Hubert H. Humphrey

From MN150

Revision as of 19:30, 6 November 2007 by Mejaco (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ←Older revision | Current revision (diff) | Newer revision→ (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Winning Nomination

Humphrey was one of America's truly transformational leaders. Enormously talented and inspired, he aroused our isolationist state to become fully involved and informed about the world. He was at the center of the great civil rights revolution--tragically delayed for 300 years--transforming America into what he described as the bright sunshine of human rights. He transformed the commitment of the federal government during the high tide of American social reform to enact a vast array of measures to protect our environment, enhance job safety and pension security, Medicare and Medicaid, federal aid to public education, higher educational student assistance, national arts and humanities foundations, the anti-poverty program, the national science foundations, the national institutes of health, and a wide range of other reforms.

Hubert's inspiration and genius transformed the public life of Minnesota and the nation. Hubert became the most influential and powerful political leader in our state's history.
~Walter Mondale, Minneapolis, MN


Runner-up Nominations

He presented our state in a very positive manner. Minnesota was considered isolated and not very progressive--he helped to change that. While I did not vote for him--I have come to believe he was a true American. Harold Stassen is another such individual.
~Irene Johnson, Robbinsdale, MN

  1. Established the model for Democratic Party in MN
  2. Established liberalism and social justice as a permanent part of our country's public dialogue
  3. Helped to move egalitarian policies into our legislative processes
  4. Has contributed to a legacy of hope and possibility for all mankind.

~Debbie Dare, Fridley, MN

He brought national fame and honor to the state as a Senator and Vice President. He was far more accessible than any other senator as well as Vice President. Growing up in Minnesota he was a great influence on me and my high school classmates.
~David Campbell, Baraga, MI

Civil rights,political activism for those without the money to buy it. The WORLD is a better place, not just MN.
~Eugene Crandall, Roseville, MN

He was one of the last political persons to keep his word and understand non-partisan issues.
~Lynn Theurer, Winona, MN

Hubert Horatio Humphrey 1911-1978. As Minneapolis mayor 1945-1948, profoundly shaped Twin Cities residents' perspectives on race, so much so that the state could move from an era of racism and anti-Semitism 1940s to 1960s to a more accepting society with more opportunities for all people with still more work to do, of course, in 2006. My dad, Donald Waterman, at age 18, shook Mayor Humphrey's hand as the Mayor tirelessly greeted crowds in an open car which brought him through Minneapolis streets in a 1948 parade. My dad didn't wash his hand for several days! Dad always said that Humphrey may have talked a lot, but he knew what he was talking about. Humphrey, well-read and articulate, could speak on virtually any subject and used his knowledge to help change Minnesota for the better. He calmed peoples' fears and anger regarding controversial topics by sticking to his homegrown value system i.e., every person has value, and we need to work for every person's right to live in a decent home, in a decent neighborhood, and give every person a chance to succeed, no matter what that person's circumstances of origin. Humphrey later became a U.S. Senator, then Vice President serving with President Lyndon Johnson. Humphrey used his political knowledge and clout to fight for civil rights issues in the Senate and at the White House level. Although his presidential bid in 1968 against Richard Nixon was unsuccessful, he returned to the U.S. Senate and continued to influence both his supporters and detractors. He remained an admired figure throughout his life -- in Minnesota, nationally, and internationally. He never forgot he was a Democrat, and his ability to marshall forces towards a worthy cause strengthened the Democratic party in Minnesota, giving it a strong identity and an unshakeable set of standards that prevailed through the 1970s and 1980s, well beyond his years of active office. He was instrumental in bringing about the merger of the Democratic party with the Farmer-Labor party so that the two parties could proceed forward as one strong entity politically. He was known in the U.S. Senate as The Happy Warrior, working to effect positive change so that many more people than ever before could now live the American Dream. Together with his fellow senator, friend, and peer in the vice presidency, Walter Mondale, Humphrey decided that society needed changing and, with typical bravura, was sure he knew how to do it. Humphrey was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980. His legacy of compassion in government continued to make inroads with the establishment, in 1978, of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute and of the fellowship associated with his name, won in 2005 by African-American attorney and Southern Poverty Law Center founder Julian Bond and by others in various years who have shown significant commitment to compassionate work in the realm of political science.
~Sandra A. Waterman, Vadnais Heights, MN

One of the few politicians with integrity and vision.
~Jackie LaVaque, Little Canada, MN

An incredable man
~Janice Erickson, Brooklyn Park, MN

Hubert Humphrey was a true statesman. He saw what was best in the state and country. His political stance and vision put Minnesota on the national political map.
~Marie Hvidsten, Moorhead, MN'

Transformed civil rights in 1948. Served as Senator and Vice President. Statesman of integrity.
~Barbara W. Kaufman, Plymouth, MN

When I grew up in southern Minnesota during the 60s, HHH was my hero. He believed and fought for the things I believed in. He is a treasure.
~Claire L. Hill, Glenwood, MN

Brought Minnesota's long tradition of liberal ideals to the national stage. A great politician and a great man.
~Brandon Chitwood, Minneapolis, MN

He was a powerful national and international figure, but always kept his Minnesota roots and nature.
~Mary Hirsch

His standing up for civil rights !!!!!!
~James E. Otto, St Paul, MN'

Hubert Humphrey helped set the tone for Minnesota to be a state that cares for all its citizens. As one of the forces that built the consensus that resulted in the DFL Party, he established the precedent of consensus building, caring for others, and looking out for the little guy. These ideas shaped the philosophy that has made Minnesota a great state to live in.
~Jean Roemer, Woodbury, MN

There are few people who have played the significant role in establishing educational services to individuals with disabilities like Hubert H. Humphrey. His advocacy for people with individuals, due to his loving admiration and expectations for his granddaughter, has resulted in federal legislation and state mandates that govern schooling and services for children, youth, and adults in all fifty states. It is because of Hubert H. Humphrey that programs for adults with disabilities have taken a stronghold in the midwest and have been a model for services to individuals with disabilities throughout the nation. We all owe a great deal to Hubert H. Humphrey for many of his causes and initiatives, but none more than his unending fight for equality for children and adults with disabilities.
~Dianne R. Febles, Fernandina Beach, FL

As Mayor of Minneapolis, US Senator, and Vice President he fought for the common people. We sure could use politicians like him again.
~John Farmer

Hubert H. Humphrey was a brilliant politician who represented Minnesota well. He went on to become Vice President of the United States. He was a trusted advisor to President John F. Kennedy. It was Hubert Humphrey who developed the idea of the Peace Corps and presented it to President Kennedy. Vice President Humphrey was a very intelligent man. It is said he had a photographic memory. He was the epitome of the American dream--a small-town boy from Waverly, Minnesota who became Vice President. He was a decent man. He was a politician for the people.
~Mary Huss, Fridley, MN

He set the political tone for our state for 50 years.
~Mark H Anderson, Minneapolis, MN

His committment to Civil rights before it was popular and his work bringing the Democrat and Farmer Labor party together.
~Robert Winthrop, Minneapolis, MN

His 1948 speech to the Democratic National Convention speaks for itself.
~Chad Pierson

He revealed the HEART and COMPASSION of Minnesotans!!!
~Dick Young, Rosville, MN

Always ready to listen to the people and get their input. I always got answers to my letters of concern very promptly and I knew he personally answered them. He was interested in the common man.br /> ~Ruth Lawless, Eden pRAIRIE, MN

He worked to make MN a better place to live and work. He served our country as our Vice President under President Johnson. He worked tirelessly for this state and all U.S. citizens.
~J. B. Ackerman, Bloomington, MN

He exemplified the generosity of spirit which existed in Minnesota prior to President Nixon's tenure in office. The words included on the Statue of Liberty of 'Give me your tired, your poor' were words he lived by and these were the people he worked to help and support, politically and personally, during his lifetime.
~Marjorie R. Larson, Plymouth, MN

He created a lanscape in Minnesota that still shapes many of our state's ideals.
~Dave Colling, Minneapolis, MN

His tradition of populist politics is bedrock to the way Minnsotans look at the world.
~Barb Boyken, St. Croix Falls, WI

As the Vice President of USA he should have a spot in the history of Minnesota. He was a great Mayor of Minneapolis, MN.

Additional information recorded by Jessica Hackner Information Desk, MHC: Neal's wife dropped this off and told me a story--she said she didnt want to write it all down, but I thought it was nice! Neal was a Minneapolis policeman, and Humphrey always remembered his name and face and the names of his fellow policemen. When Neal's brother died in the line of duty, Humphrey made it a point to seek Neal out to ask him how he was doing.
~Neal Roy Canfield, Cottonwood, AZ

As a politician, it is obvious how he helped Minneapolis as Mayor, Minnesota, as Senator, and the United States as Vice President. To say the least all he accomplished in his life is well known.
~Judy Whitethorn, Bloomington, MN

A significant force and person in civil rights in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the U.S.
~Don Christensen, Minneapolis, MN

Mayor, Senator, Vice President, involved in leadership on all levels for social justice.
~Beth Kunze, Slayton, MN'

Vice President of the U.S. Recognition to Minnesota.
~Pat Lynch, Maplewood, MN'

Though once a Republican, I have to acknowledge that HHH was a local, state and national agent for improving the lives of people. In contrast to ridiculous suggestions like Prince, HHH works to help others rather than personal enrichment.
~Dale C. Pederson

Hubert Humphrey and Charles Lindbergh, One promoted and went to bat for the poor, the uninsured and the forgotten. Charles Lindbergh gave Minnesota pride and a reason to stick out our chest with pride as he was one of ours. Humphrey lived and died always passionately pleading for liberal causes and human rights. Fantastic!
~Nancy and John Froom, Crystal, MN

Senator Humphrey's service to the State of Minnesota and the nation. Especially his support for equal rights to all citizens.
~Shawn Y. Smith, St. Paul, MN

Great Man. Good for Minnesota.
~Joanne Onsager, Blaine, MN

He made our state more popular.
~Kenneth Erickson, Jr. Buffalo, MN

Politician. Human. Helper of the people.
~D. Sarne, Hugo, MN

Champion of civil rights.
~Sharon Wick, Apple Valley, MN

I would like to nominate Hubert H. Humphrey for the Minnesota 150 award. He personified all the ideals and values that we have come to identify with the United States. He was a throwback to the good old politics in Minnesota and a fine man.
~Mary Kay Anderson

I certainly would second the nomination that Walter Mondale made for Hubert Humphrey. He was one of our finest citizens and is still so greatly missed. A man of his ethics and love for his country--it seems to be hard to come by today. I attended college years ago with Mr. Humphrey and I can't say enough good things about him.

Another candidate would be Walter Mondale himself-- there's another great man.
~Mary Duffey, Northmount, MN


Contents

History

(1911-1978)

Civil rights champion

Late on the last day of the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Hubert Humphrey, mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, took the podium. He began by warming up the crowd with a joke about a talking cow. Some listeners guffawed; others glanced sideways at each other. Few had ever seen or heard of him.

Over the next few minutes, Humphrey made sure that he would not be forgotten. He delivered a fiery, impassioned speech urging the delegates to include a civil rights plank in the Democratic platform. He cared deeply about the issue, and it showed. Minneapolis, which in 1946 had been described as "the capital of anti-Semitism in the United States," had under Humphrey's leadership just enacted the nation's first municipal fair employment law. "I realize that I am dealing with a charged issue," Humphrey said to the Democratic delegates. "I realize that there are those here—friends and colleagues of mine, many of them—who feel as deeply as I do about this issue and who are yet in complete disagreement with me."

Midway through his speech, Humphrey hammered his message home. "There are those who say to you," he shouted, "we are rushing this issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late." He paused to let the roar of the crowd die down. "There are those who say—this issue of civil rights is an infringement on states' rights. The time has arrived for the Democratic party to get out of the shadow of state's rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights."

Humphrey's words—"fiery prairie Progressivism fused with an untrammeled gift of gab," as one of his biographers put it—were instrumental in spurring the convention to add a civil rights plank to its platform. Later that year, Hubert Humphrey was elected to the U. S. Senate—the first Democrat ever sent there from Minnesota. He served in the Senate until 1964, when he was selected as Lyndon Johnson's running mate in the presidential campaign. His vice-presidency was possibly the roughest time in his political career—he was torn between his allegiance to Johnson and his misgivings about the U.S. position in Vietnam. His ambivalence cost him dearly, and he made an unsuccessful run for president in 1968. He returned to Minnesota, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1970, and served there until his death in 1978.

For all the controversy that surrounded his last years in public office, Hubert Humphrey remains one of Minnesota's most influential and beloved politicians. In the words of one admirer, he was "one of the most engaging, certainly one of the most decent, politicians in recent American history." He had charisma and he had brains, but most of all, he had the courage to face whatever life dealt him, from political defeat to personal struggles. During his final struggle against terminal cancer, he remained upbeat and optimistic to the end. "He taught us how to hope and how to live, how to win and how to lose," said his friend Walter Mondale at his funeral. "He taught us how to live, and, finally, he taught us how to die."

Links

Hubert Humphrey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hubert H. Humphrey : Library : MNHS.ORG

HUMPHREY, Hubert Horatio, Jr. - Biographical Information

Hubert H. Humphrey Oral Histories: LBJ Library

Share your memories on this topic

Notes

    Media
    Views
    Personal tools