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VIDEO: Harvey Milk was assassinated 32 years ago today

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By Eden James

On this day in 1978, Harvey Milk and San Francisco mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White.

For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Annual Milk-Moscone Memorial March will take place at 6 p.m. The vigil will last one hour and the march will begin at the Castro Muni station (Castro & Market Streets) at 6:45 p.m.

According to the SF Sentinel, speakers include:

Cleve Jones, Founder, Names Project, and friend of Harvey
Harry Britt, former Supervisor, and friend of Harvey
David Campos, SF Supervisor
Carol Migden, former State Senator
Tom Ammiano, State Assembly member

Whether you’re able to attend or not, watch the “You’ve got to give ’em HOPE” video of one of Harvey’s most famous speeches. This speech was the “It Gets Better” of its time. Share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter today…

… and let us know in the comments your thoughts on the meaning of this day, given how far the LGBT community has come and far it has to go.


  • 1. Lesbians Love Boies  |  November 27, 2010 at 7:26 am

    I just posted this on the other page…


  • 2. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  November 27, 2010 at 9:01 am

    thanks LLB : ) Moving to hear Harvey Milk's message and voice.

  • 3. Ronnie  |  November 27, 2010 at 7:30 am



  • 4. Em  |  November 27, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I think my feelings about Harvey Milk can pretty adequately be summed up by the reaction one of my straight friends had to the movie "Milk." He wasn't a very active ally, but when the movie was over he just sat with his jaw hanging slack for a minute and then looked over at me and said "I really…want to just….go on a march. Or something. I want to get in people's faces…I can't explain it, but I would totally march right now." I laughed, but it's a seriously beautiful thing, the impact his charisma and confidence and courage had on everyone who knew him and even most who heard of him. On this day, I think about how I'm living my life as a lesbian and I evaluate whether it's living up to the standard or fearlessness Harvey Milk set for our community.
    RIP Harvey. You were and will always be an inspiration. 🙂

  • 5. Jim  |  November 27, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Wow. Very well said, Em. He did indeed set a very high bar for us to live up to.

  • 6. Kathleen  |  November 27, 2010 at 7:36 am

    I am there in spirit. Em, that's a wonderful story.

  • 7. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  November 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

    ditto : )

  • 8. Sarah  |  November 27, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Another smile in my heart. 🙂 On another note, I have been listening to the soundtrack to the musical "Ragtime" and found the song "Make them Hear You" very uplifting and prescient for these times. Although in the show it talks about injustice during the beginning of the 20th century against African Americans and immigrants, it spoke to me as we see this fight for our rights raging… Enjoy the words- I couldn't find any good versions of it being sung.

    Go out and tell the story.
    let it echo far and wide.
    Make them hear you.
    Make them hear you.

    How justice was our battle and how justice was denied.
    Make them hear you.
    Make them hear you.

    And say to those who blame us
    for the way we chose to fight
    that sometimes there are battles
    which are more than black or white.

    And i could not put down my sword
    when justice was my right.
    Make them hear you.
    Make them hear you.

    My path may lead to heaven or hell
    and god will say what's best
    but one thing he will never say
    is that i went quietly to my rest.

    Go out and tell our story
    to your daughters and your sons.
    Make them hear you.
    Make them hear you.

    Proclaim it from your pulpit.
    In your classroom, with your pen.
    Teach every child to raise his voice
    and then, my brothers, then

    will justice be demanded
    by ten million righteous men.
    Make them hear you.
    When they hear you
    i'll be near you again.

  • 9. Rhie  |  November 27, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Just watching will catch up later…

  • 10. Sagesse  |  November 27, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I was 28 years old in 1978. About that time, a young man who had worked for me, but now reported to someone else, came to me and confided that he was gay. Somehow he'd figured out that it wouldn't bother me. He needed someone he could talk to.

    We would go out for dinner, and I got to ask all the questions I'd never been able to ask before (because I didn't have anyone to ask them of). No, not those questions. "How do you know that someone is gay?" If the word gaydar had been invented, I'd certainly never heard it. He said that when men speak to each other, they don't hold eye contact. If he looked at another man and maintained eye contact, and the other fellow didn't look away, he knew. I asked him why he was promiscuous. For a nice, well-brought up Italian boy, it was out of character. He said he didn't know why.

    For context, that was Canada, in a major urban centre, working for a big five accounting firm, A dew years later, some people were able to come out at work, but not then.

    As I look back on those times, I marvel at Harvey Milk's courage and confidence and leadership. Imagine what he could have accomplished if he had lived.

  • 11. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 27, 2010 at 8:05 am

    The election of Harvey Milk and the defeat of the Briggs Initiative were a sort of Moon landing for civil rights – that was 1978, and look at what we have now: Prop 8 passing in California and anti-marriage equality amendments in multiple state constitutions. And, maybe not so ironically, Harvey Milk is gone and John Briggs is still with us. Harvey, here's hoping it gets better sooner rather than later.

  • 12. Ann S.  |  November 27, 2010 at 9:27 am

    I remember the day of the assassinations very clearly. It shocked us all, especially following so closely on the Jonestown massacre of Nov. 18. Diane Feinstein tried to save Mayor Moscone's life by sticking her fingers in the bullet holes, to no avail, and then had to announce the tragic news to the city.

    It was a dark, dark time for everyone in the Bay Area. RIP Harvey Milk, George Moscone, Jim Jones and all his victims, and you, too, Dan White.

  • 13. Lora  |  November 28, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I was in high school when Harvey and mayor Moscone were assassinated. I was not out to anyone, even my closest friends.
    When "Milk" came out it gave me an opportunity to talk to friends and co-workers about being a young gay person back then and the difference there is today for young gays and lesbians. There was not a single out person at my school. At a lot of schools today, it's not the issue it was back then…and Harvey made a difference.

  • 14. Marlene  |  November 27, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I followed the trial like a hawk, and I firmly believe that had not Dan White murdered Harvey, he would've gotten life in prison, if not the death penalty.

    But because he killed a [email protected], Harvey Milk, he got the lighter sentence thanks to the so-called "Twinkie defense" the jury bought into.

  • 15. Richard A. Jernigan  |  November 27, 2010 at 11:29 am

    This is a mixture of sad and happy for the LGBT community. Sad because Harvey and Mayor Moscone were stolen from us on this day, but also happy because they helped bring our civil rights movement into the limelight even more. Also happy because both of them influenced so many of our current crop of civil rights activists, and because we have so many news clips of them to help us remember.

  • 16. Ted Bohn  |  November 27, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I remember this day 32 years ago so well. I was a young gay activist – and we were having a Thanksgiving weekend with all of our other disowned LesbianGay friends – when the news spread East that Harvey and George had been assassinated. I have never forgotten to remember on this day. It is a sacred day. We can never let their memory die. It is important to mourn even still – but it is equally important to get up tomorrow morning and stand your ground.

  • 17. Tasty Salamanders  |  November 27, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Please excuse me while I go vomit somewhere.

  • 18. StraightForEquality  |  November 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I just watched the movie "Milk" again tonight in honor of the anniversary. While there have been a number of victories in the fight for equality for LGBT people recently, I was struck by how little has changed: the arguments are the same, the backers of the hate campaigns, generally certain Christians and their churches, are the same, etc. How disconcerting! Progress seems so slow.

  • 19. Ronnie  |  November 28, 2010 at 1:42 am

    Queer Rising & Congregation Beit Simchat Torah are coming together on December 16th in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, NY for a day of remembrance titled "Hate is an Abomination". Here is part 1 of the press announcement featuring Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Rick Landman (whose dad & grandfather were arrested on Kristallnact) & Jake Goodman.


  • 20. Ronnie  |  November 28, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Here is part 2 featuring Mordechai Levovitz of JQYouth & others.


  • 21. DallasDavid  |  November 29, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I think White's sentence was DISGRACEFULL.

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