Born: May 22, 1930, Woodmere, New York
Died: November 27, 1978 (age 48), San Francisco, California
Bernard Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay man to
be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San
Francisco Board of Supervisors.
What do you know about Harvey Milk? Take this quick quiz.
1. Where did Harvey Milk go to college?
2. What did he do after gradating from college?
3. What business did Milk open in San Francisco?
4. What was the first office Milk decided to run
5. What office did he run for in 1975?
6. When did he become a Member of the San
Francisco, Board of Supervisors, from District 5?
7. How did Harvey Milk die?
8. Where is Harvey Milk buried?
1. Milk attended New York State College for Teachers in
Albany (now the University at Albany) from 1947 to 1951, majoring in
2. After graduation, Milk joined the U.S. Navy during the
Korean War. He served aboard the Submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake as a
diving officer. He later transferred to Naval Station, San Diego to serve as a
diving instructor. In 1955, he was discharged from the Navy at the rank of
lieutenant, junior grade.
3. Milk met Scott Smith, 20 years his junior, and began
another relationship. He and Smith, now indistinguishable from other
long-haired, bearded hippies, returned to San Francisco and lived on money they
had saved. In 1972 a roll of film Milk dropped off to be developed was ruined;
with their last $1,000, Milk opened a camera store on Castro Street.
4. Milk decided that the time had come to run for city
5. Although he was a newcomer to the Castro District, Milk
had shown leadership in the small community. He was starting to be taken
seriously as a candidate and decided to run again for supervisor in 1975. He
reconsidered his approach and cut his long hair, swore off marijuana, and vowed
never to visit another gay bathhouse again. Milk's campaigning earned the
support of the teamsters, firefighters, and construction unions. Castro Camera
became the center of activity in the neighborhood.
6. In November 1976, voters in San Francisco had decided
to reorganize supervisor elections to choose supervisors from neighborhoods
instead of voting for them in city-wide ballots. Harvey Milk quickly qualified
as the leading candidate in District 5, surrounding Castro Street. Milk's
swearing-in made national headlines, as he became the first openly gay
non-incumbent man in the United States to win an election for public office.
7. San Francisco Mayor Moscone planned to announce
Supervisor Dan White's replacement days later, on November 27, 1978. Half an
hour before the press conference, Dan White entered City Hall through a basement
window to avoid metal detectors and made his way to Mayor Moscone's office.
Witnesses heard shouting between White and Moscone, then gunshots. White shot
the mayor once in the arm, then three times in the head after Moscone had fallen
on the floor. White then quickly walked to his former office, reloading his
police-issue revolver with hollow-point bullets along the way, and intercepted
Harvey Milk, asking him to step inside for a moment.
San Francisco Columbarium, San Francisco, California
Page 1 of 1