SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed Saturday Harvey Milk Day on what would have been the slain gay rights activist’s 91st birthday.

Milk became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. A year later, he was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by former supervisor Dan White on Nov. 27, 1978.

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While it has been nearly 43 years since that fateful day, Milk’s impact still looms large in San Francisco.

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“Milk paid the ultimate price for his advocacy when he was struck down by an assassin’s bullet just a year into his term on the Board of Supervisors,” Newsom wrote in his proclamation. “His legacy lives on in laws and policies that protect the LGBTQ community and in the hearts of generations of activists.”

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“As we honor Harvey Milk today, let us remember his words, ‘Hope will never be silent,'” Newsom continued. “Members of the LGBTQ community — in the United States and around the world — still face discrimination and violence, rooted in the same hatred that Milk died fighting. They deserve hope and they cannot abide our silence. We must carry on his fearless advocacy as we work towards a California for All.”