Stamp of Approval
If you are a philatelist or new to stamp collecting, the unveiling of a commemorative stamp by the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a major event! The latest stamp honoring Harvey Milk, the first openly Gay elected official, is no exception. Sales for the stamp have drawn long lines, while other buyers have chosen to purchase stamps online directly from the USPS.
In selecting Milk for this honor, the USPS praises Milk for giving "hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination."
The hostility and discrimination referenced included two prominent campaigns during 1977-1978, the period of Milk's election and service on San Francisco's Board of Supervisors. The national campaign, Save Our Children, led by Anita Bryant to fight nondiscrimination legislation in Miami and California's Proposition 6, calling for the identification and mandatory firing of LGBT teachers. Milk was an outspoken, engaged advocate who encouraged personal risk to fight discrimination and homophobia. Both Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated November 27, 1978 in San Francisco City Hall. The gunman was found not guilty of murder via the Twinkie Defense.
Your Library card connects you to a varied collection of print and electronic resources on the history of civil and political rights in the United States (and elsewhere), including Colorado's Amendment 2. If you want to learn more about Harvey Milk, the following Library items are a great place to start!
- An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk's Speeches and Writings
- The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts (see also Shilts' masterpiece of investigative journalism, And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic)
- The Times of Harvey Milk, documentary aired in 1984 and narrated by Harvey Fierstein
- Milk, film starring Sean Penn as Harvey Milk
Locally, Harvey Milk will also be remembered and celebrated. The Denver Gay Men's Chorus will premier I Am Harvey Milk, a fitting tribute for a man who believed "Hope is never silent." For more information on dates and times, please visit Rocky Mountain Arts Association.