Events in the History of the LGBT Community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This section is intended to include Regular as well as Special events. Regular events are annual and other scheduled occurences such as leather titles, pageants, pride celebrations, sporting events, etc. Special, Historic and Landmark events will largely be major news stories, everything from the good (such as rallies, laws and ordinances, etc.), to the bad (such as police harassment, murders etc.)

Events connected to particular persons, organizations, businesses, etc. may be included both here and cross-referenced to mentions in those related sections.

Official Landmark Status for Black Nite site

One of the most significant but little-known events in Milwaukee is the Black Nite Brawl of August 5, 1961. Eight years before Stonewall raised awareness of the rights of LGBT people, Milwaukee had its own version of such an event.

In November 2022, the Milwaukee County Landmarks Commission (part of the Milwaukee County Historical Society) designated the former site of the Black Nite bar as a Milwaukee County Landmark. This may be the first landmark designation of an LGBTQ related site in the state of Wisconsin. We are pursuing State Historical Society designation of the site as well, with an appropriate marker.

  • Read about the event on the "Black Nite Brawl" page
  • Read about the 60th Anniversary commemoration of the Black Nite Brawl.

    General Events

    Special, Historic, and Landmark Events (to be added at later date)

    • Bar raids
    • Government relations
    • Laws and Ordinances
    • Plays and performing arts
    • Police harassment and relations
    • Tragedies

    Credits: web site concept, content and format by Don Schwamb.
    Last updated: June-2023.

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