50 years in 50 weeks: 1979, White Night riots

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday June 2, 2021
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Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive
Photo: Courtesy B.A.R. Archive

The Bay Area Reporter's May 24, 1979 issue reported on the riots that took place May 21, after Dan White was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, rather than murder, in the November 27, 1978 assassination of gay San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk. The verdict shocked the city, with the paper noting that gay men and women began assembling in the Castro before proceeding to City Hall, where many were met by police with tear gas. Some people returned to the Castro, where police in riot gear beat them. A focal point was outside the old Elephant Walk bar, where windows were smashed and people screamed. It was a dark day in the city's history. To view the issue, click here.

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