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Harvey Milk: A Great American Hero

1486 words - 6 pages

When we think about the great heroes of American history, those who caused great change are usually the first to come to mind. The great American heros are those who fight for change, even if it’s against social norms, to change the lives of people for the better. Heros are those who inspires others and puts others before themselves. Heros do not allow success to change them and never stops working for their goals. They do not allow other people, fear, or failure to stop nor slow them down. And in some cases, a hero will make the ultimate sacrifice for what they believe is right. The greatest heroes in American history remain to live on in the memories and the thoughts of the people whose ...view middle of the document...

He took his son back to the butcher to return the stolen salami. Because his family can not pay the bills, their heat is turned off which results in one of his children becoming sick. Without knowing Braddock promised his son he would never send him away, his wife, Mae, sends the children to live with his sister. Braddock knows the only way to get his children back is to find the money to pay the bills. Braddock sacrifices his own integrity to get the money, He goes to apply for relief and even goes to the boxing managers and board members and tell them that if he had anywhere else to go, he wouldn’t be there. He sacrificed his reputation and integrity to keep his promise to his son and to keep his family together. James J. Braddock fought through the hardships and the poverty he faced during the Great Depression all while refusing to give up his morals and making sacrifices for his family. This is enough to consider Braddock a hero, but he went on to make one of the greatest comebacks in history by beating all the odds and winning the heavyweight boxing championship. Not only did he win, but he gave hope to all those struggling through the depression by showing them that the common man, with hard work, could pull himself and his family out of the slump of the depression.
Although Harvey Milk is one of the few people in history to spark a movement that still continues today and continues to be a sense of hope and inspiration to people, he is often forgotten when thinking of American heros. It is commonly thought that Harvey Milk was the first openly gay United States official to be elected and that he was the Mayor of San Francisco, however this is not true. Harvey Milk is the most well known, active, and inspirational openly gay public official to be elected. From his move to San Francisco in 1972, to his election to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, and finally his assassination in 1978, Harvey Milk was a strong, outspoken advocate for gay rights. After three failed campaigns in 1973, 1975, and 1976 Harvey Milk was inaugurated on January 9th, 1978 making him the first openly gay elected official in the city and one of the first in the United States. He held a high moral code believing in equality for all, not just lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. In June of 1978 he campaigned against Proposition 6, which banned any gay citizens or gay supporters from teaching in public schools, and gave his famous “Hope Speech” at the Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco. By November his campaign paid off and Proposition 6 was struck down with over one million votes. Harvey Milk felt that no one should ever have to hide who they truly are or who they love and encouraging to be themselves others by saying things such as, “Gay brothers and sisters,... You must come out.” Harvey Milk was the driving force behind the sudden expansion of the gay rights movement. Unfortunately on November 27th, 1978 Harvey Milk and gay rights supporter,...

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