Today in Gay History: Harvey Milk and George Moscone Were Assassinated in San Francisco

Written by The Gay Almanac


San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot and killed in San Francisco City Hall by former Supervisor Dan White today, November 27, in 1978.
 
White had been a San Francisco police officer, and later became a firefighter. He and Milk were each elected to the Board of Supervisors in the 1977 elections, which introduced district-based seats and ushered in the "most diverse Board the city has ever seen." White was tried for first-degree murder with special circumstance, a crime which potentially carried the death penalty in California. White's defense team claimed that he was depressed at the time of the shootings, evidenced by many changes in his behavior, including changes in his diet. Inaccurate media reports said White's defense had presented junk food consumption as the cause of his mental state, rather than a symptom of it, leading to the derisive term "Twinkie defense;" this became a persistent myth when, in fact, defense lawyers neither argued junk food caused him to commit the shootings and never even mentioned Twinkies. MORE

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