Feinstein: “It was the Hardest Moment of my Life”

Statue of famed SF supervisor unveiled

A bust of former San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk was unveiled during a ceremony on Treasure Island Tuesday afternoon.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom were scheduled to attend the unveiling along with former Mayor Willie Brown and Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk's nephew, organizers said.

The unveiling of the bust at the Treasure Island Job Corps Center, an education and vocational center for disadvantaged youth, will also mark the 30th anniversary of Milk's assassination.

The bust will be placed at the job corps because of Milk's dedication to youth advocacy along with his other human rights efforts, according to organizers.

The job corps will also name a campus building the Harvey Milk Memorial Administration Building in the late supervisor's honor.

Harvey Milk was born May 22, 1930 and in 1977 became the first openly gay elected official for a major U.S. city. Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed by former Supervisor Dan White on Nov. 27, 1978.

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein alsoreflected on the assassination of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, nearly 30 years after she found his body lying on an office floor in San Francisco City Hall.

"I remember it as if it was yesterday," Feinstein said.

She said she struggled for years to speak about the tragedy, which she refers to as one of the hardest moments of her life.

Speaking to members of the media at her San Francisco office, Feinstein said of Milk, "He was a character in many respects. He could be very funny. He could be very intense. He could be very loud."

Milk and former Mayor George Moscone were fatally shot by former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White at City Hall on Nov. 27, 1978.

Feinstein, who was president of the Board of Supervisors at the time, recalled hearing the shots, leaving her office and finding Milk's body before learning that Moscone had also been killed.

Feinstein said today White did not kill Milk because of his sexual orientation, but rather because he felt betrayed when he was not able to reclaim his seat on the board after resigning.

"What people don't know is that Dan White and Harvey Milk were friends," Feinstein said, adding they used to meet for coffee in the Castro nearly every week.

"Dan White was a troubled man under a lot of pressure," Feinstein said.

Because of her position as president of the board, Feinstein became mayor after Moscone's death. She was then elected to the post twice.

At today's event, she called the two years after the assassinations the most difficult political years of her life.

"What it did to the city was divide it right down the middle," Feinstein said.

A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today on Treasure Island to honor Milk. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Gavin Newsom, former Mayor Willie Brown and Stuart Milk, nephew of Harvey Milk, are scheduled to attend.



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