On June 28, 1970, the very first Pride Parade in Los Angeles was held on Hollywood Boulevard, one year after the Stonewall uprising in New York City. New York held its own parade on the same day, as did a few other cities, though the Los Angeles parade was the only one to take place with a parade permit.
The Los Angeles Times headline for the June 29 article on L.A.’s parade read, “Homosexuals Stage Hollywood Parade: Event Evokes Boos and Catcalls but No Violence.” The article further stated that “the parade sponsors, an umbrella group known as Christopher Street West, used a mechanical counter and said there were 1,169 participants.” Additionally, the Times estimated that there were 25,000 to 30,000 onlookers. At first, the Police Commission required a 1.5 million dollar insurance policy for the event, due to fears of violence. After parade organizers contacted the ACLU, the commission dropped this requirement but still insisted that the organizers post a $1,500 bond. Superior Court Judge Richard Shauer ruled that this restriction was illegal, however, and the permit was then granted unconditionally.
The parade and festival have grown to approximately 250,000 attendees, according to the 2019 L.A. Pride Impact Report. This year marks the 50th anniversary of L.A. Pride, but there will be no parade due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Enjoy these photos from past parades here and in our library’s digitized photo collection, TESSA.