Oral History Guide Interview Summaries



Transcripts of the California State Archives' oral histories are available for purchase. They are printed on acid–free paper and the price includes postage and handling. Please contact the oral history program coordinator, Sebastian Nelson to discuss payment and shipping options.

Oral history interviews conducted by the Regional Oral History Office are available to view in the California State Archives Research Room. Copyright laws limit the number of pages the California State Archives can reproduce from these volumes. Researchers must contact the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley to obtain full transcripts of these volumes.


Interview Summaries (J)

Jahnsen, Oscar J. (OH W–24)

Enforcing the Law Against Gambling, Bootlegging, Graft, Fraud, and Subversion, 1922–1942. (1970).

As a Prohibition agent, tracking down bootleggers, rum runners, and smugglers, Jahnsen first became acquainted with Earl Warren, then vigorously enforcing the Prohibition laws as district attorney of Alameda County. Warren provided Jahnsen and his colleagues with office space in the DA's suite of offices, and the two offices collaborated closely. Jahnsen describes Warren's efforts to uphold Prohibition and the standards of evidence then acceptable in state and federal courts. Jahnsen also discusses Japanese–American relocation during World War II. He describes the efforts by county officials, acting on requests from the attorney general, to plot Japanese landholdings on county maps. From this and related evidence Warren concluded that the Japanese constituted a danger, and recommended to the Tolan Committee that they be removed. Jahnsen himself played a role in enforcing Executive Order 9066.

Contact the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library to purchase a copy of this transcript.



Jenkins, James E. (OH R–19)

"Public Affairs, Welfare Concerns in Washington and Sacramento," Internal and External Operations of the California Governor's Office, 1966–1974. (1983). Assistant to the Governor and Director of Public Affairs, 1971–1974.

Jenkins discusses how in 1969 the Family Assistance Plan to federalize welfare programs was introduced. After calling attention to contradictions between FAP and Reagan's philosophy, Jenkins soon became the "team leader" for the governor's efforts to prevent FAP from being enacted.

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Jensen, Lowell (OH W–45)

"Reflections of the Alameda County District Attorney," Perspectives on the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, Vol. III. (1972).

Jensen notes that it was during Warren's tenure of office, efforts were made to ensure that the office reflects the range of ethnic and other groups in the community. He discusses the departmentalization of staff instituted by Warren, and the increasing specialization of staff since then. Jensen explains the valuable function that inspectors serve in reworking cases for trial and in original investigations. He then discusses problems and possibilities associated with the use of the grand jury. Jensen assesses Warren as district attorney and as Chief Justice.

Contact the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library to purchase a copy of this transcript.



Jervis, John V. (OH 91–13)

Oral History Interview with John V. Jervis. (1990). Assistant Deputy State Controller, 1978–1985; Director, State Senate Democratic Caucus, 1977–1978; Assistant to the Senate Majority Leader, 1972–1975.

Jervis discusses political campaigning and press relations for Senate Majority Leader George Moscone and Controller Kenneth Cory, service on several state boards as a representative of the controller, the duties and special concerns of Cory, and the Senate Democratic Caucus under Senator John Dunlap.

Transcript price: (55 pp.) $21.00



Jester, Lloyd (OH W–44)

"Reminiscences of an Inspector in the District Attorney's Office," Perspectives on the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, Vol. II. (1970).

When Prohibition was repealed, Jester was asked to join Warren's new investigative staff. He describes how the district attorney's office was organized, noting several of Warren's innovations. Jester comments on the organization and administration of the Dept. of Inspectors and the close cooperation that existed between the deputy district attorneys and the inspectors. His comments shed light on procedures of criminal investigation acceptable in the 1930s.

Contact the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library to purchase a copy of this transcript.



Jewett, Emelyn Knowland (OH KB–23)

"My Father's Political Philosophy and Colleagues," Remembering William F. Knowland. (1979).

Knowland discusses the 1952 convention and the presidency, the decision to run for governor, the 1958 campaign and the issues, giving Oakland leadership, Richard M. Nixon, and supporters and friends.

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Johnson, Estelle Knowland (OH KB–23)

"My Father as Senator, Campaigner, and Civic Leader," Remembering William F. Knowland. (1979).

Johnson discusses the 1952 election, the 1957 decision not to run again for the senate, the 1958 campaign for governor, Knowland's relationship with Nixon, Knight, and Warren; Asia interests, the 1956 Republican convention, work with Oakland the California Republican Party from 1958 to 1974, and major contributions to California.

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Johnson, Gardiner (OH 90–20)

Oral History Interview with Gardiner Johnson. (1973, 1983). Assembly Member, 1935–1946. Republican State Central Committee, 1934–1946, 1950–1982; Republican National Committee, 1964–1970. (pdf ~ 8.83 MB, 250 pages)

Johnson discusses his career as California state assemblyman 1935–46 and Republican party activities 1932–66, including Alameda County politics, legislative friction with Governors Culbert Olson and Earl Warren, criminal justice and penal reform, Youth Authority, lobbying, World War II postwar employment and public works planning studies and legislation, state tax legislation; election campaigns 1934, 1942, 1952–64, including Republican national conventions.

Transcript price: (249 pp.) $30.00



Johnson, Miriam Dinkin (OH W–47)

"The King–Ramsay–Conner Defense Committee: 1938–1941," The Shipboard Murder Case: Labor, Radicalism, and Earl Warren, 1938–1941. (1975). Secretary–Treasurer, 1938–1942.

Johnson describes in some detail the organization and functioning of the committee, its long, frustrating struggle to free the men, and the effects of prison on the men themselves.

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Johnson, Ross (OH 2004–12)

Oral History Interview with Ross Johnson. (2003–2004). Assemblyman, 1978–1995; Senator, 1995–2004.

Ross Johnson talks about his family background and childhood, political background and early political involvement. He discusses campaigning and election to the Assembly, the conservative agenda, and his time as Republican Minority Leader. He speaks of legislative leaders and the effects of term limits. Next, he talks of his election to the Senate. He details the governor's veto power, reapportionment issues and reform, campaign finance reform and ethics. He also discusses the open primary idea, Governor Jerry Brown, state spending and budget reform, and energy deregulation.

Transcript price: (212 pp.) $27.00



Johnston, Patrick (OH 2003–2)

Oral History Interview with Patrick Johnston. (2002–2003). State Legislator, 1981–2000.

Johnston discusses his family background and education, early political interests, and jobs. He covers his years in the Assembly and Senate, and such legislation as the Delta Protection Act and the bill for reparations for Japanese Americans. He comments on legislative leaders and colleagues. He also details his campaign strategy and his opinions on Prop. 13, education, workers' compensation, HMO reform, lobbying, and term limits.

Transcript price: (475 pp.) $60.00



Jones, Bill (OH 2004–08)

Oral History Interview with Bill Jones. (2003). California State Assembly, 1982–1994; Secretary of State, 1994–2002.

Bill Jones discusses his early years and background, life on a farm, and his education experiences including his time as Fresno State student body president. He talks about his early campaigns for an Assembly seat, Central Valley and agricultural issues, and budget issues. He speaks of his election to the Assembly and becoming Minority Leader. Jones gives details about the Three Strikes Law and his defense of term limits. He also comments on his campaign for Secretary of State and his time in the office during which time improvements the office's technology and development and expansion of programs occurred. He also discusses his decision to join the governor's race, the budget crisis, and the Governor Gray Davis recall.

Transcript price: (157 pp.) $27.00



Jones, Walter P. (OH W–4)

"An Editor's Long Friendship with Earl Warren," Bee Perspectives of the Warren Era. (1969, 1970).

Jones discusses his impressions as editor–in–chief of the McClatchy newspapers in observing Earl Warren as attorney general and later as governor.

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Jorgensen, Frank E. (OH W–46)

"The Organization of Richard Nixon's Congressional Campaigns, 1946–1952," Richard M. Nixon in the Warren Era. (1975).

Jorgensen discusses the 1946 campaign unseating Jerry Voorhis, Richard Nixon's re–election to Congress in 1948, the 1950 senatorial race against Helen Gahagan Douglas, the 1952 victory for Eisenhower/Nixon, and the 1968 presidential race.

Contact the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library to purchase a copy of this transcript.



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