On September 25, 1976, Peoples Temple sponsored a testimonial dinner for its leader, Jim Jones. The guest list was a Who’s Who of city and state officials and progressive activists, ranging from Lt. Governor Mervyn Dymally and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, to Angela Davis and former Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver. Assemblyman Willie Brown served as Master of Ceremonies, and California State Senator Milton Marks presented a plaque with a recently-passed Senate resolution commending Jones’ work.
Among other presentations made that night was a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, “in appreciative public recognition of distinction and merit.”
According to Tim Reiterman in Raven (p. 306), organizers of the dinner made sure the guests in the church headquarters on Geary Avenue in San Francisco knew what an honor it was to be there. There were supposedly numerous other venues scattered around the cities where other, presumably less-distinguished invitees watched the proceedings on closed-circuit television. However many people witnessed the events – several hundred in the Temple itself, upwards of “8000” others elsewhere – it was the high point of the year for Jim Jones and arguably his crowning moment in San Francisco.
San Francisco Board of Supervisors Certificate of Honor, RYMUR 89-4286-BB-17-b