Howard B. Bard
|Howard B. Bard|
|24th Mayor of San Diego|
November 4, 1942 – May 3, 1943
|Preceded by||Percy J. Benbough|
|Succeeded by||Harley E. Knox|
|Born||October 20, 1870
|Died||May 22, 1954
San Diego, California
Bard was born 1870 in Ohio. He was a pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1912 Bard moved to San Diego, where he was pastor of the First Unitarian Church of San Diego for several decades. While pastor he organized several public forums to debate issues of the day. He did not shirk from controversy, scheduling debates on capital punishment and peace with Germany.
Bard entered politics by being elected to the San Diego City Council in 1918. Politically, Bard was a Democrat. However, he vacated the office because he was out of the state for more than 30 days without authorized leave. Bard requested leave, but was denied by the City Council.
Bard was appointed mayor of San Diego on November 30, 1942 after Percy Benbough died in office, and finished out the term in 1943. Five days after taking office, he caused a furor when he fired his secretary, who worked for the city for eight years, and hired his daughter. A councilman called his appointment "a mistake".
After serving as "caretaker" mayor, Bard served other positions, including City Park Commissioner.
In 1939 Bard married Mildred Valley Smith, daughter of William Henry Smith. They had at least one daughter and one son, Howard B. Bard, Jr.
Bard died 1954 in San Diego. Bard Hall at the First Unitarian Church is named in honor of him in 1945.
People who claim the right to free speech, to free assembly, to free press for themselves, come face to face with the situation of others claiming the same right of liberty—and because the other fellow's thought differs from his own, one often feels the other's right ought to be abridged or denied. . . . But, if we are to be good democrats in a democracy, we must be willing to allow to the other fellow the same rights of liberty that we demand for ourselves. That is especially true in religion. 
- Bard, Howard (1940-11-11). "Bard Sermon Cites Difficulties Of Democracy". "San Diego Union". p. B-1
- Biographical sketch, San Diego Union, January 2, 1943
- Obituary, San Diego Union, May 23, 1954
Percy J. Benbough
|Mayor of San Diego, California
Harley E. Knox