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Veterans' Association
 "Stonewall Symposium XXVIII"
Friday, June 20th, 1997

Stonewall Veterans' Symposium 
Some S.V.A. "Stonewall Symposium" Panelists
[Photo by S/W vet Jeremiah Jay  Newton]

"What Really Happened at the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969.............?"
is the attention-getting headline that the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A.") asks at the top of the SVA's annual "Stonewall Symposium" flyers.  These popular S.V.A. symposiums are unique opportunities for the G.L.B.T. community and others to personally meet and greet actual veterans of the 1966 to 1969 NYCPD police raids at the STONEWALL Club and the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion!  The uprising ignited the entire modern Gay Rights Movement.  The S.V.A. had a panel of several Stonewall Veterans on stage, all members of the S.V.A., who individually relate their own "Stonewall" experiences for about several minutes each.  Then, we had a very interesting, and always unique, questions and answers session.  The S.V.A. also had more Stonewall Vetz seated in the "reserved" front row.   The symposium event is hosted by a different prominent Gay celebrity each year.  Last year, 1996, it was moderated by Gay historian and "Stonewall" book author, openly-Gay Martin S. Duberman, who thoroughly enjoyed it.  Martin publicly stated on stage to S.V.A. founder Willson L. Henderson in front of the audience that he was so inspired by the interesting and revealing S.V.A. symposium and all of the incredible information as to maybe do a sequel to his book "Stonewall"!

Pictured above (l-2-r) are:  Jim "The Rat" Fouratt (a very shady subject of the "Stonewall" book); S.V.A. Vice-President and symposium organizer Willson L. Henderson, who was also the Stonewall vet consultant on the movie "Stonewall", based on Martin Duberman's book "Stonewall"; Sylvia Rae Rivera, also a subject of the book "Stonewall" (even though she was not at the Stonewall Rebellion); and Randolfe "Randy" Wicker, an interview cameo in the 1996 movie "Stonewall" giving a "Stonewall Testimonial" (as arranged for him by Willson Henderson) and also a prominent, active supporter of the S.V.A.  

The event was held at the New York City Gay and Lesbian Community Services Centre at 212 West 13 Street in Manhattan, New York City on Friday evening, June 20th, 1997.  "King" Stormé DeLarverie was also a Stonewall vet panelist as well as being S.V.A.'s Ambassador and Chief-of-Security.  The S.V.A. historically charged the same admission that the original Stonewall Club charged 27 years earlier on weekends, that is, $3.  The S.V.A. allowed PWA's and indigent Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender ("G.L.B.T.")  people in for free -- something that the mafia-operated Stonewall Club would never have done, regardless of the person's status.  The full-house audience was enthralled; many asked for  autographs of some of the Stonewall Vetz and many took photographs.

.Pictured below (l-2-r) are:  Stonewall veterans Terri Van Dyke, S.V.A. Treasurer; Rusty Rose, S.V.A. Secretary; and Jeremiah Jay Newton, S.V.A. President; forum moderator openly-Gay Judge Karen S. Burstein; and S.V.A. Vice-President and S/W-vet panelist Willson Henderson -- wearing the exact blue with white piping, short-sleeved shirt he was arrested in at the Stonewall Club on Friday night, June 27, 1969.  See New York City Police Department "mug shot" photo on the S.V.A.'s "Photo Album, Biographies and Narratives" website page or go directly to:

Stonewall Veterans' Symposium XXVIII

Judge Karen Burstein with some Stonewall Veterans Panelists:
Terri Van Dyke, Rusty Rose, Jeremiah Newton, Willson Henderson
[Photo by S/W vet Dario Modon]

In addition to prior years 1994 (25th anniversary of Stonewall Rebellion and the S.V.A.), 1995 and 1996, after this 1997 event, the S.V.A. continued and consistenty held the "Stonewall Symposium" in each of the following years:  1998 (at the Stonewall Club), 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 (35th Stonewall Rebellion anniversary), 2009 (40th Stonewall anniversary), 2014 (45th anniversary) and 2019 -- the half-century 50th annual anniversary!

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"Stonewall Symposium XXXIV" (2003)      

Vintage Update:  The next scheduled S.V.A. "Stonewall Symposium XXXIV", celebrating the 34th anniversary of the breaking-down-doors (not literally) 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, is on Friday, June 20th, 2003.  It will be the "same time, same place" at the G.L.B.T. Community Services Centre at 212 West 13 Street between Seventh Avenue and Greenwich Avenue in Manhattan, New York, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.  There will be a diverse, half-dozen Stonewall Vetz panelists plus another dozen in the special front row.  The S.V.A. will have its always interesting and lively "Questions and Answers Session" from the audience and the media.  Many students -- high school and college -- attend this event.  The SVA's current President, Jeremiah Newton, will be the S.V.A. representative co-moderator (as he was in 1995 and 1997).  The special celebrity Gay person moderator is Queen Allyson Allante.  The S.V.A. allows cameras at our event.  It is an event to photograph.  It's no longer the mostly "closet case" 1970s when most Gays ran at the sight of a camera in public.  The S.V.A. will have the symposium videographed.  You may also bring food and beverages.    

Several previous Stonewall Veteran panelists of the S.V.A. over the years are no longer living such as Stanley Dunne (1992), Ivana Valentin (1998) and Sylvia Rivera (2002).  

Mark the "Stonewall Symposium" date on your calendar or in your datebook!


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                 "Stonewall Symposium XXXV" (2004)

In 2004, the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A.") held its annual "Stonewall Symposium" at New York University ("NYU") later in the year on October 5th in collaboration with the NYU Gay Student Union.  Jeremiah J. Newton made the arrangements for the event directly with the NYU student group.  Willson L. Henderson arranged for the guest modeartor, Tim Nieman, a lively candidate for the New York Senate from Greenwich Village.  The Stonewall panelist trio (the students only wanted three) included SVA-ers Willson Henderson, President; Bill Salzman, General Secretary and former principal of the first Gay high school in New York; and Jeremiah Newton, S.V.A. President Emeritus.  Plus, our "student", Youth-4-SVA Coordinator and S.V.A. Assistant AnDre M. Christie coordinated the distribution of S.V.A. literature and did the photography.  In the past, the S.V.A. always and wisely handled its own publicity, advertising and promotion for all of its symposiums and other events.  This was gonna be "easier" for us.  Unfortunately, this time, the unprofessional, rude, inexperienced and arrogant NYU Gay Student Union (mis-)handled the alleged publicity and supposed promotion.  The turn-out was undisputedly and sadly dismal.  They could not even get one professor (many of whom are Gay) in the entire university to attend -- and barely a baker's dozen of NYU students.  For the first time ever, there was no press coverage.  There was no resultant support of the S.V.A.  Since they can (one way or another) afford the notoriously high tuition of NYU, they could afford mere $10 student memberships in the S.V.A.  The NYU rude Gay students never even sent a thank-you note to their special guest participants, the heroic veterans of the historic Stonewall Rebellion as represented exclusively by the legendary STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association.  We were reminded of 1969!  Do not leave the business of the Stonewall Era and the Stonewall Rebellion -- and, in reality, the history of the Gay community and its legacy -- to others who lack the knowledge, the dedication and the wherewithal! 




==2019:  50th Anniversary of the Gay Stonewall Rebellion== 
[Friday night, June 27 ~through~ Thursday evening, July 3, 1969]

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