On this day 155 years ago Hiram Johnson was born to Annie De Montfredy and 1 term representative Grove Lawrence Johnson. While Hiram spent a lot of his time in public life as a member of the Republican Party, he has a large impact on the minor party political sphere that should not be overlooked as well.
During the 1912 Republican Primaries, Hiram was an active supporter of former President Theodore Roosevelt. Despite the fact that Roosevelt had the overwhelming support of the Party’s Primary Base, incumbent President William Taft had a stranglehold over the party so he was given the nomination. While other Roosevelt Supporters had pressured him to support Taft, Johnson was one of the leading figures to pressure him to continue his bid under the banner of the Progressive Party. Johnson had not only chaired the creation of this new party, but also was chosen to be the VP candidate.
Johnson had also used his position as the popular Governor of California to mediate a hostile takeover of the California GOP, essentially booting Taft off the ballot in favor of a coalition under the Roosevelt/Johnson ticket. His affiliation would eventually grow the California Progressive Party so much so that it would not only take Johnson to a second term without the GOP ballot line but also lead the California Progressives to be a viable party long into the 1960s, way past Johnsons death.
That are his major contributions to the Minor Party sphere, if you want to learn more about him I have a video about him out on my YouTube channel that goes a bit more in depth.