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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Harvey Milk Day

A color photograph of Milk with long hair and handlebar mustache with his arm around his sister-in-law, both smiling and standing in front of a storefront window showing a portion of a campaign poster with Milk's photo and name
Milk, here with his sister-in-law in front of Castro Camera in 1973, had been changed by his experience with the counterculture of the 1960s. Dianne Feinstein, who first met him in 1973, did not recognize him when she met him again in 1978.[33]
 
Today is Harvey Milk day in California, and the 82nd anniversary of his death. (below from Mikipedia).

Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) was an American politician who became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Politics and gay activism were not his early interests; he was not open about his homosexuality and did not participate in civic matters until around the age of 40, after his experiences in the counterculture of the 1960s.

Milk moved from New York City to settle in San Francisco in 1972 amid a migration of gay men to the Castro District. He took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests, and ran unsuccessfully for political office three times. His theatrical campaigns earned him increasing popularity, and Milk won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977, part of the broader social changes the city was experiencing.

Milk served almost 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back. Milk's election was made possible by and was a key component of a shift in San Francisco politics. The assassinations and the ensuing events were the result of continuing ideological conflicts in the city.

Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in the gay community.[note 1] In 2002, Milk was called "the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States".[1] Anne Kronenberg, his final campaign manager, wrote of him: "What set Harvey apart from you or me was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us."[2]

Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.


Harvey Milk
A black and white photograph of Harvey Milk sitting at the mayor's desk
Milk in 1978
Member of the
San Francisco Board of Supervisors
from District 5
In office
January 8, 1978 – November 27, 1978
Preceded by District Created
Succeeded by Harry Britt
(appointed)
Constituency The Castro,
Haight-Ashbury,
Duboce Triangle,
Noe Valley
Personal details
Born Harvey Bernard Milk
May 22, 1930
Woodmere, New York
Died November 27, 1978 (aged 48)
San Francisco
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Residence San Francisco
Alma mater State University of New York at Albany
Profession Politician, business owner
Religion Judaism
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1951–1955
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg Lieutenant, junior grade
Unit USS Kittiwake (ASR-13)
Battles/wars Korean War Era

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