CRF Blog

Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978)

by Bill Hayes

Today is the 100th birthday of Hubert Humphrey (1911–1978). His impassioned speech at the 1948 Democratic Convention led to the adoption of a strong civil rights plank in the party’s platform, which in turn caused many Southern politicians to walk out and support Strom Thurmond for president in the 1948 election. Humphrey was mayor Minneapolis at the time, and he went on to be the U.S. senator from Minnesota and vice president under Lyndon Johnson. YouTube has the Hubert Humphrey 1948 Civil Rights Speech, which is considered one of the great speeches of the 20th century.

In America’s Forgotten Liberal, Rick Perlstein, writing in the New York Times, laments that America did not adopt the economic policies Humphrey favored.