DAVIS, Calif. — Bob Warren, the son of former California governor and late Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, has made preserving history his mission. His home in Davis looks like a typical house from the outside, but it’s home to political artifacts that could be found at the Smithsonian.
Warren is the first to admit he didn’t care about politics growing up. In fact, he was happy his father didn’t win his vice-presidential election because he was just starting to make friends in Sacramento and didn’t want to move to D.C.
However, it’s hard to ignore the role his father played in shaping America. Warren’s collection started with three buttons that were made for his father’s vice-presidential run with Thomas Dewey in 1948.
“I would say those three buttons that my mom gave me are probably my prized collection because that got me started,” he said.
His father’s bid for VP was unsuccessful, but the former California governor would be appointed to the Supreme Court by President Dwight D. Eisenhower five years later.
“I have those four metal parking signs up there. Somebody may look at that and say, ‘Why would I want those? Maybe throw it away,' but they represent each president that my dad swore into office,” Warren said.
As chief justice, his father presided over one of the most progressive courts in history. He wrote the majority opinion for Brown v. Board of Education, which desegregated schools, and Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage.
“As for him making a decision of a change, it would never occur. He would never make that. He would discuss it with somebody and take in what they had to say,” Warren said.
It’s a viewpoint many didn’t like back then, leading to calls for his impeachment.
“This is the impeachment of Earl Warren drawer. These are the buttons when people didn’t agree with him on the Supreme Court,” Warren said.
While Bob didn’t pay attention to government affairs growing up, he now has something from every election dating back to Abraham Lincoln.
But if he could say one more thing to his dad, it would have nothing to do with politics.
“I would ask him, ‘Would you still like to go hunting?’” Warren said.
Warren’s office is full of political artifacts, like the brush JFK used to brush his hair in the debate against Richard Nixon in the 60s.
You can see many of his artifacts in just a few weeks at the American Political Items Collectors (APIC) Convention in Reno the weekend of July 17.
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