November 27 marks the anniversary of the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, a terrorist attack against a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs and Canada approving legislation recognizing “that the Quebecois form a nation within a united Canada.”
Assassination of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk
November 27, 1978 was a defining day for the city of San Francisco. Former Supervisor Dan White, brutally shot and killed Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk (the city’s first openly gay Supervisor). Of the nine shots fired, four were to the victims’ heads including the final two fired with the gun barrel touching Milk’s skull.
White had intended to also kill Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver and California Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, but fled City Hall instead.
White, who confessed to the killing, was convicted only of manslaughter after he argued diminished capacity due to depression (which was incorrectly dubbed “the Twinkie defense”). This led to the “White Night Riots” in San Francisco.
White served five years of a seven-year sentence. Less than two years after his release he committed suicide in 1985.
Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Attack
A self-described “warrior for the babies” entered into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and opened fire. When police arrived, the gunman fired at them and held them at bay for five-hours, surrendering only after a SWAT team armored vehicle crashed into the lobby. The gunman killed a police officer and two civilians and injured four civilians and five police officers. He was found incompetent to stand trial and is being held in a mental institution indefinitely.
Canada Approves “Quebecois Nationhood“
The issue of Quebec has been a source of division in Canadian politics, especially after secession votes in 1980 and 1995. On this day in 2006, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper sought to put this resolution to rest by the passage of a resolution stating that the House of Commons recognizes “that the Quebecois form a nation within a united Canada.”
While Canadian public opinion was split on this issue, the motion was intended to preempt a similar motion by Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, that omitted the language “within a united Canada”.
[Duceppe] knew that the motion would probably be rejected, but argued he could use this to show that Canadians once again did not recognize the identity of Quebecers. If the motion did pass, he could use it to make claims on Quebec sovereignty.