California's Political Past, Online

December 4, 2008 · Posted By John Myers · Filed Under CA Politics 

[note: still trying to figure out why the formatting is mucked up below... apologies]

Call it a glimpse into California's political past.

That's one way to describe a collection of fascinating photographs now online from the archives of Time and Life magazines. The photos, hosted by -- who else -- Google offer an incredible glimpse at everything, everywhere, for the better part of the last 150 years.

But this is a blog about California politics... and the archive doesn't disappoint on that front.

Reagan 1966, Photo: Time, Inc.

There are an awful lot of photos of Ronald Reagan in his campaigns for governor, like this candid shot from 1966. The legendary incumbent he beat that year is also a photo favorite.

Pat Brown 1962, Photo: Time Inc.

Photos of Pat Brown are numerous. This is a great shot from 1962 of the Democrat watching Richard Nixon on TV, the same year that Brown defeated Nixon for another term as governor.

Pa Brown 1961, Photo: Time, Inc.

There are also an awful lot of photos of Brown away from the office, like this 1961 photo of him surfing in Hawaii; the candid photos show a politician unafraid of being seen at play... a far cry from the pols of the modern era.

Jess Unruh 1970, Photo: Time, Inc.

A foil of both Brown and Reagan, the legendary Jess Unruh, is also featured in a series of Life photos; this one is only pegged with a date of 1970 (perhaps from his gubernatorial run?). Unruh, the once powerful speaker of the Assembly, is mislabeled in a few other photos... most notably in the poignant photo of Robert F. Kennedy just moments before his assassination, where Unruh is noted as the mayor of Los Angeles (a job he unsuccessfully campaigned for a few years later).

Warren and Knight 1953, Photo: Time, Inc.

And going backwards from that point, this photo is also worth noting: a chat between then outgoing Governor Earl Warren and incoming Governor Goodwin Knight, taken in the governor's Capitol office in 1953.


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