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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
The Papers of Augustus C. Johnson
Augustus C. Johnson was born in Covington, Kentucky in 1914. He graduated from Southampton High School in 1930. After his father lost his farm, Johnson went to Washington to work for the Government Printing Office in 1931. Also that year, he began taking night classes at George Washington University (GWU) and joined the Army National Guard.
Johnson spent World War II working in a war plant and a West Coast shipyard. He also spent a year during the war working as a civilian employee for the Army Engineers in the Alaskan War Zone.
After the war, Johnson returned to education. At GWU, he taught mathematics and received his Master's degree. In 1948, he went on to become an assistant professor of physics at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. There he met his wife, Constantia Hommann, and fathered their daughter, Muriel.
Johnson spent the next decade working as Research Director and Senior Scientist at Booz-Allen Applied Research. He worked on arms control, guided missiles, and computer projects, as well as a data collection system for NASA. He worked a year for Doxiadis Systems Development Corporation as Director of Comparative Urban Studies. Johnson then spent another decade working for the MITRE Corporation as Solar Energy Group Leader. His work included environmental and conservation studies, housing and urban development projects, and developing government programs in solar energy research and development. Later, he served three years working as Chief Statistician for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where he retired in 1980.
Johnson began his political work in 1952. He began by doing precinct work for the Democratic Party. The following year he became a member of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee. Later, he became Fairfax County Democratic Chairman. He was chairman of the Tenth District Democratic Committee and a member of the Virginia State Democratic Committee. In 1962 and 1964, Johnson ran as the Democratic candidate for Congress from the Tenth District. Year's later Johnson served on the Madison County Democratic Committee. In addition to his work in the Democratic Party, Johnson also served on environmental and United Nations committees, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Johnson wrote political editorials for the Northern Virginia Sun in the early 1970's, and continued expressing his political views through letters to the editor in the 1990's. He also took his politics to the internet with a Virginia political web page in the late 1990's.
Johnson passed away December 14, 2006. In February of 2007 a bill, HJ802: Celebrating the life of Augustus C. Johnson, was passed in the Virginia General Assembly.
This collection consists of editorials written by Augustus Johnson for the Northern Virginia Sun in 1970 and 1971 and letters to the editor of several papers from 1993 to 2000.
Editorials favor the Democratic Party. They relate mainly to Northern Virginia politics and to a lessor extent Virginia State and national politics. Specific topics include: the Northern Virginia Elections; the goals of Fairfax County; a proposed prison in Green Spring, Virginia; the two-party system; party primaries and conventions; redistricting and reapportionment; urban sprawl; reformation of the U.S. House of Representatives; the welfare system; a constitutional amendment to allow 18-20 year olds to vote; Virginia obstructionism; populists and populism; campaign financing; and the Byrd machine. Some of the names mentioned in his columns are: Harry Byrd; Joel Broyhill; George C. Rawlings, Jr.; William S. Hoofnagle; Bill Stanhagen; John Lindsay, Henry Howell; Mills Godwin; Harold Ickes; George Kostel; Albert Gore; Fred Harris; Audrey Moore; Martha Pennino; Rufus Phillips; Joe Alexander; Allen Magazine; Herb Harris; Jim Scott; Ginny McEnearney; Warren Barry; Vincent Callahan; Clive DuVal; Tuffy Leemans; Linwood Holton; Elwood Clements; William Hassan; Paul Beeson; Norris Shealy; Ed Holland; John Melnick; Robert Weinberg; Mary Marchall; Dick Chew; G. Harrold Carswell; Richard Nixon; Judge Haynsworth; and Lewis Powell.
Letters to the editor promote such political candidates as Chuck Robb, Mary Sue Terry, Mark Warner, and Doris Lackey, and oppose candidates such as Oliver North, George Allen, and John Warner. Other topics include: the federal deficit; Clinton's deficit reduction program and tax bill; health care and insurance; term limits for congress; special interest money and PAC's; Clinton's Welfare Reform Bill; illegal contributions to George Allen's campaign; abortion; James Gilmore's promise to do away with the automobile property tax; the global economy; the 1994 Republican Contract with America; the line-item veto; flag burning; opposing use of the Confederate flag; campaign reform; gun control laws; and democrats and republicans. Other names mentioned in his letters are Douglas Wilder; Joe Mann; George Grayson; Franklin D. Roosevelt; J. Michael Sharman; Butch Davies; Newt Gingrich; Carlton Heston; Kenneth Starr; Michael Eisner of Disney; Eugene McCarthy; Thomas M. Davis; Pat Robertson; Jerry Falwell; and Andy Young.
Also included in this collection are a copy of Johnson's Virginia Politics web page updated on February 2, 2000 and biographical information on Johnson. His web page includes opinions on George W. Bush, George Allen, prayer in schools, national debt, Governor Gilmore, Campaign reform, flag burning, the First Amendment, the right to bear arms, and Tom Davis. Johnson's biographical material includes a short biography, milestones in his life, a guide to his personal and political papers in the Fairfax County Library, a program to "Celebrate Connie & Gus" in June 1998, and an essay about "Breaking the Byrd Grip".
This collection is arranged chronologically.
Additional papers regarding Augustus C. Johnson's personal, professional, and political life from 1931-1992 may be found at:
Gift of Augustus C. Johnson, July 1999
Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.
One Hollinger Document Case.
Folder 1: The Northern Virginia Sun (Sept. 1970 - Dec. 1970)
Revised: December 3, 2007