As a veteran of World War I and an active member of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Committee, Nelson Dilworth had a lengthy involvement with California’s military history.
Through his work in the legislature, Dilworth maintained contact with veterans organizations from prior conflicts including Indian Wars and Spanish American War.
1930s A brochure for the Spanish American War Veterans organization (front and back)
1939 (Oct. 1) Letter Indian War Veterans re event invitation
1937 (Nov. 10) Letter United Spanish War Veterans re fishing licenses for veterans
Dilworth had just received his appointment as a rural letter carrier in Hemet when the crisis at the southern border escalated into the Pancho Villa Expedition in early 1916. Dilworth made contact with the local National Guard unit based in Riverside, and they encouraged him to see if it might be possible for him to take a leave from the post office in order to join their upcoming deployment to Mexico.
Dilworth made contact with the post office about the possibility but they made it clear that under no circumstances would that be possible (short of Dilworth resigning his appointment). Having just spent several years attempting to secure that employment, Dilworth stayed put in Riverside. He did, however, receive an Un Peso note from a local soldier participating in the expedition.
1915 Currency – “Un Peso de Chihuahua” (brought back to California by returning National Guard soldiers)
1916 (May 15) A letter from the A letter from the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General about postal employees joining the National Guard
1916 (June 6) Letter California National Guard Captain Walter Davidson about meeting up to discuss membership in the National Guard
World War I
World War I had a massive impact on California. If you remember back to the age before the age before COVID, the last gubernatorial election (in 2018) resulted in the largest turnover of the Executive branch since 1911. Well, that influx resulted in a far lower turnover of state executive officers in 2022 than we’ve seen in quite a while. In fact, with only one constitutional officer departing (State Controller Betty T. Yee), Californians elected only one new constitutional officer (BOE Member Sally J. Lieber) in 2022. This is the lowest turnover of the state’s elected executive branch since 1962, when Superintendent of Public Instruction Max Rafferty was the sole new arrival.
“Hewitt Roblee was in a great many narrow escapes, at one time lying flat on his face under the ambulance to escape shrapnel fire.”Fomer Assemblyman Miguel Estudillo (letter of May 18, 1934)
1918 Photograph of Harold Hyland (a schoolteacher from Hemet who deployed to France and was killed in action on September 1, 1918). The American Legion Post 53, in Hemet, was named for Hyland.
1934 (May 18) Letter from former State Senator Miguel Estudillo about his service in WWI
1921 (April 14) A notarized application by Guy F. Carl of Hemet for a WWI Victory Medal
1920s Notes by Nelson Dilworth about injuries sustained by local veterans (Riverside County) during their service in WWI.
1939 Legislation (Assembly Bill 737 of 1939) calling on the state to collect sapling trees from the battlefields of WWI to be planted on the grounds of state facilities.
1938 1101 Campaign flyer from the Veterans Nonparisan League regarding the gubernatorial contest between Merriam and Olson
American Legion Documents:
1919 (Aug 18) Letter from American Legion rejecting the first attempt to charter a post in Hemet
1919 (Oct. 8) Booklet of Resolutions from the First American Legion Convention in California
1919 American Legion Bylaws and Constitution
1919 (Oct. 18) Program for 1st American Legion Convention in CA
1919 (Oct. 21) Letter American Legion re new Hemet Post
1919 (Nov. 9) Envelope from San Bernardino American Legion Post
1922 American Legion IDs
1960 Photo American Legion group
1960 Photo American Legion group
World War II
In the final months before the attack at Peal Harbor, tensions were rising as nations around the world fell into war. In California, legislators were working on a gradual expansion of the California State Guard.
During World War II, the California State Guard had a naval component by Act of the Legislature (Senate Bill No. 36 Approved by the Governor 31 January 1942)
“I have just been through the Iwo Jima and Okinawa Campaigns with a goodly cross section of future American voters and it is my impression that they will not take kindly to surrendering liberty for any “cradle to grave” security. I have seen them fight and die for liberty and I believe they would rather fight for security too.”Lt. Commander J. Norman O’Neill (from a 1945 letter written aboard the USS Bladen)
1941 (Feb 1) Letter from Leland Yost about the California State Guard and High School Cadet Corps
1941 (Dec. 29) Letter from Karl Glasbrenner at Glen Falls Insurance about the State Guard Bill and his status as a Private First Class in the State Guard.
1942 (Jan 12) Letter from Leland Yost about the State Guard bill
1942 (Jan 19 Telegram from American Legion regarding the State Guard bill
1942 (Jan 21) Telegram Rev Carruthers USS Oklahoma Chaplain
1942 (Jan 31) A letter from Hunter Engineering (of Riverside) regarding their application to receive military protection as a defense plant.
1942 (Feb 4) A letter from the Food Machinery Corporation regarding their plant being “extensively engaged in defense work” and working with the military to get police protection.
1942 (Feb 11) Resolution by the City of Beaumont to the Defense Council about the State Guard
1942 (Aug 17) A 1942 letter from the California Bureau of War Minerals Production regarding the production of strategic minerals (including tungsten)
1943 0222 Telegram R E Combs re Am Legion visit to Manzanar
1943 (Dec. 11) Letter from the First Congregational Church about State Guard chaplains
1945 (June 5) A letter written in August 1945 by a sailor on a ship near the Ryukyu Islands (and a sample of the local currency used there during the war)
1945 (June 11) Letter J Norman Oneill USS Bladen re UNKNOWN
1943 Japanese Resettlement
1943 (June 23) Letter Desert Sentinel re return of Japanese Americans from internment camps
If you remember back to the age before the age before COVID, the last gubernatorial election (in 2018) resulted in the largest turnover of the Executive branch since 1911. Well, that influx resulted in a far lower turnover of state executive officers in 2022 than we’ve seen in quite a while. In fact, with only one constitutional officer departing (State Controller Betty T. Yee), Californians elected only one new constitutional officer (BOE Member Sally J. Lieber) in 2022. This is the lowest turnover of the state’s elected executive branch since 1962, when Superintendent of Public Instruction Max Rafferty was the sole new arrival.
“The fact that about one-third of our veterans did not previously reside in California should have a very chastening effect when we contemplate inviting others to come to our State…”Former Assemblymanm Clifton E. Brooks (letter of March 21, 1947)
1945 (Oct. 3) Letter from Governor Earl Warren about returning veterans
1945 Report Vocational Training for Veterans
1945 1945 Reports CUAC and Japanese Problem
1947 (June 27) Letter from the California Adjutant General Victor Hansen regarding the California Cadet Corps
1946 (Jan. 3) Letter from the California Adjutant General Victor Hansen re armories
1949 (July 12) Letter from the National Guard regarding a missing soldier
1946 (Feb.) Booklet about the California Legislature’s Special Session for Veterans Legislation
1947 (Mar. 21) Letter from Clifton Brooks (a veteran of World War I who served two terms in the State Assembly immediately after the war) about veterans legislation (page 1 and page 2)
Cold War Text Here
1943 0315 Documents Communist recruitment
1943 0820 Letter SOS Frank M Jordan re Communist ballot law
1950 0000 AGITPROP Booklet Communist and Communist Front Org…
1950 0000 AGITPROP Booklet How to Spot a Communist
1950s Flyer Communist Event
1950s Flyer Communist Books
1957 0101 Constitution of the Communist Party of the USA
1957 0329 Telegram re Linus Pauling Communist