San Francisco: 1978

The year 1978 was an extraordinary one for San Francisco. In November, the mass murder at the People’s Temple compound in Jonestown, Guyana, followed less than two weeks later by the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, shook the city and shocked many San Franciscans. Earlier that year, San Francisco’s punk rock movement began to come of age, offering a uniquely San Francisco brand of punk. In the southeast corner of the city, the San Francisco Giants led its division for most of the summer before finishing in third place, attracting bigger crowds than any Giants team since the franchise began playing in New York in the late 19th century. Looking back at 1978 in San Francisco’s history is essential to understanding the city it is today.

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Lincoln Mitchell

Writer, analyst, pundit and kibitzer. For more information, visit