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Governor Earl Warren—Speech

Earl Warren was the Governor of California for ten years. On his first day as governor he made a speech. A speech is a formal talk given to a group of people. Leaders give speeches to share their thoughts on something. They also give speeches to tell citizens about important rules or ideas.

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“I believe that the very essence of democracy is the right of people to govern themselves and this starts in local communities…. People retain their interest in government only as they are encouraged to participate in it, and it is in local government that we find the greatest opportunity for participation and therefore the greatest reflection of public will.”

Excerpt from Governor Earl Warren's Inaugural Address, 1943.


In his speech, Warren talked about the meaning of democracy. People who live in a democracy govern, or make decisions, for themselves. They decide what the government will do. They make choices about their leaders and their laws. Warren said that people first start to govern themselves in local government. Warren later became Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the most important judge in the entire United States.