Did you know that the Mafia owned the Stonewall Inn when the famous riots took place in 1969? Or that there were originally eight stripes on the Rainbow Flag, not just the current six?

While you might consider yourself a veteran Pride partier, there are plenty of interesting tidbits surrounding the Pride movement that you might not know.

Before you hit the parade route this June, educate yourself with our slideshow of 18 LGBT Pride facts below.

And be sure to keep up-to-date with our ongoing Pride 2012 coverage.

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  • Stonewall Inn: Ground Zero

    On the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village. Although police raids on gays bars were common, the bar's patronage, as well as more than a hundred spectators who gathered outside the bar, decided enough was enough -- they fought back. It was the first time that queer people stood up to police on such a large scale, and is often cited as the beginning of the modern Gay Rights Movement. For more information on Stonewall, check out the PBS documentary, <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/stonewall/" target="_hplink">Stonewall Uprising</a>. <em>Photo via yosoynuts at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yosoynuts/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com </a></em>

  • Corrupt Cops, Feeds Mafia

    In 1969, Stonewall Inn, as well as the majority of the city's gay bars, was owned and operated by the New York Mafia. Establishments that sold alcohol to gay customers could have their liquor licenses revoked, so mobsters paid-off police to turn a blind-eye, thereby gaining a lucrative niche market. For more information about the Mafia's ties to Stonewall, see this <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/stonewall-mafia/" target="_hplink">PBS report </a>. <em>Photo adapted via Dr. Who at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/86931652@N00/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a></em>

  • Stonewall Extortion

    Stonewall's mafioso owners reportedly engaged in extortion. Employees singled out wealthy patrons who were not public about their sexuality, and blackmailed them for large sums of money with the threat of being 'outed.' For more information about the Mafia's ties to Stonewall, see this <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/stonewall-mafia/" target="_hplink">PBS report </a>. <em>Photo via Images_of_Money at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/59937401@N07/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a> and <a href="TaxBrackets.org" target="_hplink">TaxBrackets.org</a></em>

  • Annual Reminders

    Although the Pride Movement did not galvanize until after the Stonewall Riots, there were a handful of gay rights demonstrations prior to 1969. The most direct link to the early parades were Annual Reminders. Every fourth of July, beginning in 1965, homophilic groups would picket Independence Hall in Philadelphia to inform and remind the American people that LGBT people did not enjoy basic civil rights protections. After Stonewall, picketing seemed too pacifistic, and Reminder organizers instead helped plan the first Gay Liberation parades. <em>Photo via ericbeato at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/ericbeato/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a></em>

  • Lambda

    The Greek Lambda symbol was another commonly used Gay Rights symbol prior to the Rainbow Flag, and was the sign of the Gay Activist Aliance. Photo via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Greek_lc_lamda_thin.svg" target="_hplink">Wikimedia Commons</a>

  • The First Flag

    The first rainbow flag made its debut at the San Francisco Pride Parade in 1978. Designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker, the original flag was hand-dyed and consisted of eight symbolic colors: Hot Pink (sexuality), Red (life), Orange (healing), Yellow (sunlight), Green (nature), Turqoise (magic/art), Blue (serenity/harmony) and violet (spirit). <em>Photo via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gay_flag_8.svg" target="_hplink">Wikimedia Commons</a> </em>

  • Dropping Stripes

    To meet increasing demand for the flag, Baker approached Paramount Flag Company for mass production. There was an unavailability of hot pink baric, so Baker dropped the hot pink stripe from the design. To keep an even number of stripes, turquoise was also dropped, resulting in the six-stripe flag that is widely used today. <em>Photo via torbakhopper at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gazeronly/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a> </em>

  • 'Gay' Becomes Okay

    The first gay rights group to use the word 'gay' in their name was the Gay Liberation Front, which was formed In the immediate wake of the Stonewall Riots. Whereas previous organizations, such as the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis, had deliberately chosen obscure names, the GLF believed directedness was necessary, as exemplified by a slogan on one of their fliers: "Do You Think Homosexuals Are Revolting? You Bet Your Sweet Ass We Are!" For more information on the GLF, check out <a href="http://www.outhistory.org/wiki/Gay_Liberation_Front" target="_hplink">this site</a>. <em>Photo via Elvert Barnes at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/perspective/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a></em>

  • Oldest LGBT Organization

    The oldest surviving LGBT organization in the world is Netherland's Center for Culture and Leisure (COC), which was founded in 1946, and used a 'cover name' to mask its taboo purpose. For more information on the COC, check out their <a href="http://www.coc.nl/dopage.pl?thema=any&pagina=algemeen&algemeen_id=274" target="_hplink">site</a>. <em>Photo via Tambako the Jaguar at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/tambako/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a>.</em>

  • Wild in the San Francisco Woods

    In 1976, San Francisco's Getty Center was undergoing renovation, and couldn't host the post-Pride parade celebrations. Instead, the festival site was moved to the Golden Gate Park. Confronted with uncharacteristically intense heat, many attendees shed most, or all, of their clothing. When the sound system failed, scantily-clad celebrators took to the woods for shade and entertainment, and the festival became one of the craziest San Francisco has ever seen. A year later, the 'Save Our Children' campaign cited the wild wood celebrations as evidence of homosexual godlessness and immorality. For a firsthand account of this, and other, Pride festivals in San Francisco, <a href="http://thecastro.net/parade/parade/parade.html" target="_hplink">click here</a>. Photo via jdnx at <a href="www.flickr.com/people/danramarch/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a>

  • The Rise of 'Pride'

    Early marches commonly used 'Gay Liberation,' and 'Freedom,' in their names. Then, with cultural changes and decreased militancy in the 1980s and 1990s, these words became less frequent, and the term 'Gay Pride,' became commonly used. <em>Photo via illuminator999 at <a href="www.flickr.com/people/illuminator999/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a></em>

  • Giant Flag

    In 1994, Baker led the creation of a mile-long Rainbow Flag, to honor the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized it as the world's largest flag. <em>Photo via <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Thelmadatter" target="_hplink">Thelmadatter</a> at <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HugeFlagMarchaDF2.JPG" target="_hplink">Wikimedia Commons</a></em>

  • Island-Long Pride Flag

    The longest Rainbow Flag used in a Pride celebration was unfurled in Key West, Florida, for the flag's 25th anniversary in 2003. Dubbed "25Rainbow Sea to Sea," the 1.25 mile long flag stretched across the entire island, traveling from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf Coast Sea. Following the celebration, the flag was cut-up and sent to Pride celebrations around the world. <em>Photo via torbakhopper at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/gazeronly/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a> </em>

  • Pride in Sao Paulo

    With an estimated 3.5 million attendees in 2011, Sao Paulo, Brazil, hosts the world's largest Pride parade. For more information about Sao Paulo Pride, check out their <a href="http://www.gaypridebrazil.org/sao-paulo/" target="_hplink">site</a>.

  • Europride

    Europe has a pan-European international Pride event, called, appropriately, Europride. The event is hosted by a different European city each year. For information on upcoming events, check out Europride's <a href="http://www.europride.com/spip.php?rubrique1" target="_hplink">site</a>. <em>Photo via Daquellamanera at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/daquellamanera/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a> </em>

  • Floating Floats

    Amsterdam hosts the only Pride parade whose floats literally float on water, as 100 decorated boats travel through the city's famed canals. For information on Amsterdam Pride, check out their <a href="http://www.amsterdamgaypride.nl/" target="_hplink">site</a>. <em>Photo via cgeorgatou at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/cgeorgatou/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a></em>

  • Loner South Africa

    South Africa is home to the only Pride celebrations on the African continent. Two of the most notable are in<a href="http://joburgpride.org/" target="_hplink"> Johannesburg</a> and <a href="http://www.capetownpride.org/" target="_hplink">Cape Town</a>. The inaugural Joburg Pride parade was held in 1990 with fewer than one thousand participants but has grown considerably throughout the years, with over 20,000 participants in 2009. <em>Photo via <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gay_Flag_of_South_Africa.svg" target="_hplink">Wikimedia Commons </a></em>

  • Raining on Australia's Parade

    Each year before the <a href="http://www.mardigras.org.au/about-us/history/index.cfm" target="_hplink">Sydney LGBT Mardis Gras</a> is held, <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-power-of-one/2008/01/04/1198950075839.html" target="_hplink">Fred Nile</a>, a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council and a former minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, leads a prayer for rain on the event. Although it has rained some years, the Australian event has sustained as one of best LGBT festivals in the world. Photo via Jon Shave at <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/shavejonathan/" target="_hplink">Flickr.com</a>