Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thirty five years later

San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, who were shot and killed in San Francisco City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White on this date thirty-five years ago. White was angry that the Mayor had refused to re-appoint him to his seat on the Board of Supervisors, from which White had just resigned, and that Milk had lobbied heavily against his re-appointment. San Francisco was already reeling from the mass suicides and murders in Johnstown just days before.
 
Moscone's name is not as well known today as Milk's, even though both have buildings named for them.  Harvey Milk has become much better known in death, than he was in life.  Like with John F Kennedy, whom we wrote about here a few days ago, there have been a lot of "what if he had lived?" questions asked.  Certainly nobody knows for sure, but there have been a lot of changes since.  Some might argue that there has not been a mayor as progressive as George Moscone.  There have been other gay Supervisors though, and not just representing the heavily gay Castro district.
 
It is certain that both Moscone and Milk made a difference in this world.  They started some things that have continued following their deaths.  One huge tribute to them is that there have been regularly remembrances of that dark day when they were murdered.  There will be one such remembrance tonight which will include a candlelight vigil.  Tonight's event like most over the years, has been organized.  On the night of the assassinations though it was an impromptu candlelight march started in the Castro and leading to the City Hall steps that was so terribly moving. Tens of thousands of people took part that night with Joan Baez leading "Amazing Grace" along them way.
 
Thirty-five years later we remember these two men.  How fitting too that this date fall on the eve of a day set aside to give thanks.

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