Hiram Johnson

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Hiram W. Johnson
Hiram Johnson CA.jpg
Former U.S. Senator from California
From: March 16, 1917 – August 6, 1945
Predecessor John D. Works
Successor William F. Knowland
Former Governor of California
From: January 3, 1911 – March 15, 1917
Lieutenant A. J. Wallace
John Morton Eshleman
William Stephens
Predecessor James Gillette
Successor William Stephens
Party Republican (until 1912)
Progressive (1912–1917)
Republican (1917–1945)
Spouse(s) Minne L. McNeal
Religion Episcopalian[1]

Hiram Warren Johnson (September 2, 1866 – August 6, 1945) was a progressive Republican from California who served as the state's governor and U.S. senator from the 1910s to the 1940s. He was known for being mostly liberal though he was an isolationist who opposed much of the globalist agenda in his time.[2]

U.S. Senate

During the presidency of liberal progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson, Johnson countered and helped defeat the League of Nations proposal.[3] He also opposed the U.S. adhering to the Treaty of Versailles.[4]

Johnson generally opposed the conservative wing of the GOP on domestic issues and supported some New Deal programs.[3][4] He even endorsed Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections, though opposed FDR's 1940 campaign. Despite his support for Roosevelt's agenda on domestic matters, Johnson opposed the internationalist agenda of the administration and voted against the U.S. joining the United Nations.[3]

Having fiercely spewed anti-Japanese rhetoric,[2] Johnson infamously wrote:[5]

The naturalization of Japanese would be most abhorrent to our people, and, of course, be vigorously resisted . . . It is an incontrovertible fact that the Japanese continue ever Japanese, that their allegiance is always to Tokyo, and even in the event of Naturalization, they would continue alien, and their loyalty would ever be, not to the United States, but to Japan.

This was in contrast to conservative Republicans like Colorado governor Ralph Lawrence Carr who rejected such bigotry as liberal Democrats and progressives including Johnson during World War II pushed for internment camps.[6] According to Allan Hida, who was interred during the war, such policies by President Roosevelt were because of pressure from progressives like Johnson and the atheistic left-wing Democrat Culbert Olson.[7]

Johnson died in office on August 6, 1945 and was succeeded by the more conservative William Fife Knowland.

See also


  1. Johnson, G to I. The Political Graveyard. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hiram Johnson. Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hiram Warren Johnson. encyclopedia.com. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hiram Johnson. Britannica. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  5. West Coat Tensions: The Push for Internment in World War II. University of Hawaii. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  6. Paul, Jesse (December 6, 2016). In Gov. Ralph Carr, Colorado has a shining light in the painful history of Japanese internment. The Denver Post. Retrieved June 5, 2021.
  7. Fryer, Chris (December 9, 2010). Allan Hida shares experience with Japanese internment camps. Sacramento Press. Retrieved June 5, 2021.

External links

  • Profile at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
  • Profile at United States Senate
  • Profile at National Governors Association