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Inventory of the Stephen Zetterberg Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Stephen Zetterberg Papers
    Dates: 1946-1993
    Collection number: C107.1
    Creator: Stephen Zetterberg, California Democratic Council Member
    Collection Size: 2 cubic feet
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Abstract: The Stephen Zetterberg Papers consist of 2 cubic feet of records reflecting Zetterberg's activities in the California Democratic Council (CDC), the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee, and Democratic Party. Zetterberg was instrumental in the formation of the CDC, a statewide grassroots association of Democratic Clubs and County Committees.
    Physical location: California State Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Stephen Zetterberg Papers, C107.1.[Series Number], [box and folder number], California State Archives, Office of the Secretary of State, Sacramento, California.

    Acquisition and Custodial History

    The California State Archives acquired the Stephen Zetterberg Papers through a transfer with a signed deed of gift.


    Stephen Zetterberg was born in in Galesberg, Illinois in 1916. As a teenager he moved to Claremont, California with his family and graduated from Claremont High. He then went on to earn his bachelor's degree in government at Pomona College in 1938. Zetterberg was also awarded a fellowship from the National Instiute of Public Affairs in 1938 and he married Connie Lyon in 1940. After graduation from Yale Law School in 1942, he served with the United States Coast Guard. In 1945, Zetterberg was an assistant to United States Senator Scott Lucas in Washington, D.C. The next year Zetterberg returned to California to take the bar exam as well as work for the Jerry Voorhis congressional campaign. After Voorhis lost to Richard Nixon, Zetterberg joined the law firm of Carter, Young and Zetterberg in Pomona. In 1948, Zetterberg was the Democratic candidate that ran against Nixon for Congress. Due to cross-filing Nixon defeated him the primary. Zetterberg ran again in 1950 but lost in the general election to Patrick Hillings.
    As an active member of the Democratic State Central Committee, Zetterberg worked for Pat Brown's gubernatorial campaign in 1958 and was appointed to the State Board of Health in 1959 and served there until 1966. Governor Brown also placed him on a panel to study the health needs of California as well as the Governor's Committee on Medical Aid and Health.
    Zetterberg was also instrumental in the formation of the California Democratic Council (CDC). The CDC is the statewide grassroots association of Democratic Clubs and County Committees. Founded in 1952 by a group of Democrats, including Alan Cranston, to win back political control of the state from Republicans, CDC supported the growth of California's modern Democratic club system. CDC was a driving force behind the state's development as a Democratic stronghold in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Zetterberg served on its Board of Directors as representative of the 24th and 25th congressional districts. His focus within the CDC was the Issue Committee on Medical Care and the Resolutions Committee both of which he chaired.

    Scope and Content

    The Stephen Zetterberg Papers consist of 2 cubic feet of records reflecting Zetterberg's activities in the California Democratic Council (CDC), the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee, and Democratic Party. Zetterberg served on the CDC's Board of Directors through the 1950s and 1960s. The files are organized as a single series and follow in generally chronological order. The files serve as a snapshot of Democratic Party politics in Southern California during the 1950s and 1960s. Zetterberg's papers chronicle the rise of the CDC from its roots in the Adlai Stevenson presidential campaigns of 1952 and 1956 and Democratic Luncheon Club to the height of the its influence on California politics.
    The CDC files document Zetterberg's political activities from 1948-1968. Included is his correspondence with other members of the California Democratic Council along with examples of political campaign materials, most notably from the 1966 California Gubernatorial campaign, drafts of CDC resolutions on topics that range from health to the Vietnam War and policy statements, CDC newsletters and other publications, CDC Medical Care Report drafts materials and CDC Convention packets. There are also folders that have documents pertaining to Zetterberg's congressional campaigns in 1948 and 1950 and John Anson Ford's run for Secretary of State in 1958. The Democratic Luncheon Club folders contain the invitations to speakers and the cards mailed to members announcing the meetings. Also includes two folders that were used by Zetterberg for his Oral History in 1993.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Stephen Zetterberg
    California Democratic State Central Committee
    Democratic Party (Calif.)