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San Francisco airport honours Harvey Milk with Terminal 1 exhibit

Amy West July 21, 2019

San Francisco International Airport has honoured gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, unveiling a new exhibit dedicated to his life and works inside its Terminal 1.

Talking about the significance of the installation, SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel told ABC7 News earlier in the week: “This is really the first airport terminal in the world to be named in honor of an LGBT leader.

“You’ve got a facility that’s brand new that will really allow millions of people from around the world to learn about Harvey Milk’s story, learn about his life and his legacy.”

Harvey Milk was a San Francisco city supervisor for eleven months before he was assassinated in November 1978 (Getty)
Harvey Milk was a San Francisco city supervisor for eleven months before he was assassinated in November 1978 (Getty)

According to the same publication, “the public is invited to the sneak peek celebration at noon” on Saturday 27 July.

Back in 1972, Milk moved from New York to the Castro District of San Francisco. Five years later, he won a seat as a city supervisor.

During his eleven months in office, he was instrumental in changing the landscape of LGBT-based politics. Most notably, he publicly backed a civil rights bill that aimed to stop homeowners and employers from discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

Mayor George Moscone implemented the law in early 1978. Later that year, he and Milk were assassinated fellow city supervisor Dan White, who had voted against the bill. Having been arrested and tried, White turned himself in and confessed to the crime. It’s been reported that he used to tell jokes about Milk while sitting in his cell.

“The more I observed what went on at the jail, the more I began to stop seeing what Dan White did as the act of an individual and began to see it as a political act in a political movement,” a San Francisco undersheriff allegedly said at the time. “White showed no remorse for his actions, and exhibited vulnerability only during an eight-minute call to his mother from jail.”

Other LGBT figures being honoured in 2019

Milk isn’t the only important figure in LGBT history being celebrated currently.

Earlier in the week, the Bank of England announced that Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing beat out the likes of Margaret Thatcher, Ada Lovelace and Stephen Hawking to become the face of the new £50 banknote.

“As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far-ranging and path-breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand,” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said in a statement.

 

More: Harvey Milk, San Francisco, US

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