Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in San Francisco and international icon for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, was among the 13 individuals inducted into the California Hall of Fame this year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Joining the likes of director George Lucas and health care planner Henry J. Kaiser, Milk was selected by Governor Schwarzenegger and California first lady Maria Shriver for fitting the museum’s search for “remarkable individuals who embody the innovative spirit of the Golden State and who have changed the world by pursuing their dreams.”
The highly symbolic induction honors Milk’s legacy as one of the most important political figures in LGBT history, and in California’s past. Shriver told the Chronicle, “This is a passion of mine—to tell the story of California, its past, its present and to inspire people to contribute to its future.”
Assassinated in 1978, Milk was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this year, and his birthday, May 22, was signed into state law as Harvey Milk Day by Governor Schwarzenegger in October.
Stuart Milk, Milk’s openly gay nephew, accept- ed his uncle’s award. “Wherever I go—Istanbul, Turkey; Madrid, Spain; Panama City, Panama— Harvey’s story gives people hope. Even though we still have a long way to go in the world and U.S….he really is a beacon of light for the com- munity,” he said. “And I’m very proud that the governor signed the Harvey Milk holiday bill. I think it will save lives, and it makes this event so much more meaningful.”
According to the Chronicle, the Milk exhibit at the California Museum, on display through next October, features a time capsule created by Milk’s lover Scott Smith which includes a rain- bow flag, a tape recording of one of Milk’s speeches, and a lock of his hair.