Harvey Milk (1930–1978) was an American politician and the first openly gay
man to be elected to public office in California. Milk moved to San
Francisco in 1972 and opened a camera store. He settled in the Castro
District, a neighborhood that was experiencing a mass immigration of gay men
and lesbians. He was compelled to run for city supervisor in 1973, though he
encountered resistance from the existing gay political establishment. His
campaign was compared to theater; he was brash, outspoken, animated, and
outrageous, earning media attention and votes, although not enough to be
elected. He campaigned again in the next two supervisor elections, dubbing
himself the "Mayor of Castro Street". Voters responded enough to warrant his
running for the California State Assembly as well. Taking advantage of his
growing popularity, he led the gay political movement in fierce battles
against anti-gay initiatives. Milk was elected city supervisor in 1977 after
San Francisco reorganized its election procedures to choose representatives
from neighborhoods rather than through city-wide ballots. On November 27,
1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another
city supervisor who had recently resigned and wanted his job back. Milk has
become an icon in San Francisco and "a martyr for gay rights", according to
University of San Francisco professor Peter Novak.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade,
declaring bellum sacrum against the Muslims who had occupied the Holy Land
and were attacking the Eastern Roman Empire.
American Indian Wars: George Armstrong Custer's 7th U.S. Cavalry defeated
Chief Black Kettle and the Cheyenne Indians on the Washita River near
present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma.
Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel signed his last will and
testament, setting aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prize
after his death.
Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army assassinated Ross
McWhirter, co-founder of the Guinness Book of Records, a few weeks after
McWhirter offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction
for several recent high-profile bombings that were publicly claimed by the
The Hubble Space Telescope detected sodium in the atmosphere of the
extrasolar planet HD 209458b, the first planetary atmosphere outside our
solar system to be measured.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
spurious (adj) False; not authentic or genuine.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I will make company with creators, with harvesters, with rejoicers; I will
show them the rainbow and the stairway to the Superman.