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Finding Aid for the Norris Poulson Papers, 1938-1976
787  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Norris Poulson Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1938-1976
    Collection number: 787
    Creator: Poulson, Norris, 1895-1982
    Extent: 5 boxes (2.5 linear ft.) 23 oversize boxes
    Abstract: Charles Norris Poulson (1895-1982) was elected and served in the California State Assembly (1938-42), was elected to the House of Representatives in 1942, served as mayor of Los Angeles (1953-61), and was a member of the California Water Commission (1965-68). The collection consists of scrapbooks, clippings, documents, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia related to the life of Norris Poulson including Poulson's autobiography, and materials related to his career as a California assemblyman, U.S. Congressman, and Los Angeles mayor.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Biography

    Charles Norris Poulson was born on July 23, 1895; attended Oregon Agricultural College, 1914-15; farmed 1916-23; moved to Los Angeles in 1923; attended Southwestern University, 1923-25; began his own accounting business about 1925, passing the California CPA examination in 1933; was elected and served in the California State Assembly (1938-42); first elected to the House of Representatives in 1942; served as mayor of Los Angeles (1953-61); served as a member of the California Water Commission (1965-68); he died on September 25, 1982.

    Chronology

    July 23, 1895 Born Charles Norris Poulson, Baker County, Oregon
    Fall 1913 Attended Oregon Agricultural College
    Fall 1914 Attended business college in Baker City, Oregon
    February, 1915 Became accountant for J.F. Bryant, Haines, Oregon
    December 25, 1916 Married Erna June Loennig
    1916-1923 Farmed in Baker County, Oregon
    Spring 1923 Moved to Los Angeles, California; became a bookkeeper for Square Oil Company
    ca. 1925 Began accounting business of his own
    1933 Passed California CPA examination
    1938 Elected to the California State Assembly for the Los Angeles 56th District
    1939 Investigated the California Athletic Comm.
    1940 Re-elected to the California State Assembly
    November, 1942 Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the California 13th District
    November, 1944 Lost the congressional race for re-election to Ned Healy
    1945 State lobbyist for California CPA Association
    November, 1946 Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
    1948, 1950, 1952 Re-elected to serve as Representative; served on the House Public Lands Comm. (now the Interior Comm.)
    December, 1952-May, 1953 Campaigned as Los Angeles mayoralty candidate against Fletcher Bowron
    May 26, 1953 Elected mayor of Los Angeles
    July, 1953 Settled the Los Angeles Public Housing issue
    1956 Involved in the Los Angeles rubbish issue; served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention for Richard M. Nixon
    1957 Was re-elected mayor of Los Angeles
    1957-1959 Involved in the Los Angeles Major League Baseball issue
    September, 1959 Hosted Premier Nikita Khrushchev during his visit to Los Angeles
    1961 Lost the mayoralty election to Samuel Yorty
    1965-1968 Served as member of the California Water Commission, participating in the California bond issue.
    1969- Retired and residing in Tustin, California

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists of scrapbooks, clippings, documents, correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, and related material of former Los Angeles mayor Norris Poulson. Includes Poulson's autobiography, The genealogy and life story of Erna and Norris Poulson. Includes materials related to his career as a California assemblyman, U.S. Congressman, and Los Angeles mayor, as well as signed letters and photographs of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Mayor Fletcher Bowron, Mayor Samuel Yorty, Nikita Khrushchev, Earl Warren, and others.

    Expanded Scope and Content

    Norris Poulson's career as a California Assemblyman, Representative and member of the House Committee on Public Lands, and mayor of Los Angeles spans the time period 1938-1961. The Collection of his papers consists, in the greater part, of 39 scrapbooks containing clippings and memorabilia covering Poulson's political career. The majority of the material covers Poulson's two terms as mayor. There is very little correspondence of a personal or official nature, but there are many letters signed by prominent political figures, foreign dignitaries, and celebrities.
    Particularly of interest are the extensive materials concerned with the California/Arizona water issue, the coverage of Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Los Angeles, and materials pertaining to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chavez Ravine deal with Walter O'Malley.
    As Congressman and Mayor, Poulson knew and associated with many prominent political figures and citizens. As Mayor Poulson met and hosted many celebrities and foreign dignitaries. The Collection contains many signed letters from and photographs of prominent people. Of note are: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, Mayor Fletcher Bowron, Mayor Samuel Yorty, Nikita Khrushchev, Earl Warren, and others.
    Also included in the Collection is an autobiography "The Genealogy and Life Story of Erna and Norris Poulson." The autobiography, like Poulson's oral history "Who would have ever dreamed," gives detailed accounts of Poulson's political career.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Poulson, Norris, 1895-1982--Archives.
    Mayors--California--Los Angeles--Archival resources.
    Legislators--United States--Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Scrapbooks.