stonewall Inn was the site of a police raid and subsequent riots and protest in June of 1969. The Stonewall Riots became a defining moment in the gay rights movement, eventually leading to gay pride parades across the country which still take place in June in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots. President Obama highlighted the significance of the Stonewall Inn in his second inaugural address, as an example of the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

With the Stonewall National Monument designation, President Obama continues to take steps to diversify our national parks and tell the story of people who are largely underrepresented. After the Stonewall Inn designation, President Obama has now used his power under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to establish or expand 24 National Monuments. Overall he has protected over 265 million acres of land and water, more than any other President.

President Obama announced the Stonewall Inn National Monument in a video released earlier today:

Historic Preservation Leaders Honored by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell

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Interior Secretary Jewell (L) presents Historic Preservation Award to Loretta Jackson-Kelly of the Hualapai Tribal Nation. Photo courtesy of Bruce MacDougal

On June 17th, historic preservationists, officials from the National Park Service (NPS) and Department of Interior (DOI) gathered for the Historic Preservation Awards. Four current preservation officers received the prestigious Historic Preservation Award from InteriorSecretary Sally Jewell for their outstanding efforts to protect America’s diverse cultural and historical heritage. Preservation Action along several of our preservation partners attended the awards and would like to extend our congratulations for all of this year’s winners.

The awards were established by the National Historic Preservation Act to acknowledge the dedication and expertise of historic preservation professionals. Secretary Jewell commended the awardees on their creativity and expertise

“As we approach the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act this October, we are reminded that none of the impactful programs enabled by the Act would be possible without the hard work, passion and professionalism of individuals who have devoted their careers to the preservation of our nation’s history and culture,” said Secretary Jewell. “It is through their efforts that future generations will know the places that tell our nation’s stories.”

The winners of the 2015 Secretary of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Awards are:

  • -Federal Preservation Office Category -Brian Jordan, Ph.D., Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Department of the Interior
  • -State Historic Preservation Officer Category – Melvena Heisch, Oklahoma Historical Society
  • -Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Category – Loretta Jackson-Kelly, Hualapai Tribal Nation
  • -Certified Local Government Coordinator Category – Nancy Hiestand, City of Bloomington, Indiana

President Obama Visits Carlsbad Caverns and Yosemite to Mark the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

This past week President Obama and the first family visited Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Yosemite National Park to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). During the visits, President Obama talked about the importance and success of the NPS over the last 100 years, citing the extraordinary benefits our national parks have on the economy. President Obama also used the opportunity to caution the effect climate change is having on America’s parks and public lands.

President Obama also used the visits as an opportunity to tout his own public lands record. To date, President Obama has used his power under the Antiquities Act to create or expand 24 National Monuments, protecting more land and water than any other president. He’s also made an effort to recognize the stories of underrepresented groups through National Monument and National Historic Landmark designations. In 2012 President Obama established the Ceaser Chavez National Monument, recognizing the Latino labor leader and history of the United Farm Workers. Earlier this year he established the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, which protects the longtime headquarters of the National Woman’s Party in Washington, D.C.

National News

National Park Service: “National Park Service Awards over $1 Million to Preserve American Battlefields

World Urban Campaign: “ICOMOS: New Web Platform Focuses on Role of Cultural Heritage in Habitat 3 and The New Urban Agenda

Stories From Around the States

New Mexico: “Telling the Story of the Manhattan Project

New Jersey: “British Groups Join Voices Calling for Preservation at Princeton

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