Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another Famous Patron from Empress History

In past blog entries, we've seen that Claire Huffaker, a Hollywood screen writer, and Glade Peterson, the founder of the Utah Opera, spent their youth here in Magna, probably enjoying a movie here at the Empress from time to time. Here is another former Magna native that made a name for himself. Howard Jarvis.

Stories differ on whether Jarvis was born in Magna or in Ogden, but he was raised here in Magna, and graduated from Cyprus High School in 1921 or so. It seems likely that Jarvis would have seen the Empress being built in 1917. It is certainly likely that he spent a few evenings watching early movies as a young man.
For those of you who don't recognize Jarvis, this is what Wikipedia says about him:
Howard Jarvis (September 22, 1903 - August 11, 1986) was an American politician.

Jarvis was born in Magna, Utah, and died in Los Angeles, California. In Utah he had some political involvement working with his father's campaigns and his own. His father was a state Supreme Court judge and, unlike Jarvis, a member of the Democratic Party. Howard Jarvis was active in the Republican Party and also ran small town newspapers. Although raised Mormon, he smoked cigars and drank vodka as an adult. He moved to California in the 1930s due to a suggestion by Earl Warren.

Jarvis was a Republican primary candidate for the U.S. Senate in California in 1962, but the nomination and the election went to the liberal Republican Thomas Kuchel. Subsequently, he ran several times for Mayor of Los Angeles on an anti-tax platform and gained a reputation as a harsh critic of government. An Orange County businessman, he went on to lead the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and spearheaded Proposition 13, the California property tax-cutting initiative passed in 1978 which slashed property taxes by 57% and initiated a national tax revolt.
Jarvis collected tens of thousands of signatures to enable Prop. 13 to appear on a statewide ballot, for which he garnered national attention. The ballot measure passed by a two-thirds margin. Two years later, voters in Massachusetts enacted a similar reform measure

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