C. C. Young bigraphy, stories - ]Governor of California

C. C. Young : biography

1869-4-28 - 24 December 1947

Clement Calhoun Young (April 28, 1869 – December 24, 1947) was an American teacher and politician who was affiliated with the original Progressive Party and later the Republican Party. He was elected to five consecutive terms in the California State Assembly, serving from 1909 to 1919, then as the 28th lieutenant governor of California, holding that office from 1919 to 1927. On November 2, 1926, he was elected in a landslide victory as the 26th governor of California and served from 1927 to 1931. Young is considered to have been one of the last governors from the Progressive movement.


Young was married to Lyla Jeannette Vincent and had two daughters, Barbara Young and Lucy Young.


Beginning his governorship on January 4, 1927, Young's agenda included reorganizing the state's various commissions and departments into his cabinet to better coordinate state governmental affairs. "Some system like this would, I believe, be far more businesslike and effective than such haphazard and infrequent consultations as must otherwise normally take place between a Governor and our numerous unrelated boards and commissions," Young said.

Among his other priorities were: the financing of the state highway system through a fuel tax rather than by state bonds; more clearly defined roles for the State Board of Education and the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction to eliminate conflicting duties; upholding the direct primary; and the creation of penal facilities specifically for convicted females, believing that "San Quentin is no place for our women prisoners."

In his first year of office, Young signed a bill passed by the California State Legislature authorizing the creation of a California State Parks Commission. Headed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., the survey commission investigated lands across the state suitable for state protection and developed plans for their future financing. A year later in a voter initiative supported by Young, state voters approved the creation of California State Park system.

In late June 1927, Young personally intervened for Charlotte Anita Whitney, a member of the Communist Party of the United States, who had been convicted under the 1919 Criminal Syndicalism Act passed under Governor William Stephens. In 1919, Whitney had been arrested in Oakland after defying civic authorities in making a speech in behalf of John McHugh, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. The anti-syndicalism law used to prosecute her had recently been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court which held that threats of violence against the state and individuals did not constitute free speech and was not protected by the First Amendment. Following the high court's decision, Young granted Whitney an unconditional pardon, believing that putting her into a cell was "unthinkable." Young added that the law under which she was convicted was undoubtedly constitutional, but that "abnormal conditions attending the trial" greatly influenced the jury and that "under ordinary circumstances" the case never would have been prosecuted.

On November 23, 1927, inmates at Folsom Prison rioted, taking control of a majority of the interior facilities, and took several prison guards as hostages. Young responded by mobilizing the California Army National Guard, ordering commanders to encircle the prison with their units, supported by heavy machine guns and two tanks shipped by train from Salinas. The heavy show of military force in full view of the rioters forced the revolting prisoners to capitulate peacefully.

In 1928, starring alongside British actor Ronald Colman, Young appeared in the film short Governor C.C. Young Hails Greater Talkie Season, appealing to early talking picture audiences to attend family-friendly movies and to ignore films that depicted negative images of society.

In 1929, Young signed the law creating the California Highway Patrol.

In October 1929, Young, along with President Herbert Hoover, established the Hoover-Young San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge Commission to investigate the feasibility of a bridge linking the East Bay to San Francisco. The commission submitted its report in August 1930, concluding that not only was the bridge necessary to the development of the area, but that it was "entirely feasible from economic and construction viewpoints." The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge eventually was completed and opened to traffic in late 1936.

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Living octopus

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