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  Governor William Stephens Inaugural Address January 7, 1919
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ContributorThomas Walker 
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DescriptionTo the members of the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California:
Conscious of the great honor conferred upon me by the people of California, grateful that they have reposed such trust in me, and realizing fully the difficulties and the responsibilities confronting me, I have taken an oath to serve all the people of this great State to the best of my ability.

You and I are to be fellow workers in the public service. Together we must face the perplexing problems which the future holds. These we must meet with courage, with sincerity and with unswerving devotion to the public good. Working in this spirit we can do much to promote the development and welfare of the people of this great State. I seek your help and co-operation and at all times it will be my pleasure to render to you all the assistance I can.

Since last I addressed the Legislature in joint assembly, a world war has been fought and won. Events have occurred of such momentous importance as to modify, if not completely to alter, the thought and purposes of men and women throughout the world.

The occasion of my last meeting with you in March, 1917, was to make provision for participation in the colossal struggle in which our country was soon to become involved. Those were days of grim determination, but California was ready with unflinching courage to meet the shock of the most brutal warfare that history has known.

With sad but proud hearts we gave the best of our young men for the front. More than 135,000 Californians donned Uncle Sam’s uniform and went forth with resolute purpose to endure whatever of danger and of sacrifice was necessary to hasten the bright day of peace.

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