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  Christensen, Parley P.
NameParley P. Christensen
Los Angeles, California , United States
Born July 19, 1869
DiedFebruary 10, 1954 (84 years)
ContributorThomas Walker
Last ModifedRBH
Jan 02, 2016 04:09pm
Tags Single - ACLU - Agnostic - Unitarian - Disputed -
InfoParley P. Christensen, Utah attorney, politician, and presidential nominee of the Farmer-Labor party in 1920, was born on July 19, 1869 in Weston, Idaho, and moved to Newton, Utah, when he was a small child. After graduating from the University of Deseret in 1890, Christensen worked as a schoolteacher and principal in schools in Murray and Grantsville. While living in Grantsville he also served as city attorney and became active in Republican politics. In 1895 he was secretary of the Utah State Constitutional Convention. In 1899 he graduated from Cornell University law school; he then practiced law in Salt Lake City until he was elected Salt Lake County Attorney in 1900, one of the youngest people to ever hold that office.

Between 1900 and 1904 Christensen also served in various capacities as a Republican state officer, including party chairman. In 1902 he was defeated in a bid for renomination as county attorney but was re-elected to that office two years later. Each year from 1906 to 1912, Christensen unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Congress, challenging incumbent Representative Joseph Howell. In 1912, frustrated with his lack of success in Republican politics, Christensen joined the Utah Progressive party then championing Theodore Roosevelt for President, and was an unsuccessful Progressive candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Two years later he was elected to that office as a Progressive, serving one term in the legislature and supporting a number of reforms.

Parker was President of the Popular Government League, which was organized in Utah in 1916 to lobby for the establishment of a law for allowing initiatives and referendum in Utah.

During the period between 1915 and 1920 Christensen became increasingly involved with various left-wing and labor groups in Utah. He helped organize the Utah Labor Party in 1919; and he defended several radicals incarcerated at Fort Douglas, charged with opposition to American involvement in World War I. In June 1920 Christensen was a delegate to the joint conventions of the National Labor Party and the Committee of Forty-Eight (a progressive political group), held in Chicago. The two organizations wanted to merge, creating a new political party, and to nominate a presidential ticket for the 1920 elections. After serving as temporary chair of the convention, and gaining the approval of many delegates, Christensen was selected to be the presidential nominee of the newly created Farmer-Labor party. In the election he polled 265,000 votes, running in eighteen states, including Utah where he garnered more than 4,000 votes. After the election Christensen traveled extensively throughout Europe and Russia, meeting with Soviet leader V. I. Lenin.

After returning to the United States in 1923, Christensen settled in Chicago, where he was chair of the Illinois Progressive party and was its candidate for U.S. senator in 1926. In the early 1930s Christensen moved to California where he affiliated with the EPIC crusade of Upton Sinclair, with the Utopian Society, and with other leftist groups in the state. He served as a member of the Los Angeles City Council from 1935 to 1937 and from 1939 to 1949. In 1936 he was an unsuccessful Democratic congressional candidate. Christensen died in Los Angeles on February 10, 1954 at the age of 84.

Christensen was a close friend of fellow Attorney Clarence Darrow, who endorsed his Presidential run. Christiansen was also very tall, at 6'4", and had a vast array of white linen suits. He was also an active Esperantist and taught on the language.



Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 7.00000 Average

Father Peter Christensen 0000-
Mother Mette Sophia Christensen 0000-

  05/31/1949 Los Angeles City Council - District 9 Lost 36.87% (-26.26%)
  04/05/1949 Los Angeles City Council - District 9 Open Primary Won 50.00% (+0.00%)
  04/01/1947 Los Angeles City Council - District 9 Won 72.76% (+45.52%)
  05/01/1945 Los Angeles City Council - District 09 Won 51.86% (+3.72%)
  04/10/1943 Los Angeles City Council - District 09 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  04/10/1941 Los Angeles City Council - District 09 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  04/10/1939 Los Angeles City Council - District 09 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  04/10/1935 Los Angeles City Council - District 09 Won 53.41% (+6.82%)
  11/02/1926 IL US Senate Lost 0.36% (-46.50%)
  01/10/1921 US President Lost 0.00% (-76.08%)
  11/02/1920 US President National Vote Lost 0.99% (-59.34%)
  07/15/1920 US President - F-L Convention Won 40.55% (+3.99%)
  11/08/1904 Salt Lake County Attorney Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  09/00/1902 Salt Lake County Attorney - R Primary Lost 0.00% (-100.00%)
  11/06/1900 Salt Lake County Attorney Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  05/04/1895 UT Constitutional Convention Delegate - Sanpete Won 14.29% (+0.00%)
US President National Vote - Nov 03, 1936 D Franklin Delano Roosevelt
CA Governor - Nov 06, 1934 D Upton Sinclair
US President National Vote - Nov 08, 1932 D Franklin Delano Roosevelt
US President National Vote - Nov 06, 1928 S Norman M. Thomas
US President National Vote - Nov 04, 1924 R Robert Marion La Follette
US President - Jan 13, 1913 R Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt
US President National Vote - Nov 05, 1912 R Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt