Remembering Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk Day

Today is May 22nd, Harvey Milk Day – a time to remember the messages and work of the gay rights activist who was assassinated in 1978.  Here’s some quick facts related to the groundbreaking politician.

Harvey Milk Day falls on the late activist’s birthday, today he would have been 86 years old.

Milk was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. After three unsuccessful campaigns here was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978.

During his eleven months in office Milk helped pass a string of ordinances that helped the LGBT community in San Francisco. In November 1978 he was assassinated by Dan White, another supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back. White also shot and killed the city’s Mayor George Moscone.

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

Sean Penn won the Academy Award for his portrayal of the politician in the biopic ‘Milk’.  The films screenwriter Dustin Lance Black also picked up an Oscar.

Harvey Milk’s former camera shop on Castro Street is now the home of the Human Rights Campaign that fights for LGBTIQ+ rights in the USA.

“Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard.” is one of many quotes attributed to Milk. He also advocated for all LGBTIQ+ people to come out and be proud of their sexuality.

Prior to his assassination Milk had been receiving a lot of death threats. He recorded his thoughts on tape recording his ‘political will’ saying; “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door”.

OIP Staff



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