10 tidbits about Hubert H. Humphrey

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 24, 2011 - 2:43 PM

1 The Soviet Union made a secret offer to help finance Humphrey's 1968 presidential campaign against Richard Nixon, according to the memoir of Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet ambassador to the United States. Humphrey declined the offer.

2 He was a pharmacist by trade, dropping out of the University of Minnesota to help his father run the family drugstore in Huron, S.D., from 1930 to 1937.

3 The exuberant Humphrey was widely known -- and ribbed -- for often saying he was "pleased as punch."

4 As mayor of Minneapolis for two terms from 1945 to 1949, he became known for fighting bigotry -- no small task given that the city had been declared "the capital of anti-Semitism" by the Nation magazine in 1946.

5 He met Muriel Buck in 1934 in Huron, where, she said, "it was love at first waltz."

6 During the 1970s, he was a favorite guest of Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show."

7 Memorable quote: "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously."

8 Minnesota Gov. Karl Rolvaag dubbed him "the happy warrior of our generation," after William Wordsworth's poem, "Character of the Happy Warrior," which described a "generous Spirit."

9 He's credited with the political aphorism: "Behind every successful man is a proud wife and a surprised mother-in-law."

10 At least 13 buildings and institutions are named after him, from the sports stadium called the Metrodome to a bridge over the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County, Fla.

KIM ODE

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