Glenn M. Anderson Collection

Cover of Roberts and Garvin's book on Anderson

Glenn M. Anderson: Conscience of California, A Biography of the Congressman who Reshaped Politics in the Golden State by Myron Roberts and Harold Garvin. Los Angeles : California State University Dominguez Hills Foundation, 2001.

This book is available for research use in the Gerth Archives and Special Collections Department.

Background information on Glenn Anderson

Glenn M. Anderson was born in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and always considered the region his home. As young man, Anderson turned an early interest in motorcycles and racing into an automobile repair business, then branched into home construction, helping to establish the Hawthorne Savings and Loan when big banks proved indifferent to local needs. Although his parents were Republicans, Anderson was active in the Democratic Party during the Depression, becoming a member of the Los Angeles Democratic County Central Committee in 1938. From 1939 to 1940, he chaired the Hawthorne Democratic Club and was a member of the Hawthorne City Council. In 1940, Anderson was elected Mayor of Hawthorne (one of the youngest mayors in the country), and immediately sought to bring additional resources to his community. Anderson successfully obtained a WPA water filtration system, a seawall, and, ultimately, an airstrip with which he attracted Northrop Aviation to the area. Anderson was elected to the California State Assembly in 1942, resigned in 1943 to serve in the U.S. Army, and returned to the Assembly in 1945. He shared a desk--and early commitments to civil rights and the environment--with Gus Hawkins, one of the first African American legislators in California. While in the Assembly, Anderson supported transportation and fair housing legislation, as well as measures to outlaw school segregation and to establish institutions of higher education. Between 1949 and 1950, Anderson chaired the Interim Committee on Highways, Streets and Bridges, which developed a statewide system of highways five years before the federal highway project.

In 1950, Anderson gave up his Assembly seat to challenge State Senator Jack Tenney, California's version of Joseph McCarthy, losing by a very small margin. Between 1951 and 1958, Anderson held no elected office, but continued his efforts to strengthen the historically weak California Democratic party. He served as chair of the Los Angeles County Central Committee (1948-1950), Head of the State Central Committee (1950-1952), and was instrumental in the California campaigns of Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy. In January 1953, Anderson and future U.S. Senator Alan Cranston founded the California Democratic Council (CDC), a statewide network of grassroots clubs. Mrs. Lee Anderson was also an important participant in this effort. The resultant support base helped Anderson win the lieutenant governorship in 1958, while Pat Brown became California's Democratic governor. Anderson served on a number of important state commissions as part of his duties, while many of his other projects reflected his ongoing interests in the environment, transportation, and education. During the 1966 election, Republicans Ronald Reagan and Robert Finch used Anderson's support for the University of California and his controversial handling of the Watts riot during Brown's absence from the state to defeat Anderson's re-election campaign.

Anderson successfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1968, serving until his retirement in 1992. The bulk of the material in the collection is from this period. During Anderson's tenure in Congress, he sat on the Committee on Public Works and Transportation (briefly as chair), and on the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. Congressman Anderson was noted for his ability to remain in close touch with the needs of his constituency, both personally and in terms of bringing important benefits to the area. In the first case, Anderson and his staff fielded a tremendous number of requests for help from his constituents when they ran into trouble with government agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the Armed Forces, the Veterans Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service. More generally, Anderson was instrumental in obtaining a number of major infrastructure development projects. For example, his determined advocacy resulted in the transformation of the combined ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach into one of the largest in the world. He helped establish major flood control programs, the Alameda Corridor project, and was so instrumental in the construction of the 105 freeways that it now bears his name. A number of other projects have also been named for Glenn Anderson in tribute to his dedication and service. Glenn Anderson died in 1994.

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Biographical Summary

ANDERSON, Glenn Malcolm, a Representative from California, 17th Congressional District.

Born in Hawthorne, Los Angeles County, Calif., February 21, 1913.

B.A., University of California, 1936.

Served with the United States Army, World War II.

Elected mayor of Hawthorne in 1940 at the age of twenty-seven.

Elected to the California State assembly, 1942-1948.

Lieutenant Governor of California, 1959-1967.

Chairman and member, State Lands Commissions, 1959-1967.

Regent, University of California, 1959-1967.

Member of the Board of Trustees of California State Colleges, 1961-1967.

Elected as a Democrat to the Ninety-first (and to the eleven succeeding) Congress, January 3, 1969-January 3, 1993

Died, in Long Beach, California, 1994.

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Glenn M. Anderson Papers

Following his decision to retire from the U.S. Congress in 1992, Anderson chose to donate his voluminous papers to the Gerth Archives & Special Collections at CSUDH, a university he had helped shepherd into existence during his years as California’s Lieutenant Governor. The materials include legislation, reports, correspondence, scrapbooks, newsletters, photographs and audio-visual material, artifacts, and other items recording Anderson’s deep involvement in the political issues facing California and the United States. Processing of the collection was completed, and a finding aid written, in 2008.

Collection Series Descriptions

PERSONAL/POLITICAL FILES, 1921-1994. Series contains personal and political items covering the entire span of Anderson’s life and political career. Personal materials include those related to Anderson’s Southern California businesses, education, military service, and family, including wife Lee (Braude) Anderson and stepson Evan Braude. Writings include the draft and materials related to Anderson’s unpublished book, "The Political Assault on Higher Education.” Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings document Anderson’s entire career, and include obituaries and tributes printed upon Anderson’s death. The series also contains materials generated personally by Anderson or by his office under his name, including speeches he gave as Lieutenant Governor and Congressman, newsletters, press releases, tributes, and statements before Congress. There are also files Anderson kept relating to local politics and politicians, containing correspondence, programs, schedules, and related materials. Files are arranged largely by form. Most files are in chronological order; correspondence and political files are in alphabetical order

MAYOR OF HAWTHORNE FILES, 1940-1941. Series contains budget-and legal-related items, correspondence, office letterhead, and campaign materials. Items related to Anderson’s mayoral years may also be found in the scrapbook and newsclippings sections, as well as the Personal Files – Correspondence section.

DEMOCRATIC CLUBS FILES, 1938-1940. Files include correspondence, records, and newsletters of some of the first Democratic Clubs to which Anderson belonged. Materials related to California Democratic Clubs are also included in series throughout the collection, including General Political, State Assembly, Lieutenant Governor, and Subject File series.

STATE ASSEMBLY FILES, 1937-1950. Files comprise correspondence, reports, press releases, notes, copies of bills, and other California legislative materials. Includes much material about Anderson’s efforts to build and strengthen the California Democratic Party, as well as files dealing with most of the major issues of Anderson’s years in the State Assembly, including the Alien Land Law, racial discrimination and school desegregation, pollution, infrastructure, and the Tenney Committee.

CALIFORNIA LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR FILES, 1959-1983, bulk 1959-1967. Series includes correspondence, reports, memoranda, press releases, hearing transcripts, minutes, notes, copies of bills, printed material, and radio scripts. There are a number of files devoted to Anderson’s ambassadorial travels as Lieutenant Governor, as well as files containing materials about the Watts Riots and ensuing McCone Commission hearings. Much of the material is arranged alphabetically in subject files.

U.S. CONGRESSIONAL FILES, 1969-1992. This large series includes administrative files dealing with everyday maintenance of Anderson’s California and Washington offices, including guest books and financial records. Voluminous correspondence files include those dealing with requests for tours, flags, and letters of recommendation, invitations, questionnaires, and faxes. Many of the correspondence files comprise Anderson’s efforts to help constituents dealing with other government agencies (note: though much of the more detailed case file correspondence has been removed, a small sample has been retained to show Anderson’s close involvement with constituents). Materials are generally arranged in chronological order, with some sections further arranged alphabetically. Subseries detail Anderson’s work on two major committees: Public Works & Transportation and Merchant Marine & Fisheries. These subseries contain administrative files, correspondence, and subject files. Much of the material is arranged roughly chronological and alphabetical order. The legislative subseries documents Anderson’s work on specific legislation, and includes roll calls and voting records, as well as draft and final copies of bills and resolutions that Anderson sponsored or co-sponsored. Files also include supporting correspondence, notes, memoranda, reports, and budget materials. Legislative materials are arranged chronologically and filed by bill or resolution number.

SUBJECT FILES, 1943-1991. Series comprises files Anderson maintained at both his Washington and Long Beach offices. Includes reports, articles and other printed material, clippings, memoranda, speeches and press statements, minutes, resolutions, and miscellany. Long Beach subject files contain some materials Anderson retained from earlier offices, including State Assemblyman and Lieutenant Governor. Arranged alphabetically by subject.

ARTIFACTS, ca. 1946-1994. Series contains certificates, awards, plaques, models, shovels, oversize photos, and other items given to Anderson in appreciation by organizations or groups. Also included are some phonograph records, audiotapes, and videotapes of Glenn Anderson or events in which he participated, such as the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPHS, 1870s-1990s. Series includes photographs of Anderson, often with other politicians (both California and national), celebrities, or organizations. There are also photographs of politicians or celebrities, some inscribed to Anderson, events, ceremonies, locations, or subjects that have interest or connection to Anderson.

ANDERSON COMMITTEE FILES, 1993-2001. Series includes meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, financial materials, and manuscripts detailing work by the committee formed to facilitate processing of the Glenn M. Anderson papers at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and work leading to the publication of Glenn M. Anderson: Conscience of California, by Myron Roberts and Harold Garvin.

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