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California Briefing / Sacramento

Harvey Milk gets into Hall of Fame

August 26, 2009|Shane Goldmacher

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Harvey Milk, the slain gay-rights activist made more famous by the recent Oscar-winning film "Milk," didn't make Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's cut for the a statewide day of recognition last year.

But on Tuesday, Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced their selection of Milk, one of the first openly gay man elected to public office in the state, into the California Hall of Fame.

In 2008, Schwarzenegger vetoed legislation to proclaim May 22 -- Milk's birthday -- a date of "special significance." In his veto message, Schwarzenegger wrote that Milk's "contributions should continue to be recognized at the local level by those who were most impacted" during his term as a San Francisco supervisor. Milk was assassinated while holding that post in 1978.

On Tuesday, Milk was among 13 Californians the governor and first lady honored because they "embody California's innovative spirit and have made their mark on history," according to the announcement.

The other members of the incoming Hall of Fame group are entertainer Carol Burnett, former Intel chief executive Andrew Grove, former Gov. Hiram Johnson, decathlete and philanthropist Rafer Johnson, industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, philanthropist and peace activist Joan Kroc, filmmaker George Lucas, football commentator John Madden, artist Fritz Scholder, author Danielle Steel, bodybuilding pioneer and Schwarzenegger mentor Joe Weider, and Air Force pilot Chuck Yeager.

-- Shane Goldmacher

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