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Hubert Humphrey


In office
January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Lyndon B. Johnson
Succeeded by Spiro Agnew

In office
January 3, 1971 – January 13, 1978
Preceded by Eugene McCarthy
Succeeded by Muriel Humphrey

In office
January 3, 1949 – December 30, 1964
Preceded by Joseph H. Ball
Succeeded by Walter Mondale

In office
1977–1978
President James Eastland
Leader Robert Byrd
Preceded by None
Succeeded by George J. Mitchell (1987)

In office
January 3, 1961 – December 30, 1964
Leader Mike Mansfield
Preceded by Mike Mansfield
Succeeded by Russell B. Long

In office
July 2, 1945 – November 30, 1948
Preceded by Marvin L. Kline
Succeeded by Eric G. Hoyer

Born May 27, 1911(1911-05-27)
Wallace, South Dakota
Died January 13, 1978 (aged 66)
Waverly, Minnesota
Political party Democratic-Farmer-Labor
Spouse(s) Muriel Buck Humphrey
Children Hubert Humphrey III
Nancy Humphrey
Robert Humphrey
Douglas Humphrey
Residence Minneapolis, Minnesota
Alma mater University of Minnesota, Louisiana State University, and the Capitol College of Pharmacy.
Religion Congregationalism (United Church of Christ)/United Methodist
Signature

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. (May 27, 1911 – January 13, 1978) served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Americans for Democratic Action. He also served as Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1945–1949. In 1968, Humphrey was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the 1968 presidential election but lost to the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon.

Contents

Early years

Humphrey was born in Wallace, South Dakota. He was the son of Hubert Humphrey, Sr. and Ragnild Kristine Sannes, who was a Norwegian immigrant.[1] Humphrey spent most of his youth in the small town of Doland, South Dakota, on the Dakota prairie; during his years living in Doland the town's population was around 700. His father was the town pharmacist and a community leader; he served as Doland's mayor and as a town council member. In the late 1920s a severe economic downturn hit Doland; both of the town's banks closed and Humphrey's father struggled to keep his drugstore open.

After his son graduated from Doland's high school, Hubert, Sr. left Doland and opened a new drugstore in the larger town of Huron, South Dakota (population 11,000), where he hoped to improve his fortunes. As a result of the family's financial struggles, Hubert had to leave the University of Minnesota after just one year to help his father in the new drugstore. He earned a pharmacist's license from the Capitol College of Pharmacy in Denver, Colorado (completing a two-year licensure program in just six months), and spent the years from 1930 to 1937 helping his father run the family drugstore. He was a brother of Phi Delta Chi (Theta Chapter), a professional pharmaceutical fraternity and in 1965 he was made an honorary brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, an African-American fraternity. He was also a brother of Tau Delta Phi. Over time the "Humphrey Drug Company" in Huron became a profitable enterprise and the family was able to prosper again.

However, Hubert did not enjoy working as a pharmacist, and his dream remained to earn a doctorate in political science and become a college professor. In 1937 he returned to the University of Minnesota and earned a bachelor's degree in 1939. He also earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University in 1940, serving as an assistant instructor of political science there. One of his classmates was Russell B. Long, a future U.S. Senator from Louisiana. He then became an instructor and doctoral student at the University of Minnesota from 1940 to 1941 (joining the American Federation of Teachers), and was a supervisor for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Humphrey would soon become active in Minneapolis politics, and as a result he never finished his Ph.D.

Marriage and family

In 1934 Hubert began dating Muriel Buck; she was a bookkeeper and graduate of local Huron College. They were married in 1936 and remained married until Humphrey's death nearly 42 years later. They had four children: Hubert Humphrey III, Nancy Faye Humphrey, Robert, and Douglas. Unlike many prominent politicians Humphrey never became wealthy, and through most of his years as a U.S. Senator and Vice-President his home was located in a modest middle-class housing development in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.. In 1958 Hubert and Muriel used their savings to build a lakefront home in Waverly, Minnesota, some forty miles west of Minneapolis.

City and state politics (1942–1948)

During World War II, Humphrey tried twice to join the armed forces, but was rejected both times due to a hernia. Instead, he served in an administrative capacity in a variety of wartime government agencies; he also worked as a college instructor. In 1942 he was the state director of new production training and reemployment and chief of the Minnesota war service program. In 1943 he was the assistant director of the War Manpower Commission. From 1943-1944 Humphrey was a professor in political science at Macalester College in St. Paul and from 1944-1945 he was a news commentator for a Minneapolis radio station.

In 1943, Humphrey made his first run for elective office, for mayor of Minneapolis. Although he lost, his poorly-funded campaign still captured over 47% of the vote. In 1944, Humphrey was one of the key players in the merger of the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties of Minnesota to form the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). When in 1945 Minnesota Communists attempted to seize control of the new party, Humphrey became an engaged anti-Communist and led the successful fight to oust the Communists from the DFL.

After the war, he again ran for mayor of Minneapolis and won the election with 61% of the vote. He served as mayor from 1945–1949. He was re-elected in 1947 by the largest margin in the city's history to that time. Humphrey gained national fame during these years by becoming one of the founders of the liberal anti-communist Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and for reforming the Minneapolis police force. Previously, the city had been declared the antisemitism capital of the country and the then smaller African-American population of the city encountered numerous instances of racial discrimination. Humphrey worked hard to end these examples of racism, and his tenure as mayor would be famous for his efforts to fight bigotry in all its forms.

The 1948 Democratic National Convention

Humphrey discussing civil rights at the 1948 Democratic National Convention

The national Democratic Party of 1948 was split between liberals who thought the federal government should assertively guarantee civil rights for non-whites and southern conservatives who thought that states should have the power to enforce racial segregation and limit the rights of non-white citizens (the "states' rights" position).

At the 1948 Democratic National Convention, the party platform reflected this division and contained only platitudes in favor of civil rights. Though the incumbent President Harry S Truman had already issued a detailed 10-point Civil Rights Program calling for aggressive federal action on the issue of civil rights, he gave his backing to the party establishment's platform that was a replication of the 1944 Democratic National Convention plank on civil rights.

A diverse coalition opposed this tepid platform, including anti-communist liberals like Humphrey, Paul Douglas and John Shelley, all of whom would later become known as leading progressives in the Democratic Party. These liberals proposed adding a "minority plank" to the party platform that would commit the Democratic Party to a more aggressive opposition to racial segregation. The minority plank called for federal legislation against lynching, an end to legalized school segregation in the South, and ending job discrimination based on skin color. Also strongly backing the liberal civil rights plank were Democratic urban bosses like Ed Flynn of the Bronx, who promised the votes of northeastern delegates to Humphrey's platform, Jacob Arvey of Chicago, and David Lawrence of Pittsburgh. Although viewed as being conservatives, these urban bosses believed that Northern Democrats could gain many black votes by supporting civil rights, and that losses among anti-civil rights Southern Democrats would be relatively small. Though many scholars have suggested that labor unions were leading figures in this coalition, no significant labor leaders attended the convention, with the exception of the heads of the Congress of Industrial Organizations Political Action Committee (CIOPAC), Jack Kroll and A.F. Whitney.

Despite aggressive pressure by Truman's aides to avoid forcing the issue on the Convention floor, Humphrey chose to speak on behalf of the minority plank. In a renowned speech, Humphrey passionately told the Convention, "To those who say, my friends, to those who say, that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years too late! To those who say, this civil rights program is an infringement on states' rights, I say this: the time has arrived in America for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights!" Humphrey and his allies succeeded; the pro-civil-rights plank was narrowly adopted.

As a result of the Convention's vote, the Mississippi and one half of the Alabama delegation walked out of the hall. Many Southern Democrats were so enraged at this affront to their "way of life" that they formed the Dixiecrat party and nominated their own presidential candidate, Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. The goal of the Dixiecrats was to take several Southern states away from Truman and thus cause his defeat. The Southern Democrats reasoned that after such a defeat the national Democratic Party would never again aggressively pursue a pro-civil rights agenda. However, this move actually backfired. Although the strong civil rights plank adopted at the Convention cost Truman the support of the Dixiecrats, it gained him important votes from blacks, especially in large northern cities. As a result Truman won a stunning upset victory over his Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey. Truman's victory demonstrated that the Democratic Party no longer needed the "Solid South" to win presidential elections, and thus weakened Southern Democrats instead of strengthening their position. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough has written that Humphrey probably did more to get Truman elected in 1948 than anyone other than Truman himself.

The Happy Warrior (1948–1964)

Minnesota elected Humphrey to the United States Senate in 1948 on the DFL ticket, and he took office on January 3, 1949. He was the first Democrat elected senator from the state of Minnesota since before the Civil War. Humphrey's father died that year, and Humphrey stopped using the "Jr." suffix on his name. He was re-elected in 1954 and 1960. His colleagues selected him as majority whip in 1961, a position he held until he left the Senate on December 29, 1964 to assume the vice presidency. During this period, he served in the 81st, 82nd, 83rd, 84th, 85th, 86th, 87th, and a portion of the 88th Congress.

Initially, Humphrey's support of civil rights led to his being ostracized by Southern Democrats, who dominated most of the Senate leadership positions and who wanted to punish Humphrey for proposing the successful civil rights platform at the 1948 Convention. However, Humphrey refused to be intimidated and stood his ground; his integrity, passion and eloquence eventually earned him the respect of even most of the Southerners. His acceptance by the Southerners was also helped a great deal when Humphrey became a protege of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. Humphrey became known for his advocacy of liberal causes (such as civil rights, arms control, a nuclear test ban, food stamps, and humanitarian foreign aid), and for his long and witty speeches. During the period of McCarthyism (1950–1954), Humphrey was accused of being "soft on Communism," despite having been one of the founders of the anti-communist liberal organization Americans for Democratic Action, having been a staunch supporter of the Truman Administration's efforts to combat the growth of the Soviet Union, and having fought Communist political activities in Minnesota and elsewhere. In 1954 Humphrey proposed to make mere membership in the Communist Party a felony — a proposal that failed. He was chairman of the Select Committee on Disarmament (84th and 85th Congresses). In February, 1960, Senator Humphrey introduced a bill to establish a National Peace Agency.[2] As Democratic whip in the Senate in 1964, Humphrey was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of that year. Humphrey's consistently cheerful and upbeat demeanor, and his forceful advocacy of liberal causes, led him to be nicknamed "The Happy Warrior" by many of his Senate colleagues and political journalists.

While President John F. Kennedy gets credit for creating the Peace Corps, the first initiative came from Humphrey when he introduced the first bill to create the Peace Corps in 1957—three years prior to JFK and his University of Michigan speech. In his autobiography, "The Education of a Public Man," Hubert Humphrey wrote: "There were three bills of particular emotional importance to me: the Peace Corps, a disarmament agency, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The President, knowing how I felt, asked me to introduce legislation for all three. I introduced the first Peace Corps bill in 1957. It did not meet with much enthusiasm. Some traditional diplomats quaked at the thought of thousands of young Americans scattered across their world. Many senators, including liberal ones, thought the idea was silly and unworkable. Now, with a young president urging its passage, it became possible and we pushed it rapidly through the Senate. It is fashionable now to suggest that Peace Corps Volunteers gained as much or more, from their experience as the countries they worked. That may be true, but it ought not demean their work. They touched many lives and made them better."[citation needed]

Presidential and Vice-Presidential ambitions (1952–1964)

In the 1960 primaries, Humphrey won South Dakota and Washington, D.C.

Humphrey ran for the Democratic presidential nomination twice before his election to the Vice Presidency in 1964. The first time was as Minnesota's favorite son in 1952, where he received only 26 votes on the first ballot; the second time was in 1960. In between these two presidential bids, Senator Humphrey was part of the free-for-all for the vice-presidential nomination at the 1956 Democratic National Convention, where he received 134 votes on the first ballot and 74 on the second.

In 1960, Humphrey ran again for the Democratic presidential nomination against fellow Senator John F. Kennedy in the primaries. Their first meeting was in the Wisconsin Primary, where Kennedy's well-organized and well-funded campaign defeated Humphrey's energetic but poorly-funded effort. Kennedy's attractive brothers, sisters, and wife combed the state looking for votes. At one point Humphrey memorably complained that he "felt like an independent merchant running against a chain store." Kennedy won the Wisconsin primary, but by a smaller margin than anticipated; some commentators argued that Kennedy's victory margin had come almost entirely from areas that were heavily Roman Catholic, and that Protestants actually supported Humphrey. As a result, Humphrey refused to quit the race and decided to run against Kennedy again in the West Virginia primary. Humphrey calculated that his midwestern populist roots and Protestant religion (he was a Congregationalist) would appeal to the state's disenfranchised voters more than the Ivy League and Catholic millionaire's son, Kennedy. But Kennedy led comfortably until the issue turned to religion. When he asked an adviser why he was losing ground in the polls compared to his earlier performance, the adviser explained "no one knew you were a Catholic then."

Kennedy chose to meet the religion issue head-on. In radio broadcasts, he carefully repositioned the issue from one of Catholic versus Protestant to tolerance versus intolerance. Kennedy's appeal placed Humphrey, who had championed tolerance his entire career, on the defensive, and Kennedy attacked him with a vengeance. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., the son of the former President, stumped for Kennedy in West Virginia and raised the issue of Humphrey's failure to serve in the armed forces in World War II (though in fact Humphrey had tried to enlist). Humphrey, who was short on funds, could not match the well-financed Kennedy operation. Humphrey traveled around the state in a cold rented bus, while Kennedy and his staff flew around West Virginia in a large, modern, family-owned airplane. There were accusations (both by Humphrey and numerous historians) that the Kennedys "bought" the West Virginia primary by paying bribes to county sheriffs and other local officials to give Kennedy the vote; however, these accusations were never proven. Kennedy defeated Humphrey soundly, winning 60.8% of the vote in that state. That evening, Humphrey announced that he was no longer a candidate for the presidency. By winning the West Virginia primary, Kennedy was able to overcome the belief that Protestant voters would not elect a Catholic candidate to the Presidency and thus sewed up the Democratic nomination for President.[3]

Humphrey did win the South Dakota and District of Columbia primaries, which JFK did not enter. At the 1960 Democratic Convention he received 41 votes even though he was no longer an active presidential candidate.

Humphrey's defeat in 1960 had a profound influence on his thinking; after the primaries he told friends that, as a relatively poor man in politics, he was unlikely to ever become President unless he served as Vice-President first. Humphrey believed that only in this way could he raise the funds and nationwide organization and visibility he would need to win the Democratic nomination. As such, as the 1964 presidential campaign began Humphrey made clear his interest in becoming President Lyndon Johnson's running mate. At the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Johnson kept the three likely vice presidential candidates, Connecticut Senator Thomas Dodd, fellow Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy, and Humphrey, as well as the rest of the nation in suspense before announcing Humphrey as his running-mate with much fanfare, praising Humphrey's qualifications for a considerable amount of time before announcing his name.

The following day Humphrey's acceptance speech overshadowed Johnson's own acceptance address:

Hubert warmed up with a long tribute to the President, then hit his stride as he began a rhythmic jabbing and chopping at Barry Goldwater. "Most Democrats and Republicans in the Senate voted for an $11.5 billion tax cut for American citizens and American business," he cried, "but not Senator Goldwater. Most Democrats and Republicans in the Senate — in fact four-fifths of the members of his own party — voted for the Civil Rights Act, but not Senator Goldwater." Time after time, he capped his indictments with the drumbeat cry: "But not Senator Goldwater!" The delegates caught the cadence and took up the chant. A quizzical smile spread across Humphrey's face, then turned to a laugh of triumph. Hubert was in fine form. He knew it. The delegates knew it. And no one could deny that Hubert Humphrey would be a formidable political antagonist in the weeks ahead.[4]

In 1964, the Johnson/Humphrey ticket won overwhelmingly, garnering 486 electoral votes out of 538. Only five Southern states and Goldwater's home state of Arizona supported the Republican ticket.

The Vice Presidency

Vice President Humphrey bust

Humphrey took office on January 20, 1965. As Vice President, Humphrey was controversial for his complete and vocal loyalty to Johnson and the policies of the Johnson Administration, even as many of Humphrey's liberal admirers opposed Johnson with increasing fervor with respect to Johnson's policies during the war in Vietnam. Many of Humphrey's liberal friends and allies over the years abandoned him because of his refusal to publicly criticize Johnson's Vietnam War policies. Humphrey's critics later learned that Johnson had threatened Humphrey — Johnson told Humphrey that if he publicly opposed his Administration's Vietnam War policy, he would destroy Humphrey's chances to become President by opposing his nomination at the next Democratic Convention. However, Humphrey's critics were vocal and persistent - even his nickname, the Happy Warrior, was used against him. The nickname referred not to his military hawkishness but rather to his crusading for social welfare and civil rights programs.

Vice President Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon Johnson, and General Creighton Abrams in a Cabinet Room meeting in March 1968

While he was Vice President, Hubert Humphrey was the subject of a satirical song by songwriter/musician Tom Lehrer entitled "Whatever Became of Hubert?" ("I wonder how many people here tonight remember Hubert Humphrey. He used to be a senator..."). The song addressed how some liberals and progressives felt let down by Humphrey, who had become a much more mute figure as Vice President than he had been as a senator. The song goes "Whatever became of Hubert? Has anyone heard a thing? Once he shone on his own, now he sits home alone and waits for the phone to ring. Once a fiery liberal spirit, ah, but now when he speaks he must clear it. ..."

Humphrey, as Vice President, was regarded as being on particularly good terms with CBS journalist Daniel Schorr.

In Germany, Humphrey indirectly earned fame during an April 1967 visit when some hippies, armed with what looked like a bomb, planned to cause trouble at the place Humphrey was to speak. However, the "bomb" contained nothing but pudding, and the plan was foiled by the police. The would-be vandals were dubbed "assassins" and "ten little Oswalds" in some widely-read conservative German newspapers; this characterization sparked riots by left-wing student activists. The well-known left-wing journalist Ulrike Meinhof (who had not yet connected herself to terrorism) wrote in Konkret magazine: "It is thought rude to throw custard pies at politicians, but not to welcome politicians who have villages wiped out and cities bombed... napalm yes, custard, no." This "pudding assassination" thus became an early defining moment of the "68er" German student movement, many of whose leaders moved into national politics later.

The 1968 Presidential election

As 1968 began, it looked as if President Johnson, despite the rapidly decreasing approval rating of his Vietnam War policies, would easily win the Democratic nomination for a second time. Humphrey indicated to Johnson that he would like to be his running mate again. However, in the New Hampshire primary Johnson was nearly defeated by McCarthy, who challenged Johnson on an anti-war platform, but had not expected to become an actual contender for the Democratic nomination. A few days later, Senator Robert Kennedy of New York also entered the race on an anti-war platform. On March 31, 1968, a week before the Wisconsin primary, where the polls predicted a loss to McCarthy, President Lyndon B. Johnson stunned the nation by withdrawing from his race for a second full term.

Following this announcement, Humphrey quickly re-evaluated his position, and announced his presidential candidacy in late April 1968. Many people saw Humphrey as Johnson's stand-in; he won major backing from the nation's labor unions and other Democratic groups that were troubled by young antiwar protesters and the social unrest around the nation. Humphrey avoided the primaries (and/or was too late to enter them) and concentrated on winning delegates in non-primary states; by June he was seen as the clear front-runner for the nomination. However, following a key victory over McCarthy in the California primary, it appeared that Kennedy could possibly challenge Humphrey for the nomination. But the nation was shocked yet again when Senator Kennedy was assassinated the night of his victory speech in California.

With the support of Mayor Richard J. Daley, Humphrey and his running mate, Ed Muskie went on to easily win the Democratic nomination at the party convention in Chicago, Illinois. (In later years, changes to the party rules made such an outcome virtually impossible.) Unfortunately for Humphrey and his campaign, outside the convention hall there were riots and protests by thousands of antiwar demonstrators, many of whom favored McCarthy, George McGovern, or other "anti-war" candidates. These protesters - most of them young college students - were attacked and beaten on live television by Chicago police, which merely amplified the growing feelings of unrest in the general public. Humphrey's inaction during the riots, as well as public backlash from securing the presidential nomination without entering a single primary, highlighted turmoil in the Democratic party's base that proved to be too much for Humphrey to overcome in time for the general election. Humphrey was also hurt by the third-party campaign of former Alabama Governor George Wallace, a Southern Democrat whose veiled racism and militant opposition to anti-war protesters attracted millions of Northern and Midwestern blue-collar votes that would otherwise have probably gone to Humphrey. Thus, Humphrey lost the 1968 election to Richard Nixon.

Although he lost the election by less than 1% of the popular vote, (43.4% for Nixon to 42.7% for Humphrey, with 13.5% (9,901,118 votes) for George Wallace), Humphrey only carried 13 states with 191 electoral college votes. Richard Nixon carried 32 states and 301 electoral votes, and Wallace carried 5 states in the South and 46 electoral votes (270 were needed to win).

Immensely admired by associates and members of his staff, Humphrey could not break loose from the domination of Lyndon Johnson. The combination of the unpopularity of Johnson, the Chicago riots, and the discouragement of liberals and African-Americans when both Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were assassinated during the election year were all contributing factors that caused him to eventually lose the election to former Vice President Nixon by a narrow margin. The war that Humphrey was saddled with in the Johnson Administration continued until the early 1970s.

Post-Vice Presidency (1969–1978)

Teaching and return to the Senate

Hubert Humphrey with Democratic Presidential nominee Jimmy Carter.

After leaving the Vice-Presidency, Humphrey utilized his talents by teaching at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, and by serving as chairman of board of consultants at the Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation.

Initially he had not planned to return to political life, but an unexpected opportunity changed his mind. McCarthy, who was up for re-election in 1970, realized that he had only a slim chance of winning even re-nomination (he had angered his party by opposing Johnson and Humphrey for the 1968 presidential nomination) and declined to run. Humphrey won the nomination and the election, and returned to the U.S. Senate on January 3, 1971. He was re-elected in 1976, and remained in office until his death. In a rarity in politics, Humphrey served as a Senator by holding both seats in his state (Class I and Class II). This time he served in the 92nd, 93rd, 94th, and a portion of the 95th Congress.

Senator Hubert Humphrey with President Jimmy Carter aboard Air Force One in 1977.

In 1972, Humphrey once again ran for the Democratic nomination for president. He drew upon continuing support from organized labor and the African-American and Jewish communities, but remained unpopular with college students because of his association with the Vietnam War, even though he had altered his position in the years since his 1968 defeat. Humphrey initially planned to skip the primaries, as he had in 1968. Even after he revised this strategy he still stayed out of New Hampshire, a decision that allowed McGovern to emerge as the leading challenger to Muskie in that state. Humphrey did win some primaries, including those in Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania, but was defeated by McGovern in several others, including the crucial California primary. Humphrey also was out-organized by McGovern in caucus states and was trailing in delegates at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. His hopes rested on challenges to the credentials of some of the McGovern delegates. For example, the Humphrey forces argued that the winner-take-all rule for the California primary violated procedural reforms intended to produce a better reflection of the popular vote, the reason that the Illinois delegation was bounced. The effort failed, as several votes on delegate credentials went McGovern's way, guaranteeing his victory.

Humphrey also briefly considered mounting a campaign for the Democratic nomination from the Convention once again in 1976, when the primaries seemed likely to result in a deadlock, but ultimately decided against it. At the conclusion of the Democratic primary process that year, even with Jimmy Carter having the requisite number of delegates needed to secure his nomination, many still wanted Humphrey to announce his availability for a draft. However, he did not do so, and Carter easily secured the nomination on the first round of balloting. What wasn't known to the general public was that Humphrey already knew he had terminal cancer.

Deputy President pro tempore of the Senate (1976–1978)

In 1974, along with Rep. Augustus Hawkins of California, Humphrey authored the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, the first attempt at full employment legislation. The original bill proposed to guarantee full employment to all citizens over 16 and set up a permanent system of public jobs to meet that goal. A watered-down version called the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act passed the House and Senate in 1978. It set the goal of 4 percent unemployment and 3 percent inflation and instructed the Federal Reserve Board to try to produce those goals when making policy decisions.

Burial Plot of Vice President Humphrey. Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Humphrey ran for Majority Leader after the 1976 election but lost to Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The Senate honored Humphrey by creating the post of Deputy President pro tempore of the Senate for him. On August 16, 1977, Humphrey revealed he was suffering from terminal bladder cancer. On October 25, 1977, he addressed the Senate, and on November 3, 1977, Humphrey became the first person other than a member of the House or the president to address the House of Representatives in session. President Carter honored him by giving him command of Air Force One for his final trip to Washington on October 23. One of Humphrey's speeches contained the lines "It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped," which is sometimes described as the "liberals' mantra."

Death and funeral

Humphrey spent his last weeks calling old political acquaintances on a special long-distance telephone his family had given him. One call was to Richard Nixon, his former foe in the 1968 presidential election in which Humphrey invited Nixon to his upcoming funeral; Nixon accepted. Living in the hospital, Humphrey went from room to room, cheering up other patients with a joke and listening to them.

He died on January 13, 1978 of bladder cancer at his home in Waverly, Minnesota. His body lay in state in the rotunda of both the United States Capitol and the Minnesota State Capitol, and was interred in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. His wife, Muriel Humphrey, was appointed by Minnesota's governor Rudy Perpich to serve in the US Senate until a special election to fill the term was held. She did not seek election to finish her husband's term in office.

Muriel Humphrey remarried in 1979 (to Max Brown) and took the name Muriel Humphrey Brown. She died in 1998 at the age of 86 and is interred next to Hubert Humphrey.

Honors

In 1965, Humphrey was made an Honorary Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American males.

He was awarded posthumously the Congressional Gold Medal on June 13, 1979 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.

Named for Humphrey

Fellowship

  • The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, which fosters an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding throughout the world.

Buildings and institutions

Electoral history

See also

Notes

References

  • Berman, Edgar [3]. Hubert: The Triumph And Tragedy Of The Humphrey I Knew. New York, N.Y. : G.P. Putnam's & Sons, 1979. A physician's personal account of his friendship with Humphrey from 1957 until his death in 1978.
  • Cohen, Dan. Undefeated: The Life of Hubert H. Humphrey. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1978.
  • Garrettson, Charles L. III. Hubert H. Humphrey: The Politics of Joy. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1993.
  • Humphrey, Hubert H. The Education of a Public Man: My Life and Politics. Garden City, N. Y. : Doubleday, 1976.
  • Mann, Robert. The Walls of Jericho: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell and the Struggle for Civil Rights. New York, N.Y. : Harcourt Brace, 1996.
  • Solberg, Carl. Hubert Humphrey: A Biography. New York : Norton, 1984.
  • Taylor, Jeff. Where Did the Party Go?: William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2006.
  • Thurber, Timothy N. The Politics of Equality: Hubert H. Humphrey and the African American Freedom Struggle. Columbia University Press, 1999. Pp. 352.

External links

Political offices
New title Deputy President pro tempore
of the United States Senate

January 5, 1977 – January 13, 1978
Succeeded by
George J. Mitchell
Vacant
Title last held by
Lyndon B. Johnson
Vice President of the United States
January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969
Succeeded by
Spiro Agnew
Preceded by
Marvin Kline
Mayor of Minneapolis
1945 – 1949
Succeeded by
Eric G. Hoyer
United States Senate
Preceded by
Eugene McCarthy
United States Senator (Class 1) from Minnesota
January 3, 1971 – January 13, 1978
Served alongside: Walter Mondale, Wendell Anderson
Succeeded by
Muriel Humphrey
Preceded by
Joseph H. Ball
United States Senator (Class 2) from Minnesota
January 3, 1949 – December 29, 1964
Served alongside: Edward Thye, Eugene McCarthy
Succeeded by
Walter Mondale
Preceded by
Mike Mansfield
Senate Majority Whip
1961 – 1964
Succeeded by
Russell B. Long
Party political offices
Preceded by
Eugene McCarthy
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee for United States Senator from Minnesota
(Class 1)

1970, 1976
Succeeded by
Bob Short
Preceded by
Lyndon B. Johnson
Democratic Party presidential candidate
1968
Succeeded by
George McGovern
Democratic Party vice presidential candidate
1964
Succeeded by
Edmund Muskie
Preceded by
Elmer Austin Benson
(Farmer-Labor)
Ed Murphy
(Democratic)
Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nominee for United States Senator from Minnesota
(Class 2)

1948, 1954, 1960
Succeeded by
Walter Mondale
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lyndon B. Johnson
Persons who have lain in state or honor
in the United States Capitol rotunda

January 14, 1978 – January 15, 1978
Succeeded by
Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam Era
(Michael Joseph Blassie)

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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Hubert Horatio Humphrey (1911-05-271978-01-13) was vice-president of the United States of America from 1963 to 1968 and was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1968.

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  • The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.
    • Everything You Know Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Secrets and Lies, p. 328
  • The story of the labor movement needs to be taught in every school in this land... America is a living testimonial to what free men and women, organized in free democratic trade unions can do to make a better life ... we ought to be proud of it!
    • 1977 Minnesota State AFL-CIO Convention

Address to the Democratic National Convention (1948)

Text here. Convention Hall, Philadelphia, PA (1948-07-14)

  • We can't use a double standard — there’s no room for double standards in American politics — for measuring our own and other people's policies. Our demands for democratic practices in other lands will be no more effective than the guarantee of those practices in our own country.
  • To those who say — My friends, to those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them we are 172 years late. To those who say — To those who say that this civil-rights program is an infringement on states’ rights, I say this: The time has arrived in America for the Democratic party to get out of the shadow of states' rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights.
  • For all of us here, for the millions who have sent us, for the whole two billion members of the human family, our land is now, more than ever before, the last best hope on earth. And I know that we can, and I know that we shall began [sic] here the fuller and richer realization of that hope — that promise of a land where all men are truly free and equal, and each man uses his freedom and equality wisely well.

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  • A society will be judged on how it treats those in the dawn of life, those in the twilight of life, and those in the shadow of life.
  • [At university] I had no money to buy books ,so ... I even tutored in French with a sliding scale of payment: twenty dollars for an A, fifteen for a B, ten for a C, and five for a D. From : The Education Of A Public Man by Hubert Humphrey {Doubleday 1976} page 43
  • In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.
  • It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.
  • The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
  • What you do, what each of us does, has an effect on the country, the state, the nation, and the world.

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