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American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Dick Leitsch, 3 of 3

Part of Stonewall Uprising Interviews.


In this interview, Dick Leitsch, former president of the Mattachine Society, talks about his work with the Society in the 1960s and early LGBT activism both before and after the Stonewall uprising. Other topics include police raids and entrapment laws, local politics and political figures, the mafia gay bars, life in the Village and on the Upper West Side, and his personal experience during the Stonewall uprising.

License Clip
American Experience
Stonewall Uprising
Program Number



Interview with Dick Leitsch, 3 of 3

Series Description

As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award.

Program Description

"Stonewall Uprising" explores the dramatic event that launched a worldwide rights movement. Told by those who took part, from drag queens and street hustlers to police detectives, journalists and a former mayor of New York, and featuring a rich trove of archival footage, this film revisits a time when homosexual acts were illegal throughout America, and homosexuality itself was seen as a form of mental illness. Hunted and often entrapped by undercover police in their hometowns, gays from around the U.S. began fleeing to New York in search of a sanctuary. Hounded there still by an aggressive police force, they found refuge in a Mafia-run gay bar in Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn. When police raided Stonewall on June 28, 1969, gay men and women did something they had not done before: they fought back. As the streets of New York erupted into violent protests and street demonstrations, the collective anger announced that the gay rights movement had arrived.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Davis, Kate (Producer)
Leitsch, Dick (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Rights Summary

Rights Holder: WGBH Educational Foundation

Chicago: “American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Dick Leitsch, 3 of 3,” 2011, GBH Archives, accessed May 24, 2024,
MLA: “American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Dick Leitsch, 3 of 3.” 2011. GBH Archives. Web. May 24, 2024. <>.
APA: American Experience; Stonewall Uprising; Interview with Dick Leitsch, 3 of 3. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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