San Francisco Mayor George Moscone And City Supervisor Harvey Milk Assassinated This Day 1978

WHITE/B/27NOV78/MN/STOREY - Supervisor Dan White, taken into custody by Inspector Howard Bailey, SFPD, in the basement of the Hall of Justice. White was charged with the murder of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Photo by John Storey CAT Photo: JOHN STOREY / SF

On this day in 1978 the Mayor of San Francisco George Moscone and city supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by former supervisor Dan White. I remember that it was a Monday and my Pittsburgh Steelers were playing a game that night against the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco.

Dan White was upset that Moscone wouldn’t re-appoint him to the Board of Supervisors, which White had recently resigned from. Harvey Milk had been against reappointing White. White went to San Francisco City Hall and killed both Moscone and Milk. White’s lawyers would use the ‘Twinkies Defense” at the trial, saying White had consumed so much junk food that it impared his judgment. He would be convicted of voluntary manslaughter and would be out after serving a few years. White killed himself less than two years later.

This was also the first time America got a look at Diane Feinstein who was the Board President. She would become the next Mayor of San Francisco and in 1988 be elected to the U.S. Senate where she still is to this day. You got to wonder, if Dan White hadn’t done what he did, would we have ever heard of Feinstein?

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person elected to political office in the United States.  A great book on Harvey Milk is “The Mayor Of Castro Street” by Randy Shilts. A movie was made a few years ago starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk. The movie was called “Milk”