Thursday, December 29, 2011

Utt the Nut helped put "under God" in the Pledge

     Back in November of 2005, the OC Register published a "book"—a one-off magazine, really—entitled, 100 People Who Shaped Orange County (see at left). No doubt it presents exactly the kind of white-washed history that makes our pal Gustavo Arellano piss and moan, but still, it does touch on important OC people, including Tustin's C.E. Utt, born in 1866 or thereabouts.
     Clarence Utt  was eight years old when he arrived with his family in "Tustin City" in 1874, and it wasn't much, comprising only "a small store, a blacksmith shop, a few shacks and acres of mustard grass" (according to 100 People). When his father died in 1891, the twenty-five year old Utt took over the family store and later took on the Tustin Water Works, turning it into a moneymaker. According to the Reg, if anything important happened in Tustin, "Utt was there." He went into agriculture, including citrus (with the likes of James Irvine), and eventually became the "Orange County goober king."
James B. Utt
     In 1899, goober boy had a son, namely—you guessed it!—James B. Utt, who ultimately served as an OC Congressman from 1953 until his death in 1970 (he was replaced by John Schmitz), about the time that the new Saddleback Community College was planning construction of a library. It was named the James B. Utt Memorial Library in 1973.
     We've noted previously that Utt ("the Nut," as he was sometimes called) sought to remove the U.S. from the United Nations and had a few unfortunate and embarrassing things to say about African Americans during the Civil Rights era. 
     But get this: according to the Utt article on p. 38 of 100 People, James B. "helped lead the effort to add 'under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954." 
     Gosh, thanks James.
     As you know, the SOCCCD and Saddleback College have been loci of legal skirmishes, in recent years, concerning the so-called "separation of church and state." (See Westphal v. Wagner.)
     Here's the "Utt" article in 100 People (click on graphic to enlarge):

Photo: James is the boy at left
     According to a recent Saddleback College Lariat editorial, the college plans to change the library's name (it is undergoing extensive remodeling). 
     How 'bout the "Not Under God" Library? Godless Library? Porky Library?

4 comments:

  1. Utt was replaced by Schmitz, eh? From the frying pan into the fire. Schmitz is the father of Mary Kay LeTourneau and a male child whose penis was very nearly severed when an unknown person tightly tied a human hair around it.

    We really know how to grow us some politicians here in OC, donchaknow.

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  2. Not an unknown person, 5:20. It was Schmitz' mistress--er, his gal on the side. You know how it is with staunch and righteous OC right-wingers. If they weren't usually gay or infidelitizing or blowing up in the ocean, they'd be no fun at all.

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  3. Oh, come now, BvT. You have no proof whatsoever that it wasn't Schmitz himself who tied that square knot.

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