November 27th 1978: Milk and Moscone assassinated

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On this day in 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by Dan White. White was angry that Moscone had refused to re-appoint him to the Board of Supervisors and that Milk lobbied against his re-appointment. White went to San Francisco City Hall to meet with Moscone and make a final plea for his re-appointment. When Moscone declined, White pulled a gun and shot him. White ran into Milk on his way to his former office and shot and killed him. The bodies were found by Supervisor, and current US senator, Dianne Feinstein.

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Milk was the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, making his death a symbolic blow to the gay rights movement but also making him a martyr for the gay community. As we remember the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, and the symbolic power that event had by striking down the symbol of youthful hope for a generation, we must also remember the assassinations of Milk and Moscone.

35 years ago today

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