On this day 34 years ago, recently resigned supervisor Dan White entered City Hall — not through the main entrance, but through an open window. He did this deliberately, to avoid security. He was armed.
A very disturbed White strode to then Mayor Moscone's office and demanded his post back; Moscone refused. Dan White pulled out a gun, and shot and killed Mayor Moscone. He then walked down the hall to Supervisor Harvey Milk's office and shot and killed him.
Milk was a tireless champion for gay rights. He rallied his community into action, organizing marches from the Castro to City Hall. His efforts were not always popular. After running for State Assembly, he received numerous death threats, to which he replied presciently, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."
Tonight, as on every annual anniversary of their assassination, Milk and Moscone will be remembered in a candlelight vigil. I've attended it many years, and it's a powerful experience. So go, meet at the steps of City Hall at 4:30, and march to the Castro at 5:30. When you reach Church Street, look back; you're at relatively high ground there, and you'll see a sea of flickering candles stretching back Market Street. I dare you not to cry.