Correction: Robert Crown Library

After a tip from the State Senate’s own Bill Bailey that  the Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford University was not named after Assemblyman Robert W. Crown, I emailed the library to get an answer.

The response I got from the wise and resourceful Sarah Wilson (Reference Librarian & Archivist) was:

No, we’re named after a different Robert Crown.

Robert Crown Law Library is named in memory of Robert Crown (b. 1921, d. 1969), a business materials and real estate executive. Robert died of a heart attack in 1969 at age 48. He was the first of three sons born to Henry & Rebecca Crown of Chicago, Illinois. Henry Crown (b. 1896, d. 1990) was an industrialist and philanthropist whose generous donation to Stanford Law School in the late 1960s enabled the building of Crown Quadrangle which has been SLS’s home since its completion in 1975.

This page names other places in the country that have this Robert Crown as a namesake.

With that, I updated the site to make the correction. Major thanks to Bill Bailey and Sarah Wilson.

ACR 9 (Mitchell) – Black History Month

For the 14th consecutive year, the resolution proclaiming Black History Month contains a misspelling.

Matthew Henson

ACR 9 (by Holly Mitchell), which recognizes the contributions of Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. includes a name that it shouldn’t; Matthew Hansen.

According to Wikipedia, Matthew Henson was an African American explorer who made a number of expeditions including one (in 1909) “during which he may have been the first person to reach the Geographic North Pole.” As a notable individual, Henson would be an obvious choice for inclusion in the resolution.

Matthew Hansen

But the name found in the resolution is that of Matthew Hansen, a Canadian artist and blogger who published graphic novels. Although there is a small possibility that the author of the resolution intended to honor Hansen for his contributions to society, that’s unlikely.

It appears that the misspelling started in 1995, when Assemblyman Willard Murray introduced ACR 38 (relating to Juneteenth Day) which mentioned Matthew Hansen in a list of “gallant and accomplished African Americans who have played a major role in American history.” In 1999, Hansen made it into his first Black History Month resolution. He has remained there for the past decade.

Two years ago, I contacted the author’s office and suggested amending the bill to correct the name of the famed explorer. Unfortunately, a floor ceremony had already been scheduled and the amendment would have required postponing the event. Hansen gained another year.

Now, 18 years after the first inclusion, Matthew Hansen appears solidly entrenched as a part of Black History Month in California.

Correction: John Campbell resignation date

When State Senator John Campbell resigned in order to be sworn in as a Member of Congress, he wrote and signed his letter on December 7, 2005.

The letter wasn’t printed in the Senate Journal until January 4, 2006. This has led some sources, including us until this evening, to record the date of his resignation as having occurred in January.

However, because Governor Schwarzenegger had called the Special Election back on December 15th, it’s clear that it was vacant prior to January.