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Harvey Milk was born on May 22 1930 at Woodmere Hospital in Long Island New York His official name derived from his Lithuanian ancestry was Glimpy Milch Epstein By the age of fourteen he was cruising in Central Park and at seventeen he was arrested for indecent exposure he was shirtless which in 1947 was indecent Andryszweski 26 He was issued a warning and let go Three months after graduating from New York State College for Teachers in 1951 where he majored in Mathematics Milk enlisted in the US Navy to stop the Communists in Korea He quickly rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer on the USS Kittyhawk Milk claims to have been dishonorably discharged for being homosexual though records do not bear this out Milk returned to Long Island where he held jobs as a teacher insurance actuarial and Wall Street Investor His social and political conservatism held out thru the early 1960s during which time he volunteered for Barry Goldwater Embracing the hippie culture Milk moved to San Francisco in 1972 where he opened up a camera store on Castro Street Despite the clear view of his populist vision his intense evaluation of the socio-economic crisis confronting contemporary America and his powerful defense of personal liberties Harvey Milk has been forgotten by the majority of Americans His is not a household name bringing only blank stares or the faintest of recognition It is ironic that the notorious twinkie defense Epstein of his assassin is better remembered by Americans than Milk himself Those who do remember Milk remember him only as a minor footprint in American history--the first openly homosexual man to be involved in elective office in the United States To remember Milk solely for his sexual behavior however is not only to misunderstand him but his concept of gay pride as well Harvey Milk was one of the most fascinating and sensible populists of the past half-century a man
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