Hubert Humphrey

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Hubert Humphrey
38th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byLyndon B. Johnson
Succeeded bySpiro Agnew
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 13, 1978
Preceded byEugene McCarthy
Succeeded byMuriel Humphrey
In office
January 3, 1949 – December 30, 1964
Preceded byJoseph H. Ball
Succeeded byWalter Mondale
1st Deputy President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 13, 1978
PresidentJames Eastland
LeaderRobert Byrd
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byGeorge J. Mitchell (1987)
14th United States Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 1961 – December 30, 1964
LeaderMike Mansfield
Preceded byMike Mansfield
Succeeded byRussell B. Long
35th Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
In office
July 2, 1945 – November 30, 1948
Preceded byMarvin L. Kline
Succeeded byEric G. Hoyer
Personal details
BornHubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr.
(1911-05-27)May 27, 1911
Wallace, South Dakota
DiedJanuary 13, 1978(1978-01-13) (aged 66)
Waverly, Minnesota
Political partyDemocratic-Farmer-Labor
Spouse(s)Muriel Buck Humphrey
ChildrenHubert Humphrey III
Nancy Faye Humphrey (1939-2003)
Robert Humphrey
Douglas Humphrey
ResidenceWaverly, Minnesota
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
Louisiana State University
The Capitol College of Pharmacy
ReligionCongregationalism (United Church of Christ)/United Methodist
SignatureCursive signature in ink
 
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Hubert Humphrey
38th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1965 – January 20, 1969
PresidentLyndon B. Johnson
Preceded byLyndon B. Johnson
Succeeded bySpiro Agnew
United States Senator
from Minnesota
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 13, 1978
Preceded byEugene McCarthy
Succeeded byMuriel Humphrey
In office
January 3, 1949 – December 30, 1964
Preceded byJoseph H. Ball
Succeeded byWalter Mondale
1st Deputy President pro tempore of the United States Senate
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 13, 1978
PresidentJames Eastland
LeaderRobert Byrd
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byGeorge J. Mitchell (1987)
14th United States Senate Majority Whip
In office
January 3, 1961 – December 30, 1964
LeaderMike Mansfield
Preceded byMike Mansfield
Succeeded byRussell B. Long
35th Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
In office
July 2, 1945 – November 30, 1948
Preceded byMarvin L. Kline
Succeeded byEric G. Hoyer
Personal details
BornHubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr.
(1911-05-27)May 27, 1911
Wallace, South Dakota
DiedJanuary 13, 1978(1978-01-13) (aged 66)
Waverly, Minnesota
Political partyDemocratic-Farmer-Labor
Spouse(s)Muriel Buck Humphrey
ChildrenHubert Humphrey III
Nancy Faye Humphrey (1939-2003)
Robert Humphrey
Douglas Humphrey
ResidenceWaverly, Minnesota
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
Louisiana State University
The Capitol College of Pharmacy
ReligionCongregationalism (United Church of Christ)/United Methodist
SignatureCursive signature in ink

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 from 1945 to 1948. 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 a room over his father's drugstore in Wallace, South Dakota.[1] He was the son of Ragnild Kristine Sannes (1883–1973), a Norwegian immigrant, and Hubert Humphrey, Sr. (1882–1949). Humphrey spent most of his youth in Doland, South Dakota, on the Dakota prairie; the town's population was about 700 people when he lived there. His father was a pharmacist who served as mayor and 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 Humphrey, 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. Because of the family's financial struggles, Humphrey 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. Over time the Humphrey Drug Company became a profitable enterprise and the family again prospered.

Humphrey 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 was a member of Phi Delta Chi Fraternity.[2] 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 soon became active in Minneapolis politics, and as a result he never finished his PhD

Marriage and early career

In 1934 Hubert began dating Muriel Buck, 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, 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, he lived in a modest middle-class housing development in Chevy Chase, Maryland. In 1958, Hubert and Muriel used their savings to build a lakefront home in Waverly, Minnesota, about 40 miles west of Minneapolis. During the Second World War Humphrey twice tried to join the armed forces, but he was rejected because of a hernia. He instead led various wartime government agencies and 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 tried 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.

Humphrey's political outlook began to change after the war:

Humphrey was a Willkie Republican in 1940, but during the postwar mop-up, when old American radicals were kicked out of a newly war-enamored Left, Humphrey busily extirpated Bryanism from the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party so that the populist FL might merge with the Trumanite hawks of the Democratic Party. “A Republican less than five years earlier,” [political scientist Jeff] Taylor notes of HHH in 1947, “he was now reading lifelong Farmer-Laborites out of the party.” The Humphrey fusionists vanquished “the traditional agrarian populists within the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party.”[3]

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 to 1948. 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 anticommunist Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) and for reforming the Minneapolis police force. The city had been named the "anti-Semitism capital" of the country,[citation needed] and the small African-American population of the city also faced discrimination. Humphrey's tenure as mayor is noted for his efforts to fight all forms of bigotry.[citation needed]

The 1948 Democratic National Convention

The national Democratic Party of 1948 was split between those who thought the federal government should actively protect civil rights for racial minorities, and those, who believed that states should be able to enforce racial segregation and infringe on the rights of non-white citizens.[citation needed]

At the 1948 Democratic National Convention, the party platform reflected this division and contained only platitudes in favor of civil rights. The incumbent president, Harry S Truman, had already issued a detailed 10-point Civil Rights Program that called for aggressive federal action on the issue of civil rights.[citation needed] He, however, supported 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[who?] 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,[4] 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 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, the move backfired. Although the strong civil rights plank adopted at the Convention cost Truman the support of the Dixiecrats, it gained him many 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 could win presidential elections without the "Solid South", 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.[5]

The Happy Warrior (1948–1964)

Minnesota elected Humphrey to the United States Senate in 1948 on the DFL ticket, unseating incumbent Republican Joseph H. Ball with 60% of the vote, 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.

Senator Humphrey

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.[citation needed] 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 addition, Humphrey "was a sponsor of the clause in the McCarran Act of 1950 threatening concentration camps for 'subversives'",[6] and in 1954 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). Although "Humphrey was an enthusiastic supporter of every U.S. war from 1938 to 1978",[3] in February 1960, he introduced a bill to establish a National Peace Agency.[7] 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, Humphrey wrote:[8]

"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."

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[citation needed], 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 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.[9]

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.[citation needed] 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.[10]

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 (1965-1969)

Vice President Humphrey at a meeting in the Oval Office, June 21, 1965

Humphrey took office on January 20, 1965. He was an early skeptic of the-then growing conflict in Vietnam. Following a successful Vietcong hit and run attack on the US installations at Pleiku on February 7, 1965 (where 7 Americans were killed and 109 wounded), Humphrey returned from Georgia to Washington D.C., to attempt to prevent further escalation.[11]He told President Johnson that bombing North Vietnam was not a solution to the problems in South Vietnam, but bombing would require the injection of US troops to protect the airbases.[12] Presciently, he noted that a military solution in Vietnam would take years, well beyond the next election cycle. President Johnson punished him with coldness and a restriction from the inner circle for a number of months, until he decided to "get back on the team."[13]


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 Humphrey bust

While he was Vice President, Hubert Humphrey was the subject of a satirical song by songwriter/musician Tom Lehrer entitled "Whatever Became of Hubert?" 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. ..."

During these years Humphrey was a repeated and favorite guest of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. He also struck up a friendship with Frank Sinatra that would endure Sinatra's early 1970s conversion to the Republican party and was perhaps most on notice in the fall of 1977 when Sinatra was the star attraction and host of a tribute to a then-ailing Humphrey. He also appeared on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast in 1973.

The 1968 Presidential election

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

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 win the nomination. But the nation was shocked yet again when Senator Kennedy was assassinated the night of his victory speech in California.

Humphrey and his running mate, Ed Muskie, went on to easily win the Democratic nomination at the party convention in Chicago, Illinois. 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. 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. Although he lost the election by less than 1% of the popular vote, (43.4% for Nixon (31,783,783 votes) to 42.7% (31,271,839 votes) 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). He said: "I have done my best. I have lost, Mr. Nixon has won. The democratic process has worked its will."[14]

Thirty percent of Humphrey’s campaign funding was raised from contributions of $500 or less, compared to 85 percent of George Wallace’s funding.[3]

Post-Vice Presidency (1969–1978)

Teaching and return to the Senate

Hubert Humphrey with Democratic Presidential nominee Jimmy Carter. Governor of California Jerry Brown is at right.

After leaving the Vice-Presidency, Humphrey used his talents by teaching at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, and by serving as chairman of board of consultants at the Encyclopædia 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, defeated Republican Congressman Clark MacGregor, 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.

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.

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

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 Hubert and Muriel 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.[citation needed] 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. One call was to Richard Nixon inviting him to his upcoming funeral which he accepted. Living in the hospital, Humphrey went from room to room, cheering up other patients by telling them jokes 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. Old friends and opponents of Humphrey, from Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon to President Carter and Vice-President Walter Mondale paid their final respects. "He taught us how to live, and finally he taught us how to die", said Mondale.[15]

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 1981 (to Max Brown) and took the name Muriel Humphrey Brown.[16] She died in 1998 at the age of 86 and is interred next to Hubert Humphrey.

Honors

External images
HHH Statue, link from the panoramio web site.

In 1965, Humphrey was made an Honorary Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically African American fraternity.

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

He was honored by the United States Postal Service with a 52¢ Great Americans series (1980–2000) postage stamp.

There is a slightly under-sized[17] statue[18] of him in front of the Minneapolis City Hall.

Named for Humphrey

Fellowship

Buildings and institutions

Electoral history

The Hubert H. Humphrey Building - Washington,DC: The headquarters building of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Solberg, Carl (1984); Hubert Humphrey: A Biography; Borealis Books; ISBN 0-87351-473-4. See p.35.
  2. ^ http://www.pharmacy.umaryland.edu/studentorg/pdc/
  3. ^ a b c Bill Kauffman (July 31, 2006) Disappearing Democrats, The American Conservative
  4. ^ "Hubert Humphrey 1948 Civil Rights Speech". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nwIdIUVFm4&feature=related. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  5. ^ McCullough, David. Truman. Simon & Schuster, 1992, p. 640. ISBN 0671456547.
  6. ^ Rothbard, Murray N.. Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal, Ludwig von Mises Institute
  7. ^ Schuman, Frederick L. Why a Department of Peace. Beverly Hills: Another Mother for Peace, 1969.
  8. ^ "JP Education". Jpteachers.com. http://jpteachers.com/tefl/peaceCorpsinfo.html. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  9. ^ Solberg, Carl (1984). Hubert Humphrey: A Biography. Borealis Books. p. 209. ISBN 0-87351-473-4. http://books.google.com/books?id=wzGabQcvDvcC&pg=PA206&lpg=PA206&dq=humphrey+kennedy+catholic&source=web&ots=vTJ4Cbv1rr&sig=RRIlG-prYSwmP6IUsG3cjck4r94#PPA209,M1.
  10. ^ "The Man Who Quit Kicking the Wall". Time (Time/CNN). September 4, 1964. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,830552-6,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-31.
  11. ^ T. Hoopes, The Limits of Intervention, p. 31.
  12. ^ T. Hoopes, The Limits of Intervention, p. 31.
  13. ^ T. Hoopes, The Limits of Intervention, p. 31.
  14. ^ "1968 Presidential Election - Events of 1968 - Year in Review". UPI.com. http://www.upi.com/Audio/Year_in_Review/Events-of-1968/1968-Presidential-Election/12303153093431-2/. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  15. ^ "Hubert Humphrey Dies - Events of 1978 - Year in Review". UPI.com. http://www.upi.com/Audio/Year_in_Review/Events-of-1978/Hubert-Humphrey-Dies/12309251197005-7/. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  16. ^ Mills, Barbara Kleban, "A Childhood Friendship Turns to Love, and Muriel Humphrey Plans to Be Married", People, February 16, 1981 (Vol. 15 No. 6)
  17. ^ Humphrey was 5' 11" (1.80 m), and his statue is obviously shorter.
  18. ^ "Photo of The original 'Triple H'". Panoramio. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/30184842. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
  19. ^ "The Hubert H. Humphrey Building". Hhs.gov. May 10, 2006. http://www.hhs.gov/about/hhh.html. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  20. ^ "Doland School District Quick Facts". Doland.k12.sd.us. http://www.doland.k12.sd.us/schoolinfo/QuickFacts/QuickFacts.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-17.

References

External links

Political offices
New titleDeputy President pro tempore
of the United States Senate

January 5, 1977 – January 13, 1978
Succeeded by
George J. Mitchell
Preceded 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 presidential nominee
1968
Succeeded by
George McGovern
Democratic vice presidential nominee
1964
Succeeded by
Edmund Muskie
Preceded by
Elmer Austin Benson
(Farmer-Labor)
Ed Murphy[disambiguation needed]
(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)