Harvey Milk (1930-1978)

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Who was Harvey Milk?

Harvey was born on May 22, 1930 at Woodmere Hospital in Long Island, New York. His official name, that was from his Lithuanian ancestry, was Glimpy Milch. He graduated from Albany State College in 1951. There he majored in the subject math and also minored in the subject history. After college he entered the Navy and advanced to the rank of chief petty officer on the U.S.S. Kittyhawk. Shortly after though he was unfairly discharged when people found out about his homosexuality. Once he was discharged he moved to Dallas, Texas and then back to New York. Then after he finally ended up in California. Then after that, Milk migrated to San Francisco in the early 1970's. This was also where many other Gay people migrated to. Throughout Harvey Milk's life he had to put up with a lot of discrimination and that resulted in assassination. Even though he had a short life, he accomplished many things during that time. He was overall a remarkable person and showed great gay pride!

Involvment in the Gay Rights Movement.

Harvey Milk contributed a lot to the Gay Rights Movement. He gave his life to do what he believed was right. He wasn't afraid, Harvey knew he was doing the right thing. It all started when he became the first openly homosexual man to be elected by popularity into elective office in the United States. Many people only remember Milk for his sexual orientation, however he did much more then that. He helped the concept of gay pride as well. During this movement him being elected was a major boost for the Homosexuals everywhere. It made them think they could do anything they want to and not have their sexual orientation matter in the process. His goal to make gay pride known through political ways, was not to force America to accept homosexuality, like many thought he was trying to do. Truly he just wanted them to respect the homosexual's right to be homosexual, without government getting involved.

Harvey Milk's Murder

On November 27, of 1978, Milk was killed in San Francisco City Hall. His killer was a former City Supervisor, his name was Danny White. That day, he crawled through a basement window of the City Hall so he could avoid the metal detectors. White was against the Gay Civil Rights bill, he opposed it. He was a homophobia, and thought this election was ridiculous and not right. So that day he took a gun and shot Harvey Milk and his life ended moments after. He was shortly caught and was convicted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter. Then he was sent to prison for seven years and eight months. In court their was something brought up that was called the "twinkie defense". White's attorney argued that he could not be held accountable for his actions because of the amount of junk food he had eaten on the day of the crimes. Unfortunately, White was let out only after six years in prison, but then committed suicide shortly after he was released.

The Legacy of Harvey Milk

Harvey Milk was a inspiration to many in the gay community, even though his life ended shortly after his election the impact of Harvey Milk is still being recognized. There were many good things that came out of his life, and made everyone believe that this could actually help even more! One memorable moment that showed how much he impacted the movement was when the year after his death there was a march in honor for him. Over 100,000 people marched on the nation's capitol to support the Gay civil rights and while they were marching they were also chanting "Harvey Milk Lives" repeaditly. For some reason Milk made many recordings to be played in case of an assassination and one of the statements he stated was: "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door." That is what Harvey would have liked to see today, he should be able to know how he impacted our world in many ways.


Film Created for the Contributions of Harvey Milk and others


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