||Harvey Milk is born
on Long Island, New York.
|September 2, 1946
||Dan White is born in
Los Angeles County.
|November 3, 1977||Dan White (on his first attempt) and Harvey Milk (on his third attempt) are both elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as Democrats, although White is socially conservative and Milk, a leading figure in San Francisco's gay community, quite the opposite. White joins the Board after working both as a police officer and a firefighter in San Francisco.|
||In the weeks
following their election to the Board, Dan White and Harvey
Milk appear together on a number of local talk shows. They praise
each other, and Milk tells friends that he thinks he will be able to
work with the conservative White.
||Fearing a possible
assassination, Harvey Milk tape records his "political will."
Milk says, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy
every closet door."
||At his first board
meeting as a newly-elected supervisor, Milk proposes a comprehensive
ban on discrimination against gays in San Francisco. At the same
meeting, Diane Feinstein is elected president of the Board on a 6 to 5
vote (Milk voted against Feinstein and for a minority candidate.)
The 6-5 vote generally reflects a conservative/liberal split on the
|April 1978||Dan White and Harvey Milk clash over a facility for juvenile offenders proposed for White's district. White strongly opposes the facility, while Milk supports it.|
||On the day before
Milk's last birthday, he dresses in a clown costume and runs up to
cable cars, shaking the hands of random tourists and declaring, "Hey,
I'm a supervisor. I pass laws. I run this city." He later
attends a series of political events, still dressed in his clown
||San Francisco's Gay
Freedom Day Parade is attended by a crowd estimated in size from 350,00
to 375,000. At City Hall, Milk delivers a speech attacking the
proposed Briggs Initiative (which would make it unconstitutional in
California to extend civil rights protections based on sexual
orientation), which he says will "constitutionalize
||Dan White falls into
a depressed state. Symptoms of his depression include insomnia,
giving up his exercise schedule, and eating a less healthy diet. (The
latter symptom gave rise to the press's later description of White's
diminished capacity defense as "the twinkie defense. There
actually was no evidence presented that White actually ate a twinkie.)
||On election night,
the Briggs Inititiave is easily defeated (2 to 1 against) and gays
celebrate in San Francisco.
||Dan White announces
that he will resign his post as supervisor, thus allowing the mayor to
appoint a new supervisor who could shift the 6-5 balance of power to
the board's liberals. Milk is ecstatic at the news of White's
||Dan White says he
has reconsidered his decision and asks to withdraw his resignation from
the Board of Supervisors. Mayor Moscone at first says, "A man has
a right to change his mind," but later has second thoughts about
reappointing White after being pressured by Harvey Milk.
||On Sunday night, Dan
White learns from a KCBS reporter that Mayor Moscone had decided not to
reappoint him as supervisor.
||After a sleepless
night, Dan White enters
City Hall through a lower story window and heads upstairs to the office
Mayor George Moscone. White shoots and kills Moscone, then heads
for Milk's office, where he kills him. Milk dies at 10:55 A.M.
White surrenders to police. White is charged with two
counts of murder and held without bail.
||Harry Britt, Jr.,
another gay activist, is appointed by Diane Feinstein to fill the seat
left open by Milk's death.
hearing is held in the Dan White case.
||The trial of Dan
||The defense rests in
the Dan White trial.
||Summations begin in
the Dan White trial.
||After 36 hours of
deliberation, the jury announces its verdict in the Dan White trial,
finding White not guilty on the murder counts, but guilty on two counts
of voluntary manslaughter. Following the verdict, a protest
erupts in S.F.'s Castro district, with the crowd chanting, "Avenge
Harvery Milk!" Later, rioters throw stones through the windows of
||Dan White is
sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison.
|January 7, 1984||After serving five years of a seven-year sentence, Dan White is paroled from Soledad State Prison. (While in Soledad, White told homicide inspector Frank Falzon that on the day of the shootings, he had intended to kill four people, including Supervisor Carol Silver and California State Assembly member Willie Brown.)|
|October 21, 1985||Dan White commits suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage of his San Francisco home.|