Franklin Knight Lane

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Franklin Knight Lane

Franklin Knight Lane (born July 15, 1864 in Charlottetown , Prince Edward Island , Canada , †  May 18, 1921 in Rochester , Minnesota ) was an American politician ( Democratic Party ) of Canadian origin, who served in the cabinet of US President Woodrow Wilson served as Minister of the Interior .

Lawyer and journalist

Lane was three years old when his parents Christopher S. Lane and Caroline Burns moved him to California in 1867 , where the family settled in the Napa Valley . He attended local schools and then initially studied at the University of California . At their law school , the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco , he then graduated in 1886. In 1888 he was inducted into the California Bar Association.

After graduating, he turned to journalism and worked between 1886 and 1895 as a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle and as an editor for the Tacoma Daily News . Lane returned to San Francisco in 1897 and served as the city's trial attorney; then he was prosecutor of the congruent San Francisco County . His candidacies as governor of California in 1902 and as mayor of San Francisco the following year were unsuccessful .

Political activities

After the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 he was the Mayor Eugene Schmitz launched Relief Committee ( Committee of Fifty at). A little later he traveled to Washington to speak to President Theodore Roosevelt about the future of Yosemite National Park . He was impressed by Lane and nominated on December 6, 1905 for the vacant seat of Joseph W. Fifer in the regulatory authority Interstate Commerce Commission . His confirmation by the US Senate took place on June 29, 1906 and his activity with a regular term until December 31, 1909, he began on July 2, 1906. During this time, the Hepburn Act gave the Commission the right to enforce its regulations on rail transport (tariffs, mergers). In December 1909 he was nominated by President Taft for another seven-year term and shortly thereafter confirmed by the Senate. From January 13, 1913, he was the rotating chairman of the authority.

On March 6 of the same year, Franklin Lane joined the cabinet of the new President Woodrow Wilson as Home Secretary. His successor in the ICC was John Hobart Marble .

One of his most important achievements as Secretary of the Interior was the establishment of the National Park Service in 1916; During his tenure, the ministry, the executive floor of which had previously been located in the patent office building, was given its own seat. Lane tried to secure the social security of his agency's staff and founded the Home Club to encourage internal collaboration.

Political disputes with the president as well as the low pay as a civil servant led to Lane's resignation on March 1, 1920, whereupon he took over the office of vice president of the Pan-American Petroleum Company . He also became a director of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

He died the following year in Rochester Hospital after an attack of angina pectoris . Its ashes were scattered from the summit of El Capitan over Yosemite National Park.


A high school in Brooklyn was named after Franklin Knight Lane . Greater name recognition he gained again when, in 1962 Vladimir Nabokov's novel Pale Fire ( Pale Fire was quoted).

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