Harvey Milk


San Franciso Examiner

Dan White

Dan White



Gay Pride Parade, 1977



Candlelight March 11/27/78


In 1977, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official in the United States.  Less than one year later, on November 27, 1978, Milk was gunned down along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.  The shooter was Supervisor Dan White, a conservative board member who had campaigned on a platform of law and order, civic pride, and family values.

White, packing a gun and extra bullets, climbed through a window in City Hall in order to confront Milk and Moscone about his troubled tenure on the Board of Supervisors.  After shooting Moscone four times at close range, White reloaded his gun, walked to the other side of the building, and invited Milk into his former office.  White shot Milk in the arm, the chest, and twice in the head.  He then fled the building the same way that he had entered.  A few hours after Diane Feinstein, who became  Acting Mayor, named him as a suspect, White turned himself in.

On May 21, 1979. after White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to five to seven years in prison for killing both men, protestors gathered at City Hall to vent their outrage over the verdict.  In what has come to be known as "White Night," demonstrators broke windows at City Hall, burned police cars, and clashed with police at various flashpoints throughout the city.

In 1985, after serving just over five years in Soledad prison and one year of parole in Los Angeles, White returned to San Francisco despite Mayor Feinstein's public objections.   On October 21, 1985, seven years after the assassinations, White killed himself in the garage of his wife's home.  White's suicide did not provoke any significant public reaction.    

On May, 21, 1979, after White was sentenced to 

Harvey Milk Talks About Politics