As the most popular governor for most of the 20th Century, his charisma and image of helping out the common man in the Depression left an impression on a generation of Minnesotans. He success as a third-party politican was unique in the state at the time but it was not an uncommon occurrence in other parts of the U.S. to have radical leaders springing up in state and local governments. Over 200,000 visitors viewed his body when it lay in state in the State Capitol.
Governor Olson was a populist who fought vigorously for the common people of Minnesota during the Depression -- giving hope to many, and at the same time demonstrating that our democratic system can work.
~Steve Carlson, Edina, MN
Floyd Olson was a symbol of the free thinking and independence of political opinion in Minnesota and many politicians after him, Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone and I would argue Harold Stassen, David Durenberger and even Jesse Ventura remained influenced by his populist independence and appeal. Olson set the tone for Minnesota as a state with a dynamic political testing ground for new ideas and progressive politics.
~Robb Mitchell, Minneapolis, MN
A Farmer-Labor governor, he helped stamp Minnesota as a progressive state committed to social justice and progress for all.
~Frank Haigh, White Bear Twp, MN
Floyd B. Olson represented the progressive tradition of MN politics and formed a rural-urban coalition -- the Farmer-Labor party--that set the stage for Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, and Eugene McCarthy.
~Ted Kunze, Slayton, MN
Floyd B. Olson came to our state's top office at a historical juncture in our civil society. Propelled forward by popular movements and broad social demands of working people, he mapped out a decent, supportive social contract. Minnesota is a good place to live. We try to take care of each other. Floyd Olson showed us how.
~Eric Joselyn, Philadelphia, PA