Fri, 30 June 2023
March of the Governors, Governor #27
From his youth, Luther Youngdahl (b. 1896) aspired to be a judge, and he succeeded: Minneapolis Municipal Court (1930-1936), Hennepin County District Court (1936-1942), Minnesota Supreme Court (1942-1946), and US District Court for the District of Columbia (1951-1978.) Along the way, he found time to serve as Minnesota’s twenty-seventh governor (1947-1951.) A deeply committed Christian, Youngdahl found his signature issue in pushing for reforms of the state’s mental hospitals. Elected three times, the Republican cut short his third term to accept an appointment by Democrat Harry Truman (an appointment instigated by Hubert Humphrey), as a federal court judge in Washington DC. Youngdahl was the son of Swedish immigrants, a Minneapolis city kid like his contemporary Floyd Olson, and a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College. He died in 1978.
Mon, 5 June 2023
March of the Governors, Governor #26
Edward John Thye (1896-1969) was called Minnesota’s “farmer-governor,” and aptly so. He was born on a farm in South Dakota, grew up on a farm near Northfield, maintained his own Dakota County farm during his political career, concentrated on farm issues during his twelve years in the US Senate, and retired to the farm when his political career ended. Thye was the son of Norwegian immigrants, served in France during World War I, sold tractors, farmed, and got into politics through his friend Harold Stassen, who appointed him assistant commissioner of agriculture in 1939. Stassen then effectively chose Thye to succeed him when he left the governorship for the Navy in 1943. Thye finished Stassen’s term, won election easily in 1944, then moved on to the Senate in 1946. Eugene McCarthy defeated him in 1958.
Paul Nelson, with host Ken Peterson