Harvey Milk | News | San Francisco

SF Candlelight Vigil Planned Wednesday to Mark 35th Anniversary of Milk-Moscone Assassination

A candlelight vigil is being held tomorrow night in San Francisco to mark the 35th anniversary of Harvey Milk and George Moscone's assassination at City Hall.

MilkMoscone1Write the organizers on Facebook:

Harvey and George were the brightest beacons of hope for San Francisco’s disenfranchised and displaced. But more than that, they represented the spirit of San Francisco, a city for anyone and everyone, welcoming to all, affordable to all, with justice for all. 35 years later, the time has come again for us to gather, one and all, to remember Harvey and George. More importantly, the time has come to make their vision of a city of hope come alive. Now more than ever, we have to give each other hope.

The vigil will begin at Milk Plaza at 7pm followed by a candlelight march down Market Street to City Hall. A performance by the Gay Men's Chorus, words of inspiration from Dustin Lance Black, and a recorded message from Harvey Milk will conclude the evening. 

ASL Interpretation and Spanish translation will be provided as well as accessible transportation from Milk Plaza to City Hall.

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  1. Have heard that there was some sort of "Twinkie defense" of the assassin. What is a Twinkie defense?

    Posted by: Tom | Nov 26, 2013 9:28:01 PM

  2. The killer's lawyer claimed that he had been eating too many Twinkies (no longer manufactured, but a spongy/creamy piece of junk food--not hairless boys) and that the sugar had made him temporarily insane. Pretty easy to look up.


    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 26, 2013 9:47:15 PM

  3. "Affordable to all" ha. Times certainly have changed.

    Posted by: johninsf | Nov 26, 2013 10:08:57 PM

  4. I wasn't born yet but my neighbor, who is 68, was working for HUD at the time and the then Mayor's Secretary, a woman name Cere Cupertini, had been in the job for many years. Dan White walked right passed her, hand in pocket holding gun, when Moscone was shot. She watched White cross the hall to Milk's office and heard the gunshots. People were scrambling. This was in the early afternoon, probably before lunch, but by 5pm when he left the Federal building, opposite City Hall, the entire city had grown eerily silent and thousands of people were gathering everywhere, predominately gay people. By the time my neighbor got home there were crowds low-chanting "death to Dan White" and heading for City Hall. Gay people went mad with anger and tore up City Hall overturning police cars, starting trash can fires, ripping out plants and trees, bashing in the glass doors at City Hall. That night is still referred to as the "White Night Riots".

    I mention Cere Cupertine because it was Feinstein who contacted HUD (they had been negotiating with HUD to replace Dan White with a HUD supervisor named Dan Horenzy) seeking a replacement for Cere who had walked out declaring she would never return to City Hall. Feinstein replaced Moscone (she was President of the Board of Supervisors) and it was Feinstein who asked for my neighbor to fill in temporarily for the absent Cere Cupertini. Cere retired and never came back. Feinstein pleaded with my neighbor to stay on permanently but he was a Federal employment, not a City employee and returned to HUD. He says, to this day, it was his biggest career mistake for years later HUD fired him for being openly gay. And yes, being openly gay in the Federal government can result in termination based solely on the fact that the employee is a homosexual. That's why ENDA is so important today. It must eventually become the law of the land so than none of us can ever be fired from our jobs because some homophobic a**hole can decide to destroy your life.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 26, 2013 10:21:15 PM

  5. Mike Ryan - Harvey Milk was assassinated on November 27th, 1978. That night the queer community and San Franciscans responded with a peaceful candlelight vigil. The White Night Riots, however, took place on the night of May 21st, 1979, the day White had been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, the lightest possible conviction for his actions.

    Posted by: John | Nov 26, 2013 10:37:01 PM

  6. Thanks Paul!

    Posted by: Tom | Nov 26, 2013 10:39:40 PM

  7. Thanks for the correction John. Going back over my notes I do see that the white riots took place in late May of '79. My neighbor had returned to HUD in January '79 and from his office he could see the front of City Hall clearly. I note here that he "walked home in fear as the sidewalks filled with angry people heading for City Hall." Must have been an awful scary time.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Nov 26, 2013 10:52:32 PM

  8. Damn. Sure wish I could be in San Francisco for the candlelight vigil. Harvey Milk really did SO many wonderful things for gays like me that were not born yet when he was alive!

    Posted by: Tom | Nov 27, 2013 12:15:54 AM

  9. I was there when it happened. I lived in an apartment above Market Street, and remember looking out on the spontaneous march that night to City Hall. It was somber and powerful, this endless procession of candle light as people walked. There was a stunned silence, and yet a sense of unity prevailed. It was as if everyone was saying, without words, you cannot stop us.

    Posted by: Mitch | Nov 27, 2013 12:59:56 AM

  10. Oh, puh-lease. Not another post about the White Knight Harvey Milk.

    Look, at first I thought he was a great man. I even got a tattoo of a famous line of one of his speeches.

    But then I learned that he never talked about transsexuals or transgenders or intersexed hermaphrodites and for some reason never thought that they were linked with gay people. In fact, he called it a stereotype to link the groups.

    After that, I was done with him. Now I get sick when I see these memorials. Srsly? Where are the memorial sites for the Black transsexuals who died working the streets, which is probably most of them? . . . I guess you have to be a white guy in a suit to get any love. Sad!

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 27, 2013 2:26:13 AM

  11. @Fake Kiwi: Give it a rest already, Rick. It's pretty obvious that you're posting under LK's name. The only thing here that's "sad" is that Harvey Milk died so that you could be free to be a chickensh*t closeted troll.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Nov 27, 2013 3:27:41 AM

  12. FuryofFirestorm, go off to troll land, troll! Everything I said is true. You will never see a single quote from Milk about transgender rights. You can go read Mayor of Castro Street and look in the index. You won't find a single entry for transgender, transsexual, intersex or any of the other 17 letters that represent our people! This man fought for gay civil rights. How disgusting!

    So I stand proudly with my trans brothers who used to be sisters, my trans sisters who used to be brothers, and my hermaphrodite brother/sister hybrids. And I always will. And if that means opposing Harvey Milk and the entire gay civil rights movement and promoting ancient stereotypes about gay people, that's what I will do.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 27, 2013 5:03:46 AM

  13. PS,

    Put down the pear cake gurl! Believe me, you won't starve.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Nov 27, 2013 5:10:47 AM

  14. @LK

    You're an obvious troll, but...

    You do know that there's a difference between sex, gender, sexual orientation and sexual behavior, right? For example, saying that Milk didn't fight for the rights of transexuals is essentially saying that Milk didn't fight for the rights of gay transexuals, which is totally incorrect. It's like saying Milk didn't fight for the rights of gay fighter pilots because he didn't specifically mention fighter pilots.

    Posted by: Eric | Nov 27, 2013 7:56:19 AM

  15. Sadly,too often Mayor Moscone has been overlooked for his great contributions to the early gay rights movement. His first appointment to his administration was Harvey Milk to the board of Permits when he was elected in 1975. When the Milk Holiday was created, it should of included George Moscone. George was a true friend of the gay community,taking part in gay sporting events and fund raisers 2 years before Harvey was elected. I knew both as friends.

    Posted by: Jerry Pritikin aka The Bleacher Preacher | Nov 27, 2013 8:04:54 AM

  16. Would it be so hard for Towelroad to adopt a commenting system that didn't lead to the crap this one does?

    (And I say that as a huge fan of fake Rick)

    Posted by: BobN | Nov 27, 2013 8:59:55 AM

  17. hiii i love your post very much

    Posted by: Darvindevetka | Nov 27, 2013 9:12:56 AM

  18. Twinkies are back!


    Posted by: Joel | Nov 27, 2013 9:53:18 AM

  19. Harvey Milk was a very special man. So glad that they are remembering him with a candlelight vigil. God bless Harvey.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Nov 27, 2013 10:08:16 AM

  20. Rick can't even be bothered to show respect towards one of our greatness heroes. Is he simply a troll or is he a monster?

    Posted by: Tyler | Nov 27, 2013 11:09:12 AM

  21. @Tyler -

    Says you, the guy who posted the most disgusting comment on this site, calling for people to commit suicide.

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 27, 2013 11:18:16 AM

  22. The original Vigil and White Night Riots are captured on film in the 1986 Oscar Winning Documentary "Life and Times of Harvey Milk". It takes your breath away to watch the thousands of individual candels/people light up the night sky with their light. Amazing Film. MUCH better that Sean Penn version.

    Posted by: ShawnSF | Nov 27, 2013 11:27:17 AM

  23. Mike, if I weren't so sure you are a conservative troll, I'd be offended by that. I don't think anyone of us wishes Rick would actually kill himself. But we do wish he would kill his online persona and get a life

    Posted by: Tyler | Nov 27, 2013 11:49:31 AM

  24. Thank you Harvey.

    I remember when he was killed. I was 14. I was a precocious child, and asked why gay people shouldn't have the same rights as everyone else. This resulted in loosing all my friends and becoming a social outcast, as well as a target for bullying and abuse by some of my teachers.

    I survived it, and I'm still around.

    Tonight there will be a candle burning at my house.

    Posted by: JustSayin' | Nov 27, 2013 11:57:39 AM

  25. Tyler - You did say that and it wasn't limited to Rick and it wasn't referring to suicides of online personae, but actual people whom you felt were on the wrong side of some issue. And I'd add that Kiwi does the same thing.

    It is just the wrong thing to say to any other gay person, no matter how big the disagreement over a political issue.

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 27, 2013 1:45:44 PM

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