40 years later: Remembering the assassinations of George Moscone, Harvey Milk

Politicians are marking the 40th anniversary of Harvey Milk and George Moscone's assassinations on Tuesday with ceremonies in San Francisco and Oakland.

Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977 and served until his assassination in 1978. He was known as a leader in the LGBT movement and the first openly gay American to be elected into public office. Moscone was a state senator before being elected as mayor in 1975. 

He and Milk were killed by Dan White, who had recently resigned from the Board of Supervisors.

Mayor London Breed issued a statement honoring the two slain politicians.

Remembering Milk, Moscone after 40 years

"Supervisor Harvey Milk's impact was transformative not just for San Francisco, but the nation. His very presence on the Board of Supervisors as the first openly gay elected official in California opened the doors of opportunity for future leaders in our LGBT community," Breed said.

"Mayor George Moscone made many contributions leading the city where he was born and raised, including his work to make our government reflect the diversity and backgrounds of the people of San Francisco," she said. "As a black woman who served as a commissioner before becoming 
supervisor, I know these opportunities opened up paths for people like me to serve our city in ways that were not possible before."

State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, who is gay and a former San Francisco supervisor, also issued a statement marking the anniversary. 

 "I had the honor of representing Harvey's old district on the Board of Supervisors. For those of us who are LGBT and serving in elected office, Harvey continues to be an inspiration and role model for what it means to be out, proud, and making change in our communities," he said. 

Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman will host a commemorative event at San Francisco City Hall at 12:30 p.m. along with former Mayor Willie Brown, Cleve Jones and members of the Moscone family.

At Tuesday night's Oakland City Council meeting, Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, Oakland's first openly lesbian councilmember, will offer an "in memoriam" to honor Milk's legacy.

 "Harvey Milk was an inspiration and role model for me," Kaplan said in a statement. "His outspoken leadership, commitment to justice and hope, and proud fight for LGBT rights while also actively working with broad coalitions for workers' rights and racial and social justice, have helped 
inform my own work and been a beacon of hope to many."