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March of the Governors, Governor #34: Rudy Perpich

Ramsey County History podcast

Release Date: 03/06/2024

Ramsey County History - Little Women, Little Houses, Lots of Work, (and a Little Play) show art Ramsey County History - Little Women, Little Houses, Lots of Work, (and a Little Play)

Ramsey County History podcast

Growing up in Frogtown In 1941, young Wendy Ham’s Gumpa Guy Metzger built a dollhouse—a replica of the family home at 435 Charles Avenue in St. Paul. In 2023, Wendy Ham Rossi donated the “two-story,” six-room dollhouse complete with “indoor plumbing” to Ramsey County Historical Society, a gift for which we are grateful. She also penned a companion memoir about growing up on Charles and, later, at 554 Arundel Street surrounded by the love of her grandparents, parents, and little sister, Joyce. And she graciously recorded a reading, which you can hear online. The retired St. Paul...

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March of the Governors, Governor #35: Albert Harold Quie show art March of the Governors, Governor #35: Albert Harold Quie

Ramsey County History podcast

Albert H. Quie (1923-2023) left a safe seat in Congress after twenty years to run for governor in 1978. In that, his timing was good. He rode around the “Minnesota Massacre” and into office as the state’s thirty-fifth governor along with fellow Republicans Dave Durenberger and Rudy Boschwitz, who were elected to the US Senate. But in another respect, his timing could not have been worse. A successful first year of tax cuts was followed by an unwelcome recession that slashed state revenues and triggered a three-year budget crisis requiring six special legislative sessions and making most...

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March of the Governors, Governor #34: Rudy Perpich show art March of the Governors, Governor #34: Rudy Perpich

Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Governor #34 Rudy Perpich Series Podcast #37 Rudy Perpich (1928-1995) served as Minnesota's thirty-fourth governor in the years 1977 and 1978. He got there by succession when Wendell Anderson resigned. Perpich then appointed Anderson to the US Senate—the first event leading to the Minnesota Massacre of 1978. Perpich was the first Iron Ranger, the first dentist, and first Roman Catholic to serve as governor and, maybe, the last to have grown up in poverty. His term was marked by the national energy crisis, controversies over electric power lines, and...

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March of the Governors, Governor #33: Wendell Anderson show art March of the Governors, Governor #33: Wendell Anderson

Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Governor #33 Wendell Anderson (Series Podcast #35) Before an ignominious electoral end, Wendell “Wendy” Anderson was one of Minnesota’s most significant and popular governors. Born and raised on St. Paul’s East Side, he had been an Olympic hockey player and a twelve-year legislative veteran when elected governor in 1970 at the age of thirty-seven. In his first term, Anderson successfully encouraged legislative passage of landmark open government, environmental, labor and other forward-looking laws. Most importantly, he campaigned and got passed a sweeping...

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March of the Governors, Governor #32: Harold Levander show art March of the Governors, Governor #32: Harold Levander

Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Governor #32 Harold Levander (Series Podcast #35) Harold Levander (1910-1982) ran for political office once in his long life, in 1966. He defeated incumbent governor Karl Rolvaag, served four years, and never ran for office again. He had been a star athlete in college, in football and track, and a national champion orator. He practiced law in Harold Stassen's firm, where he represented rural electric power cooperatives and the South St. Paul stockyards. As a Republican governor, he helped enact a remarkably progressive agenda that included creation of...

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March of the Governors, Governor #31: Karl Fritjof Rolvaag show art March of the Governors, Governor #31: Karl Fritjof Rolvaag

Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Governor #31 Karl Fritjof Rolvaag (Series Podcast #34) Karl Fritjof Rolvaag (1913-1990) grew up in Northfield, the son of acclaimed novelist Ole Rolvaag. Upon his father’s untimely death in 1931, Rolvaag roamed the West for five years, working in the fields and forests and allying himself with that most radical of unions—Industrial Workers of the World. He graduated from St. Olaf College in 1942. He then began six years in the US Army that included combat service as a tank commander. After graduate work at the University of Minnesota, he became an organizer and...

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Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Governor #30 Elmer L. Andersen (Series Podcast #33) For Elmer L. Andersen, his single term as governor (1961-1963) marked a brief episode in a life of remarkable accomplishment. From modest beginnings in Muskegon, Michigan, Andersen rose from salesman for HB Fuller Co. to the leader who made the company a giant. He served with distinction in the state legislature, then defeated the popular and effective governor Orville Freeman in 1960. His great accomplishment as governor was reform of taconite taxation. He was a Republican far to the left of his party. In 1962, he...

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Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Governor #29 Orville Lothrop Freeman (Series Podcast #32) Orville Lothrop Freeman (1918-2003) was, like governors Floyd Olson and Luther Youngdahl before him, a product of the streets and schools of Minneapolis: His parents ran a clothing store on Lake Street. He attended the University of Minnesota, where he played football under the legendary Bernie Bierman, served as student council president, and was a champion debater. College was interrupted by World War II; he enlisted in the US Marines, where his one week in combat at Guadalcanal ended in a firefight and...

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Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Governor #28 C. Elmer Anderson (Series Podcast #31) Minnesota's twenty-eighth governor, C. Elmer Anderson (1912-1998), mostly aspired to be lieutenant governor, and at that he succeeded—elected six times in seven tries. He rose to governor in September 1951 with the resignation of Luther Youngdahl. Anderson won the governorship on his own in 1952, riding the ample coattails of Dwight Eisenhower. In this role, he tried to carry out Youngdahl's progressive policies, but the stars and the Minnesota senate were against him. He had beaten DFL candidate Orville Freeman...

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Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors Special Edition: Billy Williams March of the Governors Series Podcast #30 William F. (Billy) Williams never served as Minnesota's governor, but he served more Minnesota governors than any public servant in our state's history. He caught the eye of Governor John A. Johnson as a baseball player at the turn of the twentieth century. Johnson invited him to work at the capitol as his aide and messenger. Johnson died, but Williams stayed on, through the next thirteen governors—Eberhart, Hammond, Burnquist, Preus, Christianson, Olson, Petersen, Benson, Stassen, Thye,...

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March of the Governors, Governor #34
Rudy Perpich
Series Podcast #37

Rudy Perpich (1928-1995) served as Minnesota's thirty-fourth governor in the years 1977 and 1978. He got there by succession when Wendell Anderson resigned. Perpich then appointed Anderson to the US Senate—the first event leading to the Minnesota Massacre of 1978. Perpich was the first Iron Ranger, the first dentist, and first Roman Catholic to serve as governor and, maybe, the last to have grown up in poverty. His term was marked by the national energy crisis, controversies over electric power lines, and Reserve Mining Corporation, and the death of Hubert Humphrey. It ended with his crushing defeat by Al Quie in 1978. But he would be back