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Hiram Johnson

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Hiram Johnson
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Governor of California
Former officeholder
In office
1911 – March 15, 1917
PartyProgressive
Personal
BirthdaySeptember 2, 1866
Place of birthSacramento, California
Hiram Warren Johnson (September 2, 1866 - August 6, 1945) was the 23rd Governor of California from 1911 to 1917, and a a United States Senator from 1917 to 1945. He served as Theodore Roosevelt’s running mate on the Bull Moose presidential ticket of 1912.[1]

Johnson is often credited with California's adoption of direct democracy. In his 1911 inaugural address, when he was first sworn in as Governor of California, he said:

"I commend to you the proposition that, after all, the initiative and the referendum depend on our confidence in the people and in their ability to govern. The opponents of direct legislation and the recall, however they may phrase their opposition, in reality believe the people cannot be trusted. On the other hand, those of us who espouse these measures do so because of our deep-rooted belief in popular government, and not only in the right of the people to govern, but in their ability to govern; and this leads us logically to the belief that if the people have the right, the ability, and the intelligence to elect, they have as well the right, ability, and intelligence to reject or to recall."[1]

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