Sunday, June 16, 2013

California Governor Culbert Olson

Culbert Olson was governor of California from 1939 to 1943.  He was a self proclaimed progressive and atheist.  He was my great-great uncle through marriage on my mom's side.
History has to judge whether Olson was a good governor or not.  He had been in politics in both Utah and California.  He was a staunch supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt.  Being an atheist he refused to say, "So help me God," as part of being sworn in.  Instead he said, "I will affirm."  Being a supporter of Roosevelt, he favored the forced removal of all Japanese from coastal areas, and relocation to inland camps.  "Testifying before a U.S. House committee on March 6, 1942, Olson, a longtime supporter of nearly every Roosevelt position on economics, politics and foreign policy, supported the move wholeheartedly. "Because of the extreme difficulty in distinguishing between loyal Japanese-Americans, and there are many who are loyal to this country, and those other Japanese whose loyalty is to the Mikado.  I believe in the wholesale evacuation of the Japanese people from coastal California." (Wikipedia quoting the United Press)
Olson lost his reelection bid to Earl Warren.  During his period as governor he battled with the Republican controlled legislature and the Roman Catholic Church.
Culbert Olson

Family of Culbert Olson with President Roosevelt

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