Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, and Anti-War Politics in the DFL, 1964- 1972: A Conversation With Vance Opperman

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On-air date: 
Mon, 06/15/2015
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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In 1968, Minnesota’s young and powerful Democratic-Farmer Labor Party faced its biggest internal crises since the Democratic wing led by Humbert Humphrey out-organized the remnants of Minnesota’s once-dominant Farmer-Labor Party.  The issue in the late ‘40s was the rise of U.S. militarism at the dawn of the Cold War.  The issue in 1968 was a legacy of that earlier era: the Vietnam War.  The most visible face of that conflict was the contest between two DFLers to replace Lyndon Johnson as president:  Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Senator Eugene McCarthy.

The conflict didn’t start, however, in 1968.   Several years earlier, people like Vance Opperman were leading anti-war teach-ins at universities, church basements, and living rooms across Minnesota.  In an age before Facebook and Twitter, millions of Americans found ways to connect with each other in a powerful movement that had a major impact not only on the course of what was fast becoming an Indo-Chinese war, but on U.S. politics as well.

Special guest-host Bob Meek will be joining Tom O’Connell to interview one of the key participants in this history, Vance Opperman.  Vance will take us through the grassroots efforts that led up to the 1968 contest, the action within the DFL from precinct caucus to state convention, and also offer some  reflections on the public careers of these two giants of Minnesota politics: Hubert Humphrey and Eugene McCarthy

On-air guests: 

Vance Opperman