Hiram Johnson

23rd governor of California from 1911 to 1917

Hiram Warren Johnson (September 2, 1866August 6, 1945) was an American attorney and politician who served as the 23rd governor of California from 1911 to 1917. Johnson achieved national prominence in the early 20th century. He was elected in 1916 by the state legislature as the United States Senator from California, where he was repeatedly re-elected and served until 1945.

Hiram Johnson

As a governor, Johnson was a leading American progressive. He ran for vice president on Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive ticket in the 1912 presidential election. As a US senator, Johnson became a leading liberal isolationist, among those "Irreconcilables" who opposed the Treaty of Versailles and rejected the League of Nations. Later, Johnson was also a vocal opponent of the United Nations Charter.

AttributedEdit

  • The first casualty when war comes is truth.
    • Widely attributed to Johnson, but without any confirmed citations of original source: "The first casualty when war comes is truth," remarked Hiram Johnson, "and whenever an individual nation seeks to coerce by force of arms another, it always acts, and insists that it acts in self-defense" (Locomotive Engineers Journal, February 1929, p. 109). Arthur Ponsonby earlier said: "When war is declared, Truth is the first casualty", but the first recorded use seems to be by Philip Snowden in his introduction to Truth and the War, by E. D. Morel. London, July 1916: "'Truth,' it has been said, 'is the first casualty of war.'" Samuel Johnson expressed a similar idea: "Among the calamities of war may be jointly numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates and credulity encourages." Cf. Aeschylus#Misattributed.

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