121 Facts About Hubert Humphrey


Hubert Humphrey twice served in the United States Senate, representing Minnesota from 1949 to 1964 and 1971 to 1978.


Hubert Humphrey served three terms in the Senate from 1949 to 1964, and was the Senate Majority Whip for the last four years of his tenure.


Hubert Humphrey unsuccessfully sought his party's presidential nomination in 1952 and 1960.


In March 1968, Johnson made his surprise announcement that he would not seek reelection, and Hubert Humphrey launched his campaign for the presidency.


Hubert Humphrey ran again in the 1972 Democratic primaries but lost to George McGovern and declined to be McGovern's running mate.


Hubert Humphrey was born in a room over his father's drugstore in Wallace, South Dakota.


Hubert Humphrey was the son of Ragnild Kristine Sannes, a Norwegian immigrant, and Hubert Horatio Humphrey Sr.

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Hubert Humphrey spent most of his youth in Doland, South Dakota, on the Dakota prairie; the town's population was about 600.


Hubert Humphrey earned a pharmacist's license from the Capitol College of Pharmacy in Denver, Colorado, and helped his father run his store from 1931 to 1937.


Farmers got the message, and it was Hubert Humphrey's that became known as the farmer's drugstore.


Hubert Humphrey did not enjoy working as a pharmacist, and his dream remained to earn a doctorate in political science and become a college professor.


Hubert Humphrey's unhappiness was manifested in "stomach pains and fainting spells", though doctors could find nothing wrong with him.


Hubert Humphrey was a member of Phi Delta Chi, a pharmacy fraternity.


Hubert Humphrey earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University in 1940, serving as an assistant instructor of political science there.


Hubert Humphrey then became an instructor and doctoral student at the University of Minnesota from 1940 to 1941, and was a supervisor for the Works Progress Administration.


Hubert Humphrey was a star on the university's debate team; one of his teammates was future Minnesota Governor and US Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman.


Hubert Humphrey soon became active in Minneapolis politics, and as a result never finished his PhD.


In 1934, Hubert Humphrey began dating Muriel Buck, a bookkeeper and graduate of local Huron College.


Hubert Humphrey then tried to enlist in the Army in December 1944 but failed the physical exam because of a double hernia, color blindness, and calcification of the lungs.


Hubert Humphrey led various wartime government agencies and worked as a college instructor.


From 1943 to 1944, Hubert Humphrey was a professor of political science at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he headed the university's recently created international debate department, which focused on the international politics of World War II and the creation of the United Nations.


In 1943, Hubert Humphrey made his first run for elective office, for Mayor of Minneapolis.


In 1944, Hubert 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.


When Minnesota Communists tried to seize control of the new party in 1945, Hubert Humphrey became an engaged anticommunist and led the successful fight to oust the Communists from the DFL.


Hubert Humphrey gained national fame by becoming one of the founders of the liberal anticommunist Americans for Democratic Action, and he served as chairman from 1949 to 1950.

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Hubert Humphrey formed the Council on Human Relations and established a municipal version of the Fair Employment Practice Committee, making Minneapolis one of only a few cities in the United States to prohibit racial discrimination in the workforce.


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough has written that Hubert Humphrey probably did more to get Truman elected in 1948 than anyone other than Truman himself.


Hubert Humphrey took office on January 3,1949, becoming the first Democrat elected senator from Minnesota since before the Civil War.


Hubert Humphrey wrote that the victory heightened his sense of self, as he had beaten the odds of defeating a Republican with statewide support.


Hubert Humphrey's 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.


Hubert Humphrey served from the 81st to the 87th sessions of Congress, and in a portion of the 88th Congress.


Hubert Humphrey became known for his advocacy of liberal causes, and for his long and witty speeches.


Hubert Humphrey was a liberal leader who fought to uphold Truman's veto of the McCarran Act of 1950.


Hubert Humphrey was the author of the first humane slaughter bill introduced in the US Congress and chief Senate sponsor of the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958.


Hubert Humphrey chaired the Select Committee on Disarmament.


Hubert Humphrey was a lead author of its text, alongside Senate Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois.


Hubert Humphrey worked for Federal aid to education from 1949, and for a nuclear-test ban treaty from 1956.


On June 18,1953, Hubert Humphrey introduced a resolution calling for the US to urge free elections in Germany in response to the anti-Communist riots in East Berlin.


In December 1958, after receiving a message from Nikita Khrushchev during a visit to the Soviet Union, Hubert Humphrey returned insisting that the message was not negative toward America.


In February 1959, Hubert Humphrey said American newspapers should have ignored Khrushchev's comments calling him a purveyor of fairy tales.


In June 1963, Hubert Humphrey accompanied his longtime friend labor leader Walter Reuther on a trip to Harpsund, the Swedish Prime Minister's summer country retreat, to meet with European socialist leaders for an exchange of ideas.


Hubert Humphrey ran for the Democratic presidential nomination twice before his election to the vice presidency in 1964.


In between these two bids, Hubert 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 for the nomination against fellow Senator John F Kennedy in the primaries.


Hubert Humphrey believed defeating Kennedy in Wisconsin would weaken and slow the momentum of the latter's campaign.

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At one point Hubert Humphrey memorably complained that he "felt like an independent merchant competing against a chain store".


Kennedy's appeal placed Hubert Humphrey, who had championed tolerance his entire career, on the defensive, and Kennedy attacked him with a vengeance.


Roosevelt told audiences, "I don't know where he [Hubert Humphrey] was in World War Two," and handed out flyers charging that Hubert Humphrey was a draft dodger.


The claims that Hubert Humphrey was a draft dodger were inaccurate, because during the war Hubert Humphrey had "tried and failed to get into the [military] service because of physical disabilities".


Hubert Humphrey traveled around the state in a rented bus while Kennedy and his staff flew in a large, family-owned airplane.


That evening, Hubert Humphrey announced that he was leaving the race.


Hubert Humphrey won the South Dakota and District of Columbia primaries, which Kennedy did not enter.


Hubert Humphrey believed that only in this way could he attain the funds, nationwide organization, and visibility he would need to win the Democratic nomination.


Hubert Humphrey warmed up with a long tribute to the President, then hit his stride as he began a rhythmic jabbing and chopping at Barry Goldwater.


The Johnson-Hubert Humphrey ticket won the election overwhelmingly, with 486 electoral votes out of 538.


On November 6,1964, Hubert Humphrey traveled to the Virgin Islands for a two-week vacation.


News stations aired taped remarks in which Hubert Humphrey stated that he had not discussed with Johnson what his role would be as vice president and that national campaigns should be reduced by four weeks.


On January 19,1965, the day before the inauguration, Hubert Humphrey told the Democratic National Committee that the party had unified because of the national consensus established by the presidential election.


Hubert Humphrey was an early skeptic of the then growing Vietnam War.


Hubert Humphrey told President Johnson that bombing North Vietnam was not a solution to the problems in South Vietnam, but that bombing would require the injection of US ground forces into South Vietnam to protect the airbases.


However, Hubert Humphrey's critics were vocal and persistent: even his nickname, "the Happy Warrior", was used against him.


Hubert Humphrey struck up a friendship with Frank Sinatra, who supported his campaign for president in 1968 before his conversion to the Republican party in the early 1970s, 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.


Hubert Humphrey appeared on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast in 1973.


In mid-May 1965, Hubert Humphrey traveled to Dallas, Texas for an off-the-record discussion with donors of President Johnson's campaign.


On November 4,1967, Hubert Humphrey cited Malaysia as an example of what Vietnam could resemble post a Viet Cong defeat while in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Days later, Humphrey met with Johnson, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, and White House Counsel Lee C White.


Hubert Humphrey said the councils should include representation from all minority groups and religions, state governments, the National Guard, and law enforcement agencies and that the United States would see itself out of trouble only when law and order was reestablished.


Ahead of the meeting, Hubert Humphrey said they would discuss multiple topics including the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, European events, Atlantic alliance strengthening, and "the situation in the Far East".


White House Press Secretary George Christian said five days later that he had received reports from Vice President Hubert Humphrey indicating his tour of the European countries was "very constructive" and said President Johnson was interested in the report as well.


Hubert Humphrey was seized by American bodyguards who turned him in to Italian officers.


Hubert Humphrey was widely expected to remain Johnson's running mate for reelection in 1968.


Later in the campaign, Hubert Humphrey opposed a proposal by Senators McCarthy and George McGovern of South Dakota to the Democratic Convention's Policy Committee, calling for an immediate end to the bombings in Vietnam, an early withdrawal of troops and setting talks for a coalition government with the Viet Cong.


Hubert Humphrey did not enter any of the 13 state primary elections, but won the Democratic nomination at the party convention in Chicago, even though 80 percent of the primary voters had been for antiwar candidates.


Hubert Humphrey selected as his running mate Senator Ed Muskie of Maine.


Nevertheless, as Wallace lost support among white union members, Hubert Humphrey regained strength and the final polls showed a close race.


Hubert Humphrey reversed his Vietnam policy, called for peace talks, and won back some of the antiwar Democrats.


Hubert Humphrey carried just 13 states and the District of Columbia with 191 electoral college votes, Nixon carried 32 states and 301 electoral votes, and Wallace carried five states and 46 electoral votes.


On February 11,1969, Humphrey met privately with Mayor Richard J Daley and denied ever being "at war" with Daley during a press conference later in the day.


At a press conference on June 2,1969, Hubert Humphrey backed Nixon's peace efforts, dismissing the notion that he was not seeking an end to the war.


Later that month, Hubert Humphrey returned to Washington after visiting Europe, a week after McCarthy declared he would not seek reelection, Hubert Humphrey declining to comment amid speculation he intended to return to the Senate.


On January 4,1970, Hubert Humphrey said the United States should cease tests of nuclear weapons during the continued conversations for potential strategic arms limitations between the United States and the Soviet Union while speaking to the National Retail Furniture association at the Palmer House.


Hubert Humphrey had not planned to return to political life, but an unexpected opportunity changed his mind.


Hubert Humphrey won the nomination, defeated Republican Congressman Clark MacGregor, and returned to the US Senate on January 3,1971.


Ahead of resuming his senatorial duties, Hubert Humphrey had a November 16,1970, White House meeting with President Nixon as part of a group of newly elected senators invited to meet with the president.


Hubert Humphrey was reelected in 1976, and remained in office until his death.

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Hubert Humphrey served as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee in the 94th Congress.


Edward Purcell wrote that upon returning to the Senate, Hubert Humphrey found himself "again a lowly junior senator with no seniority" and that he resolved to create credibility in the eyes of liberals.


On May 3,1971, after the Americans for Democratic Action adopted a resolution demanding President Nixon's impeachment, Hubert Humphrey commented that they were acting "more out of emotion and passion than reason and prudent judgment" and that the request was irresponsible.


On December 24,1971, Hubert Humphrey accused the Nixon administration of turning its back on the impoverished in the rural parts of the United States, citing few implementations of the relief recommendations of the 1967 National Advisory Commission; in another statement he said only 3 of the 150 recommendations had been implemented.


In January 1972, Hubert Humphrey stated the US would be out of the Vietnam War by that point had he been elected president, saying Nixon was taking longer to withdraw American troops from the country than it took to defeat Adolf Hitler.


In January 1973, Hubert Humphrey said the Nixon administration was plotting to eliminate a school milk program in the upcoming fiscal year budget during a telephone interview.


On February 18,1973, Hubert Humphrey said the Middle East could possibly usher in peace following the Vietnam War ending along with American troops withdrawing from Indochina during an appearance at the New York Hilton.


In early January 1974, Hubert Humphrey checked into the Bethesda Naval Hospital for tests regarding a minute tumor of the bladder.


Hubert Humphrey said the Ford administration had no educational policy and noted the United States was the only industrialized country without a separate national education department.


Later that month, Hubert Humphrey was one of 19 senators to originate a letter stating the expectation of 75 senators that Ford would submit a foreign aid request to Congress meeting the "urgent military and economic needs" of Israel.


In October 1976, Hubert Humphrey was admitted to a hospital for the removal of a cancerous bladder, predicted his victory in his reelection bid and advocated for members of his party to launch efforts to increase voter turnout upon his release.


On November 4,1970, shortly after being reelected to the Senate, Hubert Humphrey stated his intention to take on the role of a "harmonizer" within the Democratic Party to minimize the possibility of potential presidential candidates within the party lambasting each other prior to deciding to run in the then-upcoming election, dismissing that he was an active candidate at that time.


In 1972, Hubert Humphrey ran for the Democratic nomination for president, announcing his candidacy on January 10,1972, during a twenty-minute speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


At the time of the announcement, Hubert Humphrey said he was running on a platform of the removal of troops from Vietnam and a revitalization of the United States economy.


Hubert Humphrey 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.


Hubert Humphrey initially planned to skip the primaries, as he had in 1968.


Hubert 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.


Hubert Humphrey was out-organized by McGovern in caucus states and was trailing in delegates at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida.


Hubert Humphrey's hopes rested on challenges to the credentials of some of the McGovern delegates.


The Hubert 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.

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Hubert Humphrey said at the time that he was urging fellow Senator and Minnesotan Walter Mondale to run, despite believing that Ted Kennedy would enter the race as well.


Hubert Humphrey announced his choice to not enter the New Jersey primary nor authorize any committees to work to support him during an April 29,1976, appearance in the Senate Caucus Room.


Hubert Humphrey had learned that he had terminal cancer, prompting him to sit the race out.


Hubert Humphrey attended the November 17,1976, meeting between President-elect Carter and Democratic congressional leaders in which Carter sought out support for a proposal to have the president's power to reorganize the government reinstated with potential to be vetoed by Congress.


Hubert Humphrey attended the May 3,1977, White House meeting on legislative priorities.


Hubert Humphrey told President Carter that the US would enter a period of high unemployment without an economic stimulus and noted that in "every period in our history, a rise in unemployment has been accompanied by a rise in inflation".


Hubert Humphrey stated a preventative health care program would be the only way for the Carter administration to not have to fund soaring health costs.


In July 1977, after the Senate began debating approval for funding of the neutron bomb, Hubert Humphrey stated that the White House had agreed to release the impact statement, a requirement for Congressional funding of a new weapon.


Hubert Humphrey ran for Majority Leader after the 1976 election but lost to Robert Byrd of West Virginia.


The Senate honored Hubert Humphrey by creating the post of Deputy President pro tempore of the Senate for him.


Hubert Humphrey's body lay in state in the rotundas of the US Capitol and the Minnesota State Capitol before being interred at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.


Hubert Humphrey's passing overshadowed the death of his colleague from Montana, Senator Lee Metcalf, who had died the day before Humphrey.


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


In 1978, Hubert Humphrey received the US Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.


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


Hubert Humphrey's legacy is bolstered by his early leadership in civil rights, and undermined by his long support of the Vietnam War.