Tue, 4 October 2022
March of the Governors, Governor #19
Joseph Alfred Arner Burnquist (1879-1961), born in Dayton, Iowa, was destined for leadership from an early age. A star student and orator at Carleton, he was in the legislature at age twenty-eight, lieutenant governor at thirty-one, and governor at thirty-six. He led, or at least presided over, Minnesota’s infamous Public Safety Commission, the author of the worst World War I-era state-sponsored repression in the United States. The voters then turned against him, and he was out of office and seemingly out of politics at age forty-one. However, he returned eighteen years later to serve four terms as Minnesota’s attorney general.