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Glenn M. Anderson Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SPC-1983-001

Scope and Content

The Glenn M. Anderson collection (1928-2000) contains papers and materials documenting Anderson’s long career in California and national politics. Anderson became involved in the California Democratic Party in the 1930s, when the Republican Party was dominant throughout the state, and from his earliest days he worked to strengthen his own party on the local and state level. In 1940, at age 27, Anderson became the youngest mayor in the United States and, except for a couple short periods, he remained in elected politics until 1993. During this time, in addition to his years as mayor, Anderson served as State Assemblyman, Lieutenant Governor, and United States Congressman. In addition to holding elected office, Anderson worked on behalf of the Democratic Party as Chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, and he was one of the founding Chairs of the California Democratic Council, which helped vitalize the Democratic Party throughout California. Throughout his life, he kept a home in the South Bay of Los Angeles County, and his career is marked by a close personal contact with the region and Anderson’s many constituents there

Personal Files cover the breadth of Anderson long political career. The biographical items cover aspects of Anderson’s education, family, and businesses outside of politics. They also include extensive scrapbooks and press clippings that Anderson collected from his earliest years in elected office through retirement. Personal files also contain materials generated by Anderson or his office, including speeches, press releases, tributes, and statements before Congress as noted in the Congressional Record. Correspondence files in this section contain letters exchanged with major figures in California and national politics, including John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Edmund G. Brown, Adlai Stevenson, and Alan Cranston, among others. Political files in the section contain materials related to Anderson’s campaigns for the various elected offices he held during his career, and they include campaign notes, rosters, mailing lists, and items dealing with fundraising. There are also large numbers of files dealing with local politics and politicians, most of them in California. These files contain correspondence and other materials that help document Anderson’s life-long work on behalf of the California Democratic Party, particularly his pioneering work with the California Democratic Council and the Democratic State Central Committee of California.

The collection contains a small number of materials from Anderson’s years as mayor of Hawthorne. These consist primarily of budget-related and legal items, stationery, newspaper clippings, campaign items, and correspondence.

While there is material related to the Democratic Clubs of California throughout the collection, one small series is dedicated to Anderson’s earliest involvement in the Young Democrats and various Democratic Clubs, which set the stage for his later entry into state and national office. correspondence, records, and newsletters reflect Anderson’s abiding interest in grassroots politics, one which he would expand in the 1940s and 1950s, when he spearheaded the Democratic Club movement that allowed the party to compete against the then-dominant Republican Party on all levels.

The State Assembly materials consist of correspondence, State Assembly and State Senate bills and other materials showing Anderson’s involvement with most of the major social issues facing California in the 1940s, including Japanese-American imprisonment in World War II and the Alien Land laws, racial segregation, pollution, and infrastructure improvements. In some cases, such as school desegregation, Anderson and the state were addressing these issues long before they played out on the national stage. These materials are also noteworthy as they document Anderson’s contentious relationship with the conservative State Senator Jack Tenney, then Chairman of the Senate Fact-finding Committee on Un-American Activities. Anderson ran unsuccessfully against Tenney for State Senate in 1950, after which Anderson left elected politics until running for Lieutenant Governor in 1958.

Materials comprising Anderson’s two terms as Lieutenant Governor focus largely on his work as California’s ambassador to the rest of the world, documenting his travels abroad, as well as his efforts to stay in close contact with California Democrats on the local level. The years that Anderson and Governor Brown served in Sacramento are among the most momentous in state history, and these files contain files document Anderson’s close involvement with vital issues such as education, offshore oil development, the closing and disposition of Alcatraz, and the improvement of California’s infrastructure. Of particular note are items related to the development of California’s historic Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California system, and the formation of the California State College (later University) system. The Lieutenant Governor files also provide a great deal of material related to the Watts Riots and the ensuing McCone Commission investigation. These materials show press and public responses to Anderson’s handling of the Watts Riots, and help illustrate how they contributed to the political rise of Ronald Reagan, who, along with Robert Finch, defeated Brown and Anderson in the 1966 gubernatorial elections.

The majority of the collection is devoted to Anderson’s long tenure in the House of Representatives. Administrative records show the workings of staff and office and details all legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Anderson. Anderson maintained a close connection to his constituents, and this is reflected by the copious correspondence he maintained. Much of this is related to everyday requests (for tours, flags, or academic recommendations), while a small sample of other case letters show Anderson’s willingness to help constituents deal with government agencies, including Social Security, armed forces, and the Internal Revenue. There are numerous files detailing Anderson’s work on two major committees: the Committee on Public Works and Transportation (which he chaired for a short time) and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. While these files show Anderson at work on a national stage, they also show his ongoing concern with his home state and region, particularly emphasizing his efforts to protect wildlife and coastlines, aid to fisheries, development of mass transportation in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, and infrastructure projects such as the 105 Freeway (later renamed for him) and the Alameda Corridor project. This interest is further illustrated by the extensive subject files Anderson maintained at his Washington and Long Beach offices, each containing reports, correspondence, notes, copies of speeches, and information relating to the local communities in Anderson’s home district.

The large photograph collection gives a pictorial history of Anderson’s entire career, showing him with many fellow politicians, heads of state, celebrities, and other prominent persons. There are also a number of personal photos of family and friends, photos of others inscribed to Anderson, and photos of locales, landmarks, and events. The warm regard that constituents and legislators felt toward Anderson is show by the large number of certificates, awards, plaques, tributes, and commemorative artifacts in the collection.

When Anderson donated his papers to CSUDH in 1993, the university formed the Glenn M. Anderson Collection Advisory Committee, both to oversee initial processing of the collection and to make it accessible to researchers and educators. The collection contains meeting minutes, correspondence, financial records, and records leading to completion and publication of the final manuscript of Glenn M. Anderson: Conscience of California, by Myron Roberts and Harold Garvin.

Dates

  • 1870s-2000
  • Majority of material found in 1940-1994

Creator

Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

History/Biography

Glenn M. Anderson was born on February 21, 1913 in Hawthorne, California, a city that Anderson would serve as mayor, Assemblyman, and Congressman. His parents had moved to California from Chicago in 1906, and were the first settlers in newly-established town of Hawthorne, located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County. Except for a brief period when the family lived in the San Bernardino County town of Cima, Anderson would maintain a home in the South Bay area for the rest of his life.

Following the death of Anderson’s father in 1925 and his brother’s disappearance in 1928, Anderson began his working life at age 18. While still attending high school, he began work as Postal Telegram Messenger, delivering telegrams first by bicycle, then later by motorcycle. Even while attending college at UCLA, Anderson’s enjoyment of motorcycle riding led to a brief career in the emerging sport of short track racing and occasional stunt work in Hollywood films. With the money he earned from races and motion pictures, Anderson opened a small garage in Hawthorne, one which soon grew to be one of the few thriving businesses in the Depression-hit town. As a successful local businessman, Anderson was urged to run for City Council. Upon winning a seat, his fellow Councilmen elected him to the mayor’s position. In 1940, Anderson at age 27 was the youngest mayor in the United States.

At the same time he was beginning his career in municipal politics, Anderson was also working in the California Democratic Party, then eager to make gains in traditionally-Republican California. In 1936 he had helped organize a local Young Democrats chapter, soon became treasurer and then president, and in 1938 was elected a member of the Los Angeles County Central Committee (LACCC). In 1942, Anderson became a member of the Democratic State Central Committee of California (DSCCC), serving on the executive board, and was eventually elected Chairman of the DSCCC in 1950, by unanimous vote.

As mayor, Anderson bypassed parochial business-as-usual corruption and graft that defined local politics, and began to place Hawthorne on a larger stage, convincing the Roosevelt Administration to build a long-delayed water filtration plant in the city as part of the Works Progress Administration. He was also instrumental in helping build the Hawthorne Municipal Airport as a draw to emerging aircraft companies, including future aviation giant Northrop. With the outbreak of World War II, Hawthorne and its surrounding area become vital in constructing airplanes for the war effort, with the air industry employing thousands.

In 1943, Anderson left the Hawthorne mayor’s office after winning election to the State Legislature, representing the 46th District. After occupying the office briefly, Anderson waived the deferment granted to legislators, and enlisted in the Army, serving for the duration of the war. Upon discharge, Anderson returned to the State Legislature, winning re-election in 1945, 1947, and 1949. During his years in the California State Legislature, Anderson focused on education, aid to veterans, and improving California’s infrastructure. He authored the bill establishing El Camino College in his district, and pushed for the construction of bridges and highways that would link the South bay harbors in San Pedro and Long Beach to the rest of the state, and help make the harbors among the busiest in the world. Anderson also authored a bill outlawing segregation in California schools; it was signed into law in 1947, years before Brown vs. Board of Education outlawed segregation nationally.

Following an unsuccessful run for the California State Senate in 1950, Anderson left elected office for eight years. While focusing on his successful property investment and development business, Anderson continued with efforts to build up the state’s Democratic Party. In 1952, Anderson, along with other Democratic leaders, including future-Senator Alan Cranston, formed the California Democratic Council (CDC), with Cranston chairman in north California, and Anderson Chairman in Southern California. The CDC spearheaded the movement to establish hundreds of Democratic Clubs around the state, bringing thousands of people into the party on a local level, allowing them to discuss issues important to them and helping determine common goals. This grass-roots movement helped fuel the explosive growth of the Democratic Party in the state in the 1950s, helping it become competitive with the then-dominant Republican Party. Anderson believed the time was right to re-enter elective politics, and in 1957 he began to campaign for the Lieutenant Governor’s position. In 1958, he won his party’s nomination, then was elected to the office in the general election, serving with his fellow Democrat Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, who had been elected Governor. They were both re-elected in 1962.

Anderson was Lieutenant Governor during some of California’s most momentous years. As ex-officio Regent and Trustee, he helped preside over the 1960 creation of the California Master Plan for Higher Education, which made the University of California, the California State Colleges (later becoming the California State University system), and Community Colleges partners in an initiative that made higher education available to virtually any California resident. Anderson also chaired the Interstate Cooperation Commission, which helped California and Nevada control development in the Lake Tahoe area. Anderson worked on the California presidential campaigns of both Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy. In August, 1965, while Governor Brown was out of the country, Anderson was Acting Governor when the Watts Riots broke out in Los Angeles. Anderson received some public criticism for his handling of the crisis, and it became an issue in the 1966 gubernatorial race, in which Republicans Ronald Reagan and Robert Finch defeated Governor Brown and Lieutenant Governor Anderson, respectively.

In 1968, Anderson ran successfully for the U.S. Congress, representing the South Bay area, including his hometown of Hawthorne. He served twelve terms, spanning the years 1969-1993. During his years in office, Anderson focused largely on environmental protection and improving the nation’s infrastructure and harbors. He served most significantly on the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, which he briefly chaired, and the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.

While involving himself with national issues, Anderson remained committed to matters affecting California. He took particular interest in fisheries and the fishing industry, mass transportation systems for Los Angeles, San Pedro and Long Beach ports and harbors, and construction of major southern California highways, including the 105 Freeway and the Alameda Corridor. For his efforts on behalf of the 105 Freeway, it was renamed the Glenn M. Anderson Freeway in 1994. Anderson also remained closely connected to his constituents throughout his career. Anderson welcomed visits to both his South Bay and Washington offices, and he and his staff often helped constituents deal with other government agencies, including the Social Security Administration, the Armed Forces, Veteran’s Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service. In recognition of his service, there are parks, bridges, roads, and shipping channels throughout the South Bay that bear his name.

Anderson left the House of Representatives in 1993. He died on December 13, 1994. He was survived by three children and his wife, Lee (Dutton) Anderson. She had been active in the California Democratic Party when she met Anderson in 1949. They were married in 1957, the second marriage for both. A full political partner, Lee Anderson worked on Anderson’s campaigns, the Presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson, and she was deeply involved in supporting the United Nations.

Chronology

  • 1913 Born, Hawthorne, California
  • 1936 Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 1938 Member, Los Angeles Democratic County Central Committee
  • 1940-1943 Mayor and City Council Member, Hawthorne, California Member, Board of Directors, Los Angeles County Sanitation District
  • 1943-1945 Private and Sergeant, United States Army Infantry Marries Patricia Fleurichamp Anderson
  • 1942-1958 Member, California Democratic State Central Committee
  • 1943-1951 Member, California State Assembly, 46th District
  • 1948-1950 Chair, Los Angeles Democratic County Central Committee
  • 1949-1950 Chair, California Interim Committee on Highways, Streets, and Bridges
  • 1950 Defeated by Jack Tenney in run for State Senate Seat
  • 1950-1952 Chair, California Democratic State Central Committee
  • 1953-1954 Vice-Chair, State Central Committee 17th Congressional District
  • 1956-1957 First Vice-Chair, California Democratic Council
  • 1957 Married Lee Dutton Braude Anderson
  • 1959-1967 Lieutenant Governor, State of California Member and Chair, State Lands Commission Regent, University of California Trustee, California State Colleges Chair, California Interstate [Commerce] Commission
  • 1961-1967 Member, Commission of the Californias
  • 1963-1967 Member and Chair, California Council on Urban Growth
  • 1966 Defeated by Robert Finch in run for third term, Lieutenant Governor
  • 1969-1973 Member of Congress, 17th Congressional District Member and Chair, Surface Transportation Subcommittee (House Committee on Public Works and Transportation) Member and Chair, Aviation Subcommittee (House Committee on Public Works and Transportation) Member, Water Resources Subcommittee (House Committee on Public Works and Transportation)
  • 1973-1975 Member of Congress, 35th Congressional District
  • 1975-1993 Member of Congress, 32nd Congressional District
  • 1988-1992 Chairman, House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries Member, Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environment Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries) Member, Merchant Marine Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries) Member, Oceanography Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries) Member, Panama Canal and Outer Continental Shelf Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries)
  • 1993 Retires from Congress
  • 1994 Dies, San Pedro, California
1913
Born, Hawthorne, California
1936
Bachelor of Arts, University of California, Los Angeles
1938
Member, Los Angeles Democratic County Central Committee
1940-1943
Mayor and City Council Member, Hawthorne, California
Member, Board of Directors, Los Angeles County Sanitation District
1943-1945
Private and Sergeant, United States Army Infantry
Marries Patricia Fleurichamp Anderson
1942-1958
Member, California Democratic State Central Committee
1943-1951
Member, California State Assembly, 46th District
1948-1950
Chair, Los Angeles Democratic County Central Committee
1949-1950
Chair, California Interim Committee on Highways, Streets, and Bridges
1950
Defeated by Jack Tenney in run for State Senate Seat
1950-1952
Chair, California Democratic State Central Committee
1953-1954
Vice-Chair, State Central Committee 17th Congressional District
1956-1957
First Vice-Chair, California Democratic Council
1957
Married Lee Dutton Braude Anderson
1959-1967
Lieutenant Governor, State of California
Member and Chair, State Lands Commission
Regent, University of California
Trustee, California State Colleges
Chair, California Interstate [Commerce] Commission
1961-1967
Member, Commission of the Californias
1963-1967
Member and Chair, California Council on Urban Growth
1966
Defeated by Robert Finch in run for third term, Lieutenant Governor
1969-1973
Member of Congress, 17th Congressional District
Member and Chair, Surface Transportation Subcommittee (House Committee on Public Works and Transportation)
Member and Chair, Aviation Subcommittee (House Committee on Public Works and Transportation)
Member, Water Resources Subcommittee (House Committee on Public Works and Transportation)
1973-1975
Member of Congress, 35th Congressional District
1975-1993
Member of Congress, 32nd Congressional District
1988-1992
Chairman, House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries
Member, Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environment Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries)
Member, Merchant Marine Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries)
Member, Oceanography Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries)
Member, Panama Canal and Outer Continental Shelf Subcommittee (House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries)
1993
Retires from Congress
1994
Dies, San Pedro, California

Extent

649 boxes (plus six unprocessed boxes)

430 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection comprises papers related to the long political career of Glenn M. Anderson, who served in California as mayor of the city of Hawthorne, as State Assemblyman, and as Lieutenant Governor, then represented the state in the House of Representatives. The wide-ranging collection contains legislation, reports, correspondence, scrapbooks, newsletters, audio-visual material, and other items recording Anderson’s deep involvement in the political issues facing California and the United States, and his work with many of the major political figures of the twentieth century, including Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Adlai Stevens, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, and others.

Acquisition Information

Following his decision to retire in 1992, Glenn M. Anderson donated papers covering his long career to California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), which is located in the South Bay area Anderson had served for many years. CSUDH acquired the materials in December, 1992 and January, 1993.

Processing Information

Following donation of the materials, CSUDH formed the Glenn M. Anderson Collection Committee in June, 1993 to oversee both the processing of the collection and activities related to preserving and promoting the collection. Archivist Dan Lewis was hired on a part-time basis, and he oversaw processing of the collection through 1996, save for a period in 1994 when Tim Gregory served as Acting Coordinator of Archives & Special Collections at CSUDH. Rebecca Mead was hired as Project Archivist in 1997 and continued to early 1999. Further processing was done under the supervision of University Archivist Karen Jean Hunt. Final processing was completed by Tom Philo in 2008. Wherever possible the files retain the name and order that Anderson and his staff gave them.

A finding aid draft was completed during earlier processing, but authorship was not attributed. This earlier draft was vital to completion of processing and particularly this finding aid.
Title
Inventory of the Glenn Anderson Papers
Status
Partial
Author
Finding aid prepared by Tom Philo
Date
2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson CA 90747
310-243-3895