39 years ago today, Anita Bryant was iconically pied in the face by gay rights activist Tom Higgins.
Bryant was being interviewed for her crusade against homosexuals when the historic moment hit her right in the face.
“At least it was a fruit pie,” Bryant responded before bursting into tears and praying.
Bryant was the public leader for Save Our Children, a political coalition that was against homosexuals and sought to overturn an ordinance that prohibited discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation.
“What these people really want, hidden behind obscure legal phrases, is the legal right to propose to our children that theirs is an acceptable alternate way of life,” Bryant said in 1977. “I will lead such a crusade to stop it as this country has not seen before.”
The gay community retaliated against the campaign by boycotting Florida orange juice, as Bryant was their brand ambassador. Gay bars stopped selling screwdrivers and instead sold Anita Bryants, made with vodka and apple juice, the proceeds from which went to a fund that would help to fight against Bryant.
As a result, Bryant lost her contract with the Florida Citrus Commission, her marriage failed, and fundamentalist audiences and venues shunned her as she was no longer allowed to attend their events.
Bryant is still active today running Anita Bryant Ministries International. But she'll be forever remembered like this: