History Podcasts

Humphreys College

Humphreys College

Humphreys College is an independent institution of higher education located in Stockton, California.The college, established in 1896, is committed to providing a number of undergraduate degree and certificate programs in areas related to law, business, human services, and liberal arts.With more than 100 years of service, the college has earned a noteworthy reputation and stable growth. succeeded his father as the second president of the college.The name of the college changed several times since its inception. In the same year, the institution was reorganized and incorporated as a nonprofit educational corporation under the California Education Code.The trustees of the college, comprising alumni, educators, distinguished citizens, and friends of the college, established a non-accredited, four-year night law school, in 1950. It offers a professional program of education leading to the Juris Doctor degree, which is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California.The college expanded in 1987, with the establishment of its Modesto campus. Again in 1990, as a part of its expansion program, the college established a campus in Sacramento.


Built on land donated by the prominent Cheyney family, the university was founded as the African Institute in February 1837 and renamed the Institute of Colored Youth (ICY) in April 1837, Cheyney University is the oldest African-American institution of higher learning.

The African Institute was founded by Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist who bequeathed $10,000 (equivalent to $259,233 in 2020), one-tenth of his estate, to design and establish a school to educate people of African descent and prepare them as teachers.

Born on a plantation on Tortola, an island in the British West Indies, Humphreys came to Philadelphia in 1764. Many Quakers were abolitionists, and he became concerned about the struggles of free people of color to make a living and gain education in a discriminatory society. News of a race riot against free blacks in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1829 inspired Humphreys to bequeath money in his will for higher education for free blacks. He charged thirteen fellow Quakers to design an institution "to instruct the descendents of the African Race in school learning, in the various branches of the mechanic Arts, trades and Agriculture, in order to prepare and fit and qualify them to act as teachers . "

Founded as the African Institute, the school was soon renamed the Institute for Colored Youth. In its early years, it provided training in trades and agriculture, as those were the predominant skills needed in the general economy. In 1902 the Institute was relocated to George Cheyney's farm, a 275-acre property 25 miles (40 km) west of Philadelphia. [6] The name "Cheyney" became associated with the school in 1913. The school's official name changed several times during the 20th century. In 1983, Cheyney was taken into the State System of Higher Education as Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.

The university has traditionally offered opportunities to many students from Philadelphia's inner city schools. [6] Its alumni have close ties in the city and state. It became part of a 1980 civil rights lawsuit against the state government it alleged that the state had unlawfully underfunded the historically black university. The suit was settled 19 years later in 1999. This was five years after the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights began investigating states "that once practiced segregation in higher education and were never officially found to have eliminated it." [7] In the settlement, the state agreed to provide $35 million to Cheyney over a five-year period, particularly for construction of needed buildings and academic development. By comparison, the university had an annual budget of about $23 million at the time. [7]

In November 2015, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education placed Cheyney University on probation. Three years later, the commission placed the university on "show cause" status which required the university to show cause by November 21, 2019, for showing compliance with the commission's standards or accreditation would not be renewed. [8] The accreditation concerns were driven by the university's financial woes, a concern the university sought to address in part with increased fundraising. [9]

On November 21, 2019 the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirmed Cheyney's accreditation as ". the institution is now in compliance with Standard VI (Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement) and Requirement of Affiliation 11." The Middle States commission will continue to monitor financial stability of the university, with a report from Cheyney due to the commission on March 1, 2020. [10]

Presidents Edit

  • Aaron A. Walton, 13th President (May 2017 - Present)
  • Frank Pogue, Ph.D. 12th President (October 2014- May 2017) [11]
  • Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, Ph.D. Acting President (2014) [12]
  • Michelle R. Howard-Vital, 11th President (2007-2014), [13]
  • Wallace C. Arnold, 10th Cheyney University President (2004-2007)
  • W. Clinton Pettus, 9th Cheyney University President. (1996-2004)
  • H. Douglas Covington, 8th Cheyney University President (1992-1995)
  • Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum (interim) 7th President (1991-1992) [14]
  • LeVerne McCummings, 6th Cheyney University President (1985-1991)
  • Wade Wilson, President 1968-1981 , founder and president of then Cheyney State Teachers College (1913-1951) [15]

Cheyney University Quad Edit

Burleigh Hall Edit

Harry T. Burleigh Hall (1928) is named for Harry T. Burleigh, the first critically successful African American composer and a major international figure in the world of music in the 20th century. His works include “Nobody Knows the Trouble I‘ve Seen”. Burleigh also provided insight for the composition of the Cheyney Alma Mater, written by Leslie Pinckney Hill. The building, which forms the eastern end of the historic Quadrangle, was 1842 to 1875. Cope was instrumental in helping to raise funds for the institute throughout his long and loyal tenure as a board member.

Browne Hall Edit

Hugh M. Browne Hall (1938) was originally constructed as a home economics center, and is named for Hugh Mason Browne, who was principal of the school from 1903 to 1913. It subsequently served as Cheyney's reception center, and housing for several administrative offices. Current plans call for renovation after which it will house high achieving students.

Dudley Hall Edit

Dudley Hall (1931), named for Mildred B. Dudley a pioneering music faculty member, was formerly named Pennsylvania Hall. Dudley Hall was originally a gymnasium and later the home of the music department. After a renovation it became a fine arts center and theatre for student productions. The Dudley theatre has seen performances by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, in addition to highly regarded student productions.

Carnegie Library Edit

Andrew Carnegie Hall (1909) is located on the quadrangle and is named for one of America's most famous philanthropists, the steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Carnegie had a passion for libraries and donated millions for the construction of libraries across the United States. Carnegie donated funding ($10,000) for the first library building constructed for the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY) in 1909. The building served as library, cafeteria, and gymnasium and study area. In 1962 an addition was constructed for classroom use, and now houses the business department. After a renovation in 2005, the grand hall is now used for special receptions & the rest of the building is home to Cheyney's business department.

Emlen Hall Edit

Emlen Hall (1904) is named for Samuel Emlen, Quaker board member, and the founder of the Emlen Institute in Philadelphia, from whose estate the ICY had earlier received considerable financial aid. Construction on Emlen was begun in 1904 and completed in 1905. Emlen was originally a dormitory for women however, later it was used for staff housing, business support services, and the business school. Currently, it is used for housing for the Keystone Honor Academy Students. Only these honor students are offered the privilege to stay in the historic building.

Humphreys Hall Edit

Richard Humphreys Hall (1903), located on the historic quadrangle, was the very first building constructed under the governance of the Quaker Board of Governors. Construction began in 1903, and the building was in use by 1904. Named in honor of Richard Humphreys (1750-1832), the Quaker philanthropist and founder of the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY), who's will, bequeathed the generous donation that enabled the establishment of the institution in 1837. Humphreys Hall has variously been used as a classroom building, industrial building, co-educational dormitory, and combination dining- room/kitchen. Originally called the “Industrial Building”, it was dedicated “Humphreys Hall” in honor of Richard Humphreys in June 1906. After an extensive renovation, the new use of the building is to house Humphrey's Scholars.

Biddle Hall Edit

James G. Biddle Hall (1938), an administration building, is named for James G. Biddle who served on the Cheyney Board from 1912 until his death in 1947. When then-Cheyney Training School for Teachers was purchased by the Commonwealth, he became Chairman of the Board of Trustees appointed by the governor. The building previously housed the computer center and math and computer sciences department. After a later renovation, it currently houses offices for the President, Vice Presidents for Student Affairs, and Institutional Advancement, and an art gallery. On the Quad, it is located across from Browne Hall, is parallel to Humphries Hall and diagonal from Burleigh Hall.

Other buildings Edit

Marian Anderson Music Center Edit

Marian Anderson Music Center (1970) is named for the internationally famous contralto from Philadelphia, who performed at Cheyney, and attended the center's dedication ceremony. The classroom building with accompanying auditorium also contains practice suites. The 36,000 square foot facility contains state-of-the-art acoustics and a wireless communication system installed. Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was one of the most celebrated contraltos of the twentieth century.

Marcus A. Foster Student Alumni Center Edit

Marcus A. Foster Student Alumni Center (1970), is named in honor of Marcus Foster, a Cheyney alumnus (class of 1946), and renowned educator, who was assassinated while serving with distinction as superintendent of the Oakland, California, public school system. [ citation needed ] An addition was constructed in 1975, with accommodations for student and administrative offices, bookstore, lounges, and an auditorium. Currently, it also houses on the third floor a state-of-the-art computer lab, updated in 2016.

Leslie Pinckney Hill Library Edit

Leslie Pinckney Hill Library (1974) was named for Dr. Leslie Pinckney Hill (1880-1960), the first president of Cheyney who led the school for thirty-eight years, from 1913 to 1951. The tri-level building is nearly four times the size of the original Carnegie Library that it replaced. Among its treasures are portraits by Laura Wheeler Waring. The library also houses the University Archives. It received an extensive renovation in 2016.

Vaux Hall Edit

Vaux Hall (1960) was constructed as the industrial arts center. Named for two Quaker financial supporters of the Institute, George Vaux, Sr. and George Vaux, Jr. Both men furthered Humphreys' bequest for the Institute for Colored Youth, including the Emlen Trust via vigorous fundraising. Vaux Hall served metal technology, drafting and CAD applications, photography, radio and broadcast sciences and printing graphics technology which was a staple of Cheyney University through the early 1990s. Vaux continues in its importance today to the fine arts, and information technology.

Wade Wilson Administration Center Edit

Wade Wilson Administration Center (1979) was named for Dr. Wade Wilson (1914-1988), an alumnus, former star athlete, and industrial arts professor. Dr. Wilson was the fourth president of Cheyney University, and served as president from 1968 to 1981. During his tenure as president Dr. Wilson was an active presence in the legislative arena on behalf of the university. The Wade Wilson building was built in 1980 and occupied in 1981 as the new location for the Office of the President. Later, other administrative offices were moved to the building. Currently, the building houses the offices of the Provost, the Office of the Vice President for Finance, the mailroom, registrar, Human Resources, Financial Aid, and related support offices.

Cheyney University has one of the most storied basketball programs in NCAA Division II history. The men's basketball program is 7th all-time in NCAA win percentage, including 16 PSAC conference championships, four Final Fours, and one National Championship (1978). The women's basketball team in 1982 competed in the championship game of the inaugural NCAA Division I tournament despite being a Division II school.

In 2009, Cheyney University hired the first ever NCAA men's and women's basketball coaches who are brother and sister. The men's coach was Dominique Stephens, a North Carolina Central University graduate and member of the NCAA Division II Basketball Championship team, and the women's coach was Marilyn Stephens, the Temple University Hall of Famer.

During the 2007-08 through 2010-11 academic years, the university violated NCAA rules in the certification of initial, transfer and continuing eligibility involving all sports programs. During the four-year period, numerous student-athletes competed while ineligible due to improper certification. In amateurism certification alone, 109 student-athletes practiced, competed and received travel expenses and/or athletically related financial aid before the university received their amateurism certification status from the NCAA Eligibility Center. The committee also concluded that a former compliance director failed to monitor when she did not follow proper procedures in the certification of student-athletes’ eligibility. The entire athletics program was on probation until August 2019. [16] [17] In spring 2018, the team withdrew from Division II and played the following season as an independent, citing financial problems. [18]

All nine of the National Pan Hellenic Council(NPHC) organizations are present on Cheyney University’s campus. The following is a collective list of all the NPHC chapters chartered at the university.


The Benefits of Historically Black Colleges and Universities for Mental Health

In 1837, Richard Humphreys saw first-hand the challenges black students were facing in America as they were pursuing college degrees. That inspired Humphreys to create the very first college specifically for people of color (POC). This spurred the black college movement across the nation, to the present where there are currently 101 active, private and public colleges and universities designed for people of color, collectively referred to as HBCU’s or Historically Black Colleges and Universities. These institutions were a blessing to the many students who didn’t feel safe or have access to the same educational resources as their white counterparts due to institutional racism. The present-day role of HBCU’s is vital to our history as a nation as these schools gave emancipated slaves the opportunity to pursue higher education along with providing a current day connection to black history. This begs the question, even though schools are now integrated, are HBCU’s still necessary in this present day and age? Is institutional racism today still challenging black student’s emotional and physical well-being and their chances of succeeding in a non-HBCU? Are black students more likely to be happier attending an HBCU compared to a Primarily White Institution (PWI)? What about black college athletes?

The Statistics

As political and racial tensions permeate into higher education facilities, more and more black students are choosing HBCU’s over other public and private institutions. This is evidenced by the fact that as college enrollment across the board has continued to fall, enrollment in HBCU’s have continued to rise. College enrollment in HBCU’s in the fall of 2017 was 298,138 which was an increase of 2.1% over the previous year. The statistics from a Gallup-USA study in mental health differences between HBCU’s and non HBCU’s are truly astonishing.

Gallup-USA Funds Minority College Graduates Report

The report showed that black graduates of HBCUs are more likely than black non-HBCU graduates to say that their university prepared them well for life outside of college (55% vs. 29%).

HBCU vs PWI Graduation Rates

The true determining factor of a school’s overall success is based on the enrollment to graduation rates. Do the students who initially started school end up graduating and if they do, do they graduate on time with the classmates they started with? A study published by the Erie Institute of Education Sciences looked at graduation rates for black students who attend HBCU’s compared to PWI’s and found that those who attended a HBCU had a 15.8% higher expectancy to graduate in six years compared to those that attended a PWI. Statistics like this show that there might be possibly more support and resources available to black students who attend HBCU’s compared to those that attend PWI’s. A study, published by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, stated that “The difference between the lifetime wages of college and high school graduates is $1 million.” Basically, those that end up graduating have a higher chance of financial success later in life as well with a college degree than those that don’t. It’s also important to note, that those that didn’t graduate and took out student loans, might end up deep in debt and develop health issues.

Determinantal Health Effects Associated with PWI’s

The American Public Health Association states that “Racism is a driving force of the social determinants of health (like housing, education and employment) and is a barrier to health equity.” So, can racism cause a black student attending a PWI to really develop ailments such as: diabetes, heart disease, depression, suicidal thoughts and/or hair loss? One study showed that a black student attending a PWI can lead to severe health ailments. “Weathering the cumulative effects of living in a society characterized by white dominance and privilege produces a kind of physical and mental wear-and-tear that contributes to a host of psychological and physical ailments.”

Another study followed 489 young black kids, for 15 years in rural Georgia, highlighting the harmful effects that young Black Americans, identified as resilient, were suffering from an exceptional amount of internal pressure to succeed. Scenarios such as obtaining a white-collar job or being a first-generation college graduate combined with microaggressions often caused the students to compromise on many areas of self-care and even sleep and exercise, which resulted in disproportionately high rates of obesity and high blood pressure along with producing more stress hormones than the average student. The results also showed that 11 out of the 13 kids who experienced high levels of stress, their teachers assessed them as “performing well emotionally, academically and socially had a high allostatic load at age 19.”

Black College Athletes at PWI’s

What about college athletes? Does being an athlete make you any less of a target to racism? Research shows that most African American student-athletes tend to be first in their families to attend college and most commonly come from large, low-income, inner-cities in comparison to their white student-athlete counterparts. A study done in 2008, reported that African American student-athletes at a PWI experienced “feelings of isolation, being misunderstood, powerlessness, mistrust from teammates and others, being judged, pressure to assimilate to different values, and being stigmatized as a black athlete.” The study went on to show that high rates of depression have previously been found to be positively related to Black students who experience racism and may suggest that even with moderate levels of social support, student-athletes may still be experiencing psychosocial difficulties due to racism or discrimination.

Are HBCU’s The Better Option Mental Health Wise For Black Students?

Even with affirmative action policies, educational inequalities at PWI’s have not diminished. The subtle microaggressions and negative stereotypes that are still rampant as evidenced by studies showing that even though black students have more access to attending PWI’s than ever before, their mental health in HBCU’s supersede PWI’s. As students begin to see the inequalities in institutions the need to deconstruct and understand with cultural competence and awareness on how to support black students at PWI’s can go a long way to achieving a better society with positive mental health rates. Imposing racial standards for academic achievement make no sense if students are not getting the proper resources they need to be mentally healthy. Minority students not graduating, jeopardizes their chances in life, especially as social and structural inequality continue to persist in the U.S.

Economic and social conditions, from the past to present-day America, are at the root of the achievement gap and evidence shows that when support and resources are readily available, students academically perform better. As a minority myself and having attended a PWI, I know first-hand the detrimental effects it had on my mental health when I didn’t have resources readily available. Being a Muslim woman at a PWI, whenever a terrorist attack would take place, I was always very anxious and scared to attend school because I was always treated differently. I believe if there more resources available, I would have performed better academically and would have experienced less stress.

Hiring more POC professors, offering additional grant money to POC’s to pursue degrees, offering mandatory diversity and unconscious bias training for staff and students to collaborate with universities to help break bias and build better habits among the students along with adding advancing diversity and inclusion programs, providing additional counseling and support services are more practical, effective solutions.

In regard to potential solutions for black athletes, Jemele Hill, a sports journalist, controversially suggested that black athletes collectively abandon PWI’s and move their talents over to HBCU’s. She went on to explain her reasons for the reallocation of talent, “If promising black student athletes chose to attend HBCUs in greater numbers, they would, at a minimum, bring some welcome attention and money to beleaguered black colleges, which invested in black people when there was no athletic profit to reap. More revolutionarily, perhaps they could disrupt the reign of an “amateur” sports system that uses the labor of black folks to make white folks rich.” Some might say it’s extreme but our society’s efforts to overcome the consequences of prejudice and discrimination for black students have not been effective enough and the statistics prove that and as history has shown repeatedly, change doesn’t happen unless radical action takes place.


Humphreys College - History

On February 25, 1837, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania became the nation’s first Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The University was established through the bequest of Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist who bequeathed $10,000 — one-tenth of his estate — to design and establish a school to educate people of African descent and prepare them as teachers.

First known as the African Institute, the school was soon renamed the Institute for Colored Youth. In its early years, it provided training in trades and agriculture, which were the predominant skills needed in the general economy.

In 1902, the Institute was relocated to George Cheyney’s farm, a 275-acre property just 25 miles west of Philadelphia. The name “Cheyney” became associated with the school in 1913, though the school’s official name changed several times during the 20th century.

As a charter member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), Cheyney State College became Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in 1983, the oldest of the fourteen member institutions and the only HBCU in the state system.

While Cheyney University has a rich heritage as the first institution of higher learning for African Americans, our campus today welcomes students from a variety of races, cultures, and nationalities, all of whom receive educational instruction far beyond the vision of Richard Humphreys. Cheyney graduates still become teachers, but our alumni also enter careers such as journalism, medicine, business, science/technology, law, communications, and government service. The University offers baccalaureate degrees in an array of disciplines, and many graduates go on to secure advanced degrees in a variety of fields.

Cheyney University boasts more than 30,000 graduates. Well-known alumni include the late Ed Bradley, a correspondent for the CBS program “60 Minutes”
Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education
Robert W. Bogle, publisher and CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest newspaper continuously owned and operated by an African American
Dr. Audrey F. Bronson, a member of the PA State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors, ordained minister and retired educator
Dr. Gladys Styles Johnston, former Chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Kearney Thaddeus Kirkland, State Representative and Mayor of Chester, PA
and the late Bayard Rustin, a prominent civil rights activist.


Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (1837- )

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, located near Cheyney, Pennsylvania, was founded on February 25, 1837, making it the oldest predominantly African American institution of higher education in the United States. It was originally known as the African Institute was renamed the Institute of Colored Youth in 1852.

The monetary funds to start the institution were bequeathed by Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist. Humphreys was born on a plantation in the West Indies and came to Philadelphia in 1764. After seeing many African Americans lose employment to more skilled immigrants, he provided in his will $10,000 to start an institution that would teach young African American boys and girls the skills they needed to be more competitive in the job market. Originally located in Philadelphia, the school taught basic subjects such as reading, writing and math as well as mechanics and agriculture. Humphreys envisioned the institute training the teachers who would then instruct far more young women and men.

In 1902, the school purchased a farm owned by another Quaker, George Cheyney, and relocated 25 miles west of Philadelphia. Booker T. Washington served as keynote speaker at the school’s reopening in 1905. In 1914 the school was renamed to Cheyney Training School for Teachers after receiving aid from the State of Pennsylvania. It became Cheyney State College in 1959 and in 1983 the institution adopted its current name, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania remains a small institution with an estimated 1,600 students enrolled in October 2009. With a School of Arts and Sciences and a School of Educational and Professional Studies, Cheyney now offers over 30 baccalaureate degrees and a variety of MA degrees in Education. The vast majority of Cheyney’s students are African American. When Cheyney University of Pennsylvania was founded, it was originally for African Americans only. The university now accepts people of all races and religions.

Cheyney University’s most famous alumni include long time CBS News correspondent Ed Bradley early 20th Century architect Julian Abele, Robert Bogle, publisher of the Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest black newspaper in the nation Robert Woodson, founder of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, a conservative think tank, and multimillionaire businessman Craig T. Welburn.


Contents

Humphrey was born in a room over his father's drugstore in Wallace, South Dakota. [2] He was the son of Ragnild Kristine Sannes (1883–1973), a Norwegian immigrant, [3] and Hubert Horatio Humphrey Sr. (1882–1949). [4] Humphrey spent most of his youth in Doland, South Dakota, on the Dakota prairie the town's population was about 600. His father was a licensed pharmacist and merchant who served as mayor and a town council member. The father also served briefly in the South Dakota state legislature and was a South Dakota delegate to the 1944 and 1948 Democratic National Conventions. [5] In the late 1920s, a severe economic downturn hit Doland both banks in the town closed and Humphrey's father struggled to keep his store open. [6]

After his son graduated from Doland's high school, Hubert Sr. left Doland and opened a new drugstore in the larger town of Huron, South Dakota (population 11,000), where he hoped to improve his fortunes. [7] Because of the family's financial struggles, Humphrey had to leave the University of Minnesota after just one year. [8] He earned a pharmacist's license from the Capitol College of Pharmacy in Denver, Colorado (completing a two-year licensure program in just six months), [9] and helped his father run his store from 1931 to 1937. [10] Both father and son were innovative in finding ways to attract customers: "to supplement their business, the Humphreys had become manufacturers . of patent medicines for both hogs and humans. A sign featuring a wooden pig was hung over the drugstore to tell the public about this unusual service. Farmers got the message, and it was Humphrey's that became known as the farmer's drugstore." [11] One biographer noted, "while Hubert Jr. minded the store and stirred the concoctions in the basement, Hubert Sr. went on the road selling 'Humphrey's BTV' (Body Tone Veterinary), a mineral supplement and dewormer for hogs, and 'Humphrey's Chest Oil' and 'Humphrey's Sniffles' for two-legged sufferers." [12] Humphrey later wrote, "we made 'Humphrey's Sniffles', a substitute for Vick's Nose Drops. I felt ours were better. Vick's used mineral oil, which is not absorbent, and we used a vegetable-oil base, which was. I added benzocaine, a local anesthetic, so that even if the sniffles didn't get better, you felt it less." [13] The various "Humphrey cures . worked well enough and constituted an important part of the family income . the farmers that bought the medicines were good customers." [14] Over time Humphrey's Drug Store became a profitable enterprise and the family again prospered. [15] While living in Huron, Humphrey regularly attended Huron's largest Methodist church and became scoutmaster of the church's Boy Scout Troop 6. [10] He "started basketball games in the church basement . although his scouts had no money for camp in 1931, Hubert found a way in the worst of that summer's dust-storm grit, grasshoppers, and depression to lead an overnight [outing]." [16]

Humphrey did not enjoy working as a pharmacist, and his dream remained to earn a doctorate in political science and become a college professor. [9] His unhappiness was manifested in "stomach pains and fainting spells", though doctors could find nothing wrong with him. [17] In August 1937, he told his father that he wanted to return to the University of Minnesota. [15] Hubert Sr. tried to convince his son not to leave by offering him a full partnership in the store, but Hubert Jr. refused and told his father "how depressed I was, almost physically ill from the work, the dust storms, the conflict between my desire to do something and be somebody and my loyalty to him . he replied 'Hubert, if you aren't happy, then you ought to do something about it'." [18] Humphrey returned to the University of Minnesota in 1937 and earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1939. [19] He was a member of Phi Delta Chi, a pharmacy fraternity. He also earned a master's degree from Louisiana State University in 1940, serving as an assistant instructor of political science there. [20] One of his classmates was Russell B. Long, a future U.S. Senator from Louisiana.

He then became an instructor and doctoral student at the University of Minnesota from 1940 to 1941 (joining the American Federation of Teachers), and was a supervisor for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). [21] Humphrey was a star on the university's debate team one of his teammates was future Minnesota Governor and US Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman. [22] In the 1940 presidential campaign Humphrey and future University of Minnesota president Malcolm Moos debated the merits of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Democratic nominee, and Wendell Willkie, the Republican nominee, on a Minneapolis radio station. Humphrey supported Roosevelt. [23] Humphrey soon became active in Minneapolis politics, and as a result never finished his PhD. [24]

In 1934, Humphrey began dating Muriel Buck, a bookkeeper and graduate of local Huron College. [25] They were married from 1936 until Humphrey's death nearly 42 years later. [26] They had four children: Nancy Faye, Hubert Horatio III, Robert Andrew, and Douglas Sannes. [27] Money was an issue. One biographer noted, "For much of his life he was short of money to live on, and his relentless drive to attain the White House seemed at times like one long, losing struggle to raise enough campaign funds to get there." [28] To help boost his salary, Humphrey frequently took paid outside speaking engagements. Through most of his years as a U.S. senator and vice president, he lived in a middle-class suburban housing development in Chevy Chase, Maryland. In 1958, the Humphreys used their savings and his speaking fees to build a lakefront home in Waverly, Minnesota, about 40 miles west of Minneapolis. [29]

During World War II, Humphrey tried three times to join the armed forces but failed. [30] His first two attempts were to join the Navy, first as a commissioned officer and then as an enlisted man. He was rejected both times for color blindness. [31] He then tried to enlist in the Army in December 1944 but failed the physical exam because of a double hernia, color blindness, and calcification of the lungs. [31] Despite his attempts to join the military, one biographer would note that "all through his political life, Humphrey was dogged by the charge that he was a draft dodger" during the war. [32]

Humphrey led various wartime government agencies and worked as a college instructor. In 1942, he was the state director of new production training and reemployment and chief of the Minnesota war service program. [33] In 1943 he was the assistant director of the War Manpower Commission. [19] From 1943 to 1944, Humphrey was a professor of political science at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he headed the university's recently created international debate department, which focused on the international politics of World War II and the creation of the United Nations. [34] After leaving Macalester in the spring of 1944, Humphrey worked as a news commentator for a Minneapolis radio station until 1945. [19]

In 1943, Humphrey made his first run for elective office, for Mayor of Minneapolis. He lost, but his poorly funded campaign still captured over 47% of the vote. [21] In 1944, Humphrey was one of the key players in the merger of the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties of Minnesota to form the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). [35] He also worked on President Roosevelt's 1944 reelection campaign. [36] When Minnesota Communists tried to seize control of the new party in 1945, Humphrey became an engaged anticommunist and led the successful fight to oust the Communists from the DFL. [37]

After the war, he again ran for mayor of Minneapolis this time, he won the election with 61% of the vote. [21] As mayor, he helped to elect a friend and previous neighbor of his, Edwin Ryan, as he needed a "police chief whose integrity and loyalty would be above reproach." [38] Though they had differing views of labor unions, Ryan and Humphrey worked together to crack down on crime in Minneapolis. Humphrey told Ryan, "I want this town cleaned up and I mean I want it cleaned up now, not a year from now or a month from now, right now", and "You take care of the law enforcement. I'll take care of the politics." [39] Humphrey served as mayor from 1945 to 1948, [40] winning reelection in 1947 by the largest margin in the city's history to that time. Humphrey gained national fame by becoming one of the founders of the liberal anticommunist Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), and he served as chairman from 1949 to 1950. [41] He also reformed the Minneapolis police force. [42] The city had been named the "anti-Semitism capital" of the country, [43] and its small African-American population also faced discrimination. Humphrey's mayoralty is noted for his efforts to fight all forms of bigotry. [44] He formed the Council on Human Relations and established a municipal version of the Fair Employment Practice Committee, making Minneapolis one of only a few cities in the United States to prohibit racial discrimination in the workforce. [45] Humphrey and his publicists were proud that the Council on Human Relations brought together individuals of varying ideologies. [46] In 1960, Humphrey told journalist Theodore H. White, "I was mayor once, in Minneapolis . a mayor is a fine job, it's the best job there is between being a governor and being the President." [47]

The Democratic Party of 1948 was split between those, mainly Northerners, who thought the federal government should actively protect civil rights for racial minorities, and those, mainly Southerners, who believed that states should be able to enforce traditional racial segregation within their borders. [48]

At the 1948 Democratic National Convention, the party platform reflected the division by containing only platitudes supporting civil rights. [49] The incumbent president, Harry S. Truman, had shelved most of his 1946 Commission on Civil Rights's recommendations to avoid angering Southern Democrats. [50] But Humphrey had written in The Progressive magazine, "The Democratic Party must lead the fight for every principle in the report. It is all or nothing." [48]

A diverse coalition opposed the convention's tepid civil rights platform, including anticommunist liberals like Humphrey, Paul Douglas and John F. Shelley, all of whom would later become known as leading progressives in the Democratic Party. They proposed adding a "minority plank" to the party platform that would commit the Democratic Party to more aggressive opposition to racial segregation. [51] The minority plank called for federal legislation against lynching, an end to legalized school segregation in the South, and ending job discrimination based on skin color. [20] Also strongly backing the minority plank were Democratic urban bosses like Ed Flynn of the Bronx, who promised the votes of northeastern delegates to Humphrey's platform, Jacob Arvey of Chicago, and David Lawrence of Pittsburgh. Although seen as conservatives, the urban bosses believed that Northern Democrats could gain many black votes by supporting civil rights, with only comparatively small losses from Southern Democrats. [52] Although many scholars [ who? ] have suggested that labor unions were leading figures in this coalition, no significant labor leaders attended the convention, except for the heads of the Congress of Industrial Organizations Political Action Committee (CIO-PAC), Jack Kroll and A.F. Whitney. [53]

After the convention's vote, the Mississippi delegation and half of the Alabama delegation walked out of the hall. [1] Many Southern Democrats were so enraged at this affront to their "way of life" that they formed the Dixiecrat party [57] and nominated their own presidential candidate, Governor Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. [58] The Dixiecrats' goal was to take Southern states away from Truman and thus cause his defeat. [59] They reasoned that after such a defeat, the national Democratic Party would never again aggressively pursue a pro-civil rights agenda. The move backfired: although the civil rights plank cost Truman the Dixiecrats' support, it gained him many votes from blacks, especially in large northern cities. As a result, Truman won an upset victory over his Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey. [60] The result demonstrated that the Democratic Party could win presidential elections without the "Solid South" and weakened Southern Democrats. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough has written that Humphrey probably did more to get Truman elected in 1948 than anyone other than Truman himself. [61]

Humphrey was elected to the United States Senate in 1948 on the DFL ticket, defeating James M. Shields in the DFL primary with 89% of the vote, [62] and unseating incumbent Republican Joseph H. Ball in the general election with 60% of the vote. [63] He took office on January 3, 1949, becoming the first Democrat elected senator from Minnesota since before the Civil War. [64] Humphrey wrote that the victory heightened his sense of self, as he had beaten the odds of defeating a Republican with statewide support. [65] Humphrey's father died that year, and Humphrey stopped using the "Jr." suffix on his name. He was reelected in 1954 and 1960. [40] His colleagues selected him as majority whip in 1961, a position he held until he left the Senate on December 29, 1964, to assume the vice presidency. [66] Humphrey served from the 81st to the 87th sessions of Congress, and in a portion of the 88th Congress.

Initially, Humphrey's support of civil rights led to his being ostracized by Southern Democrats, who dominated Senate leadership positions and wanted to punish him for proposing the civil rights platform at the 1948 Convention. Senator Richard Russell Jr. of Georgia, a leader of Southern Democrats, once remarked to other Senators as Humphrey walked by, "Can you imagine the people of Minnesota sending that damn fool down here to represent them?" [67] Humphrey refused to be intimidated and stood his ground his integrity, passion and eloquence eventually earned him the respect of even most of the Southerners. [68] The Southerners were also more inclined to accept Humphrey after he became a protégé of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas. [20] Humphrey became known for his advocacy of liberal causes (such as civil rights, arms control, a nuclear test ban, food stamps, and humanitarian foreign aid), and for his long and witty speeches. [69]

Humphrey was a liberal leader who fought to uphold Truman's veto of the McCarran Act of 1950. The bill was designed to suppress the American Communist Party. With a small group of liberals he supported the Kilgore substitute that would allow the president to lock up subversives, without trial, in a time of national emergency. The model was the internment of West Coast Japanese in 1942. The goal was to split the McCarren coalition. For years critics charged that Humphrey supported concentration camps. The ploy failed to stop the new law the Senate voted 57 to 10 to overturn Truman's veto. [70] [71] [72] In 1954 he proposed to make membership in the Communist Party a felony. It was another ploy to derail a bill that would hurt labor unions. Humphrey's proposal did not pass. [73]

Humphrey chaired the Select Committee on Disarmament (84th and 85th Congresses). [74] In February 1960 he introduced a bill to establish a National Peace Agency. [75] With another former pharmacist, Representative Carl Durham, Humphrey cosponsored the Durham-Humphrey Amendment, which amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, defining two specific categories for medications, legend (prescription) and over-the-counter (OTC). [76]

As Democratic whip in the Senate in 1964, Humphrey was instrumental in the passage of the Civil Rights Act that year. He was a lead author of its text, alongside Senate Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois. [77] Humphrey's consistently cheerful and upbeat demeanor, and his forceful advocacy of liberal causes, led him to be nicknamed "The Happy Warrior" by many of his Senate colleagues and political journalists. [78]

While President John F. Kennedy is often credited for creating the Peace Corps, Humphrey introduced the first bill to create the Peace Corps in 1957—three years before Kennedy's University of Michigan speech. [79] A trio of journalists wrote of Humphrey in 1969 that "few men in American politics have achieved so much of lasting significance. It was Humphrey, not Senator [Everett] Dirksen, who played the crucial part in the complex parliamentary games that were needed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was Humphrey, not John Kennedy, who first proposed the Peace Corps. The Food for Peace program was Humphrey's idea, and so was Medicare, passed sixteen years after he first proposed it. He worked for Federal aid to education from 1949, and for a nuclear-test ban treaty from 1956. These are the solid monuments of twenty years of effective work for liberal causes in the Senate." [80] President Johnson once said that "Most Senators are minnows . Hubert Humphrey is among the whales." [80] In his autobiography, The Education of a Public Man, Humphrey wrote: [81]

There were three bills of particular emotional importance to me: the Peace Corps, a disarmament agency, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The President, knowing how I felt, asked me to introduce legislation for all three. I introduced the first Peace Corps bill in 1957. It did not meet with much enthusiasm. Some traditional diplomats quaked at the thought of thousands of young Americans scattered across their world. Many senators, including liberal ones, thought the idea was silly and unworkable. Now, with a young president urging its passage, it became possible and we pushed it rapidly through the Senate. It is fashionable now to suggest that Peace Corps Volunteers gained as much or more, from their experience as the countries they worked. That may be true, but it ought not demean their work. They touched many lives and made them better.

On April 9, 1950, Humphrey predicted that President Truman would sign a $4 billion housing bill and charge Republicans with having removed the bill's main middle-income benefits during Truman's tours of the Midwest and Northwest the following month. [82]

On January 7, 1951, Humphrey joined Senator Paul Douglas in calling for an $80 billion federal budget to combat Communist aggression along with a stiff tax increase to prevent borrowing. [83]

In a January 1951 letter to President Truman, Humphrey wrote of the necessity of a commission akin to the Fair Employment Practices Commission that would be used to end discrimination in defense industries and predicted that establishing such a commission by executive order would be met with high approval by Americans. [84]

On June 18, 1953, Humphrey introduced a resolution calling for the US to urge free elections in Germany in response to the anti-Communist riots in East Berlin. [85]

In December 1958, after receiving a message from Nikita Khrushchev during a visit to the Soviet Union, Humphrey returned insisting that the message was not negative toward America. [86] In February 1959, Humphrey said American newspapers should have ignored Khrushchev's comments calling him a purveyor of fairy tales. [87] In a September address to the National Stationary and Office Equipment Association, Humphrey called for further inspection of Khrushchev's "live and let live" doctrine and maintained the Cold War could be won by using American "weapons of peace". [88]

In June 1963, Humphrey accompanied his longtime friend labor leader Walter Reuther on a trip to Harpsund, the Swedish Prime Minister's summer country retreat, to meet with European socialist leaders for an exchange of ideas. [89] Among the European leaders who met with Humphrey and Reuther were the prime ministers of Britain, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, as well as future German chancellor Willy Brandt. [90]

Humphrey ran for the Democratic presidential nomination twice before his election to the Vice Presidency in 1964. The first time was as Minnesota's favorite son in 1952 he received only 26 votes on the first ballot. [91] The second time was in 1960. In between these two bids, Humphrey was part of the free-for-all for the vice-presidential nomination at the 1956 Democratic National Convention, where he received 134 votes on the first ballot and 74 on the second. [92]

In 1960, Humphrey ran for the nomination against fellow Senator John F. Kennedy in the primaries. Their first meeting was in the Wisconsin Primary, where Kennedy's well-organized and well-funded campaign overcame Humphrey's energetic but poorly funded effort. [93] Humphrey believed defeating Kennedy in Wisconsin would weaken and slow the momentum of the latter's campaign. [94] Kennedy's attractive brothers, sisters, and wife Jacqueline combed the state for votes. At one point Humphrey memorably complained that he "felt like an independent merchant competing against a chain store". [95] Humphrey later wrote in his memoirs that "Muriel and I and our 'plain folks' entourage were no match for the glamour of Jackie Kennedy and the other Kennedy women, for Peter Lawford . and Frank Sinatra singing their commercial 'High Hopes'. Jack Kennedy brought family and Hollywood to Wisconsin. The people loved it and the press ate it up." [96] Kennedy won the Wisconsin primary, but by a smaller margin than anticipated. Some commentators argued that Kennedy's victory margin had come almost entirely from areas with large Roman Catholic populations, [97] and that Protestants had supported Humphrey. As a result, Humphrey refused to quit the race and decided to run against Kennedy again in the West Virginia primary. According to one biographer "Humphrey thought his chances were good in West Virginia, one of the few states that had backed him in his losing race for vice-president four years earlier . West Virginia was more rural than urban, [which] seemed to invite Humphrey's folksy stump style. The state, moreover, was a citadel of labor. It was depressed unemployment had hit hard and coal miners' families were hungry. Humphrey felt he could talk to such people, who were 95% Protestant (Humphrey was a Congregationalist) [98] and deep-dyed Bible-belters besides." [97]

Kennedy chose to meet the religion issue head-on. In radio broadcasts, he carefully redefined the issue from Catholic versus Protestant to tolerance versus intolerance. Kennedy's appeal placed Humphrey, who had championed tolerance his entire career, on the defensive, and Kennedy attacked him with a vengeance. Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., the son of the former president, stumped for Kennedy in West Virginia and raised the issue of Humphrey's failure to serve in the armed forces in World War II. Roosevelt told audiences, "I don't know where he [Humphrey] was in World War Two," and handed out flyers charging that Humphrey was a draft dodger. [99] Historian Robert Dallek has written that Robert F. Kennedy, who was serving as his brother's campaign manager, came into "possession of information that Humphrey may have sought military deferments during World War Two . he pressed Roosevelt to use this." [100] Humphrey believed Roosevelt's draft-dodger claim "had been approved by Bobby [Kennedy], if not Jack". [100] The claims that Humphrey was a draft dodger were inaccurate, because during the war Humphrey had "tried and failed to get into the [military] service because of physical disabilities". [100] After the West Virginia primary, Roosevelt sent Humphrey a written apology and retraction. [99] According to historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Roosevelt "felt that he had been used, blaming [the draft-dodger charge] on Robert Kennedy's determination to win at any cost . Roosevelt said later that it was the biggest political mistake of his career." [101]

Short on funds, Humphrey could not match the well-financed Kennedy operation. He traveled around the state in a rented bus while Kennedy and his staff flew in a large, family-owned airplane. [102] According to his biographer Carl Solberg, Humphrey spent only $23,000 on the West Virginia primary while Kennedy's campaign privately spent $1.5 million, well over their official estimate of $100,000. [103] Unproven accusations claimed that the Kennedys had bought the West Virginia primary by bribing county sheriffs and other local officials to give Kennedy the vote. [104] Humphrey later wrote, "as a professional politician I was able to accept and indeed respect the efficacy of the Kennedy campaign. But underneath the beautiful exterior, there was an element of ruthlessness and toughness that I had trouble either accepting or forgetting." [105] Kennedy defeated Humphrey soundly in West Virginia with 60.8% of the vote. [106] That evening, Humphrey announced that he was leaving the race. [107] By winning West Virginia, Kennedy overcame the belief that Protestant voters would not elect a Catholic to the presidency and thus sewed up the Democratic nomination. [108]

Humphrey won the South Dakota and District of Columbia primaries, which Kennedy did not enter. [109] At the 1960 Democratic National Convention, he received 41 votes even though he was no longer a candidate.

Vice presidential campaign

Humphrey's defeat in 1960 had a profound influence on his thinking after the primaries he told friends that, as a relatively poor man in politics, he was unlikely to ever become President unless he served as Vice President first. [110] Humphrey believed that only in this way could he attain the funds, nationwide organization, and visibility he would need to win the Democratic nomination. So as the 1964 presidential campaign began, Humphrey made clear his interest in becoming Lyndon Johnson's running mate. At the 1964 Democratic National Convention, Johnson kept the three likely vice-presidential candidates, Connecticut Senator Thomas Dodd, fellow Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy, and Humphrey, [111] as well as the rest of the nation, in suspense before announcing his choice of Humphrey with much fanfare, praising his qualifications at considerable length before announcing his name. [112]

The following day Humphrey's acceptance speech overshadowed Johnson's own acceptance address:

Hubert warmed up with a long tribute to the President, then hit his stride as he began a rhythmic jabbing and chopping at Barry Goldwater. "Most Democrats and Republicans in the Senate voted for an $11.5 billion tax cut for American citizens and American business," he cried, "but not Senator Goldwater. Most Democrats and Republicans in the Senate – in fact four-fifths of the members of his own party – voted for the Civil Rights Act, but not Senator Goldwater." Time after time, he capped his indictments with the drumbeat cry: "But not Senator Goldwater!" The delegates caught the cadence and took up the chant. A quizzical smile spread across Humphrey's face, then turned to a laugh of triumph. Hubert was in fine form. He knew it. The delegates knew it. And no one could deny that Hubert Humphrey would be a formidable political antagonist in the weeks ahead. [113]

In an address before labor leaders in Youngstown, Ohio on September 7, 1964, Humphrey said the labor movement had "more at stake in this election than almost any other segment of society". [114] In Jamesburg, New Jersey on September 10, Humphrey remarked that Goldwater had a "record of retreat and reaction" when it came to issues of urban housing. [115] During a September 12 Denver Democratic rally, Humphrey charged Goldwater with having rejected programs that most Americans and members of his own party supported. [116] At a Santa Fe September 13 rally, Humphrey said the Goldwater-led Republican Party was seeking "to divide America so that they may conquer" and that Goldwater would pinch individuals in his reduction of government. [117] On September 16, Humphrey said the Americans for Democratic Action supported the Johnson administration's economic sanctions against Cuba, and that the organization wanted to see a free Cuban government. [118] The following day in San Antonio, Texas, Humphrey said Goldwater opposed programs favored by most Texans and Americans. [119] During a September 27 appearance in Cleveland, Ohio, Humphrey said the Kennedy administration had led America in a prosperous direction and called for voters to issue a referendum with their vote against "those who seek to replace the Statue of Liberty with an iron-padlocked gate." [120]

At Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, on October 2, Humphrey said the general election would give voters a choice between his running mate and a candidate "who curses the darkness and never lights a candle". [121] During an October 9 Jersey City, New Jersey appearance, Humphrey responded to critics of the administration, who he called "sick and tired Americans", by touting the accomplishments of both Kennedy's and Johnson's presidencies. [122] In Tampa, Florida on October 18, a week after the resignation of Walter Jenkins amid a scandal, Humphrey said he was unaware of any potential security leaks relating to the case. [123] In Minneapolis on October 24, Humphrey listed the censure vote toward Senator Joseph McCarthy, the civil rights bill, and the nuclear test ban treaty as "three great issues of conscience to come before the United States Senate in the past decade" that Goldwater had voted incorrectly on as a Senator. [124] In an October 26 speech in Chicago, Humphrey called Goldwater "neither a Republican nor a Democrat" and "a radical". [125]

The Johnson-Humphrey ticket won the election overwhelmingly, with 486 electoral votes out of 538. [126] Only five Southern states and Goldwater's home state of Arizona supported the Republican ticket. [127] In October Humphrey had predicted that the ticket would win by a large margin but not carry every state. [128]

Vice President-elect of the United States

Soon after winning the election, Humphrey and Johnson went to LBJ ranch near Stonewall, Texas. [129] On November 6, 1964, Humphrey traveled to the Virgin Islands for a two-week vacation. [130] News stations aired taped remarks in which Humphrey stated that he had not discussed with Johnson what his role would be as vice president and that national campaigns should be reduced by four weeks. [131] In a November 20 interview, Humphrey announced he would resign his Senate seat midway through the next month so that Walter Mondale could assume the position. [132]

On December 10, 1964, Humphrey met with Johnson in the Oval Office, the latter charging the vice president-elect with "developing a publicity machine extraordinaire and of always wanting to get his name in the paper." Johnson showed Humphrey a George Reed memo with the allegation that the president would die within six months from an already acquired fatal heart disease. [133] The same day, during a speech in Washington, Johnson announced Humphrey would have the position of giving assistance to governmental civil rights programs. [134]

On January 19, 1965, the day before the inauguration, Humphrey told the Democratic National Committee that the party had unified because of the national consensus established by the presidential election. [135]

Humphrey took office on January 20, 1965, [136] ending the 14-month vacancy of the Vice President of the United States, which had remained empty when then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the Presidency after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. [137] He was an early skeptic of the then growing Vietnam War. Following a successful Viet Cong hit-and-run attack on a US military installation at Pleiku on February 7, 1965 (where 7 Americans were killed and 109 wounded), Humphrey returned from Georgia to Washington D.C., to attempt to prevent further escalation. [138] He told President Johnson that bombing North Vietnam was not a solution to the problems in South Vietnam, but that bombing would require the injection of US ground forces into South Vietnam to protect the airbases. [138] Presciently, he noted that a military solution in Vietnam would take several years, well beyond the next election cycle. In response to this advice, President Johnson punished Humphrey by treating him coldly and restricting him from his inner circle for a number of months, until Humphrey decided to "get back on the team" and fully support the war effort. [138]

As Vice President, Humphrey was criticized for his complete and vocal loyalty to Johnson and the policies of the Johnson Administration, even as many of his liberal admirers opposed the president's policies with increasing fervor regarding the Vietnam War. [19] Many of Humphrey's liberal friends and allies abandoned him because of his refusal to publicly criticize Johnson's Vietnam War policies. Humphrey's critics later learned that Johnson had threatened Humphrey – Johnson told Humphrey that if he publicly criticized his policies, he would destroy Humphrey's chances to become President by opposing his nomination at the next Democratic Convention. [139] However, Humphrey's critics were vocal and persistent: even his nickname, "the Happy Warrior", was used against him. The nickname referred not to his military hawkishness, but rather to his crusading for social welfare and civil rights programs. [19] After his narrow defeat in the 1968 presidential election, Humphrey wrote that "After four years as Vice-President . I had lost some of my personal identity and personal forcefulness. . I ought not to have let a man [Johnson] who was going to be a former President dictate my future." [140]

While he was Vice President, Hubert Humphrey was the subject of a satirical song by songwriter/musician Tom Lehrer entitled "Whatever Became of Hubert?" The song addressed how some liberals and progressives felt let down by Humphrey, who had become a much more mute figure as Vice President than he had been as a senator. The song goes "Whatever became of Hubert? Has anyone heard a thing? Once he shone on his own, now he sits home alone and waits for the phone to ring. Once a fiery liberal spirit, ah, but now when he speaks he must clear it. . "

During these years Humphrey was a repeated and favorite guest of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. [141] [142] He also struck up a friendship with Frank Sinatra, who supported his campaign for president in 1968 before his conversion to the Republican party in the early 1970s, [143] and was perhaps most on notice in the fall of 1977 when Sinatra was the star attraction and host of a tribute to a then-ailing Humphrey. He also appeared on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast in 1973.

On April 15, 1965, Humphrey delivered an address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, pledging the incumbent session of Congress would "do more for the lasting long-term health of this nation" since the initial session in office at the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt assuming the presidency in 1933 and predicting 13 major measures of President Johnson's administration would be passed ahead of the session's conclusion. [144] In mid-May 1965, Humphrey traveled to Dallas, Texas for an off-the-record discussion with donors of President Johnson's campaign. During the visit, Humphrey was imposed tight security as a result of the JFK assassination a year and a half prior and the mother of Lee Harvey Oswald was placed under surveillance by Police Chief Cato Hightower. [145]

During a May 31, 1966 appearance at Huron College, Humphrey said the US should not expect "either friendship or gratitude" in helping poorer countries. [146] At a September 22, 1966 Jamesburg, New Jersey Democratic Party fundraiser, Humphrey said the Vietnam War would be shortened if the US stayed firm and hastened the return of troops: "We are making a decision not only to defend Vietnam, we are defending the United States of America." [147]

During a May 1967 news conference, Humphrey said American anger toward Vietnam was losing traction and that he could see a growth in popularity for President Johnson since a low point five months prior. [148] During an August 2, 1967 appearance in Detroit, Michigan, Humphrey proposed each state consider forming peacekeeping councils focused on preventing violence, gaining community cooperation, and listening to "the voices of those who have gone unheard." [149]

On November 4, 1967, Humphrey cited Malaysia as an example of what Vietnam could resemble post a Viet Cong defeat while in Jakarta, Indonesia. [150] The following day, Vice President Humphrey requested Indonesia attempt mediation in the Vietnam War during a meeting with Suharto at Merdeka palace. [151] On December 7, Vice President Humphrey said in an interview that the Viet Cong could potentially be the factor in creating a political compromise with the government of Saigon. [152]

Civil rights

In February 1965, President Johnson appointed Humphrey to the chairmanship of the President's Council on Equal Opportunity. [153] The position and board had been proposed by Humphrey, who told Johnson that the board should consist of members of the Cabinet and federal agency leaders and serve multiple roles: assisting agency cooperation, creating federal program consistency, using advanced planning to avoid potential racial unrest, creating public policy, and meeting with local and state level leaders. [154] During his tenure, he appointed Wiley A. Branton as executive director. [155] During the first meeting of the group on March 3, Humphrey stated the budget was US$289,000 and pledged to ensure vigorous work by the small staff. [154] Following the Watts riots in August of that year, Johnson downsized Humphrey's role as the administration's expert on civil rights. Dallek wrote the shift in role was in line with the change in policy the Johnson administration underwent in response to "the changing political mood in the country on aid to African Americans." [153] In a private meeting with Joseph Califano on September 18, 1965, President Johnson stated his intent to remove Humphrey from the post of "point man" on civil rights within the administration, believing the vice president was tasked with enough work. [156] Days later, Humphrey met with Johnson, Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, and White House Counsel Lee C. White. Johnson told Humphrey he would shorten his role within the administration's civil rights policies and pass a portion to Katzenbach, Califano writing that Humphrey agreed to go along with the plan reluctantly. [157]

In an August 1967 speech at a county officials national convention in Detroit, Michigan, Humphrey called for the establishment of a Marshall Plan that would curb poverty in the United States as well as address racial violence, and advocated for the creation of civil peace councils that would counter rioting. He said the councils should include representation from all minority groups and religions, state governments, the National Guard, and law enforcement agencies and that the United States would see itself out of trouble only when law and order was reestablished. [158]

Foreign trips

December 1965 saw the beginning of Humphrey's tour of eastern countries, saying he hoped to have "cordial and frank discussions" ahead of the trip beginning when asked about the content of the talks. [159] During a December 29 meeting with Prime Minister of Japan Eisaku Satō, Humphrey asked the latter for support on achieving peace in the Vietnam War and said it was a showing of strength that the United States wanted a peaceful ending rather than a display of weakness. [160]

Humphrey began a European tour in late-March 1967 to mend frazzled relations and indicated that he was "ready to explain and ready to listen." [161] On April 2, 1967, Vice President Humphrey met with Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Harold Wilson. Ahead of the meeting, Humphrey said they would discuss multiple topics including the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, European events, Atlantic alliance strengthening, and "the situation in the Far East". [162] White House Press Secretary George Christian said five days later that he had received reports from Vice President Humphrey indicating his tour of the European countries was "very constructive" and said President Johnson was interested in the report as well. [163] While Humphrey was in Florence, Italy on April 1, 1967, 23-year-old Giulio Stocchi threw eggs at the Vice President and missed. He was seized by American bodyguards who turned him in to Italian officers. [164] In Brussels, Belgium on April 9, demonstrators led by communists threw rotten eggs and fruits at Vice President Humphrey's car, also hitting several of his bodyguards. [165] In late-December 1967, Vice President Humphrey began touring Africa. [166]

1968 presidential election

As 1968 began, it looked as if President Johnson, despite the rapidly decreasing approval rating of his Vietnam War policies, would easily win the Democratic nomination for a second time. [167] Humphrey was widely expected to remain Johnson's running mate for reelection in 1968. [168] Johnson was challenged by Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, who ran on an anti-Vietnam War platform. [169] With the backing of out-of-state anti-war college students and activists while campaigning in the New Hampshire primary, McCarthy, who was not expected to be a serious contender for the Democratic nomination, nearly defeated Johnson, finishing with a surprising 42% of the vote to Johnson's 49%. [170] A few days after the New Hampshire primary, after months of contemplation and originally intending to support Johnson's bid for reelection, Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York also entered the race on an anti-war platform. [171] On March 31, 1968, a week before the Wisconsin primary, where polls showed a strong standing for McCarthy, President Johnson stunned the nation by withdrawing from his race for a second full term. [172]

Following the announcement from Johnson, Humphrey announced his presidential candidacy on April 27, 1968. [173] Declaring his candidacy in a speech in Washington, DC alongside Senators Fred Harris of Oklahoma and Walter Mondale of Minnesota (who both served as the co-chairs to his campaign), Humphrey stated:

Here we are, just as we ought to be, here we are, the people, here we are the spirit of dedication, here we are the way politics ought to be in America, the politics of happiness, politics of purpose, politics of joy and that's the way it's going to be, all the way, too, from here on out. We seek an America able to preserve and nurture all the basic rights of free expression, yet able to reach across the divisions that too often separate race from race, region from region, young from old, worker from scholar, rich from poor. We seek an America able to do this in the higher knowledge that our goals and ideals are worthy of conciliation and personal sacrifice. [174]

Also in his speech, Humphrey supported President Johnson's Vietnam initiative he proposed during his address to the nation four weeks earlier [174] partially halting the bombings in North Vietnam, while sending an additional 13,500 troops and increasing the Department of Defense's budget by 4% over the next fiscal year. [175] Later in the campaign, Humphrey opposed a proposal by Senators McCarthy and George McGovern of South Dakota to the Democratic Convention's Policy Committee, calling for an immediate end to the bombings in Vietnam, an early withdrawal of troops and setting talks for a coalition government with the Viet Cong. [176]

Many people saw Humphrey as Johnson's stand-in he won major backing from the nation's labor unions and other Democratic groups troubled by young antiwar protesters and the social unrest around the nation. [177] A group of British journalists wrote that Humphrey, despite his liberal record on civil rights and support for a nuclear test-ban treaty, "had turned into an arch-apologist for the war, who was given to trotting around Vietnam looking more than a little silly in olive-drab fatigues and a forage cap. The man whose name had been a by-word in the South for softness toward Negroes had taken to lecturing black groups . the wild-eyed reformer had become the natural champion of every conservative element in the Democratic Party." [80] Humphrey entered the race too late to participate in the Democratic primaries [178] and concentrated on winning delegates in non-primary states by gaining the support of Democratic officeholders who were elected delegates to the Democratic Convention. [177] By June, McCarthy won in Oregon and Pennsylvania, while Kennedy had won in Indiana and Nebraska, though Humphrey was the front runner as he led the delegate count. [177] [179] The California primary was crucial for Kennedy's campaign, as a McCarthy victory would have prevented Kennedy from reaching the number of delegates required to secure the nomination. [179] On June 4, 1968, Kennedy defeated McCarthy by less than 4% in the winner-take-all California primary. [180] But the nation was shocked yet again when Senator Kennedy was assassinated after his victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. [181] After the assassination of Kennedy, Humphrey suspended his campaign for two weeks. [182]

Chicago riots and party fallout

Humphrey's inaction during these incidents, Johnson's and Daley's behind-the-scenes maneuvers, [184] public backlash against Humphrey's winning the nomination without entering a single primary, and Humphrey's refusal to meet McCarthy halfway on his demands, resulting in McCarthy's refusal to fully endorse him, highlighted turmoil in the Democratic Party's base that proved to be too much for Humphrey to overcome in time for the general election. The combination of Johnson's unpopularity, the Chicago demonstrations, and the discouragement of liberals and African-Americans after the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. that year, all contributed to his loss to former Vice President Nixon. Nevertheless, as Wallace lost support among white union members, Humphrey regained strength and the final polls showed a close race. Humphrey reversed his Vietnam policy, called for peace talks, and won back some of the antiwar Democrats. [185]

Nixon won the electoral college and the election. Humphrey lost the popular vote by less than one percent, with 43.4% for Nixon (31,783,783 votes) to 42.7% (31,271,839) for Humphrey, and 13.5% (9,901,118) for Wallace. Humphrey carried just 13 states with 191 electoral college votes, Nixon carried 32 states and 301 electoral votes, and Wallace carried five states and 46 electoral votes. In his concession speech, Humphrey said, "I have done my best. I have lost Mr. Nixon has won. The democratic process has worked its will." [186]

Teaching and return to the Senate

After leaving the Vice Presidency, Humphrey taught at Macalester College and the University of Minnesota, and served as chairman of the board of consultants at the Encyclopædia Britannica Educational Corporation.

On February 11, 1969, Humphrey met privately with Mayor Richard J. Daley and denied ever being "at war" with Daley during a press conference later in the day. [187] In March, Humphrey declined answering questions on the Johnson administration being either involved or privy to the cessation of bombing of the north in Vietnam during an interview on Issues and Answers. [188] At a press conference on June 2, 1969, Humphrey backed Nixon's peace efforts, dismissing the notion that he was not seeking an end to the war. [189] In early July, Humphrey traveled to Finland for a private visit. [190] Later that month, Humphrey returned to Washington after visiting Europe, a week after McCarthy declared he would not seek reelection, Humphrey declining to comment amid speculation he intended to return to the Senate. [191] During the fall, Humphrey arranged to meet with President Nixon through United States National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, Humphrey saying the day after the meeting that President Nixon had "expressed his appreciation on my attitude to his effort on Vietnam." [192] On August 3, Humphrey said that Russia was buying time to develop ballistic missile warheads to catch up with the United States and that security was the "overriding concern" of the Soviet Union. [193] Days later, Humphrey repudiated efforts against President Nixon's anti-ballistic missile system: "I have a feeling that they [opponents of the ABM] were off chasing rabbits when a tiger is loose." [194] During October, Humphrey spoke before the AFL-CIO convention delegates, charging President Nixon's economic policies with "putting Americans out of work without slowing inflation." [195] On October 10, Humphrey stated his support for Nixon's policies in Vietnam and that he believed "the worst thing that we can do is to try to undermine the efforts of the President." [196] At a December 21 press conference, Humphrey said President Nixon was a participant in the "politics of polarization" and could not seek unity on one hand but have divisive agents on the other. [197] On December 26, Humphrey responded to a claim from former President Johnson that Humphrey had been cost the election by his own call for a stop to North Vietnam bombing, saying he did what he "thought was right and responsible at Salt Lake City." [198]

On January 4, 1970, Humphrey said the United States should cease tests of nuclear weapons during the continued conversations for potential strategic arms limitations between the United States and the Soviet Union while speaking to the National Retail Furniture association at the Palmer House. [199] In February, Humphrey predicted Nixon would withdraw 75,000 or more troops prior to the year's midterm elections and the main issue would be the economy during an interview: "The issue of 1970 is the economy. Some of my fellow Democrats don't believe this. But this is a fact." [200] On February 23, Humphrey disclosed his recommendation to Larry O'Brien for the latter to return to being Chair of the Democratic National Committee, a Humphrey spokesman reporting that Humphrey wanted a quick settlement to the issue of the DNC chairmanship. [201] Solberg wrote of President Nixon's April 1970 Cambodian Campaign as having done away with Humphrey's hopes that the war be taken out of political context. [192] In May, Humphrey pledged to do all that he was capable of to provide additional war planes to Israel and stress the issue to American leaders. [202] Amid an August 11 address to the American Bar Association luncheon meeting, Humphrey called for liberals to cease defending campus radicals and militants and align with law and order. [203]

Humphrey had not planned to return to political life, but an unexpected opportunity changed his mind. McCarthy, who was up for reelection in 1970, realized that he had only a slim chance of winning even re-nomination for the Minnesota seat because he had angered his party by opposing Johnson and Humphrey for the 1968 presidential nomination, and declined to run. Humphrey won the nomination, defeated Republican Congressman Clark MacGregor, and returned to the U.S. Senate on January 3, 1971. Ahead of resuming his senatorial duties, Humphrey had a November 16, 1970 White House meeting with President Nixon as part of a group of newly elected senators invited to meet with the president. [204] He was reelected in 1976, and remained in office until his death. In a rarity in politics, Humphrey held both Senate seats from his state (Class I and Class II) at different times. During his return to the Senate he served in the 92nd, 93rd, 94th, and a portion of the 95th Congress. He served as chairman of the Joint Economic Committee in the 94th Congress.

Fourth Senate term

L. Edward Purcell wrote that upon returning to the Senate, Humphrey found himself "again a lowly junior senator with no seniority" and that he resolved to create credibility in the eyes of liberals. [205] On May 3, 1971, after the Americans for Democratic Action adopted a resolution demanding President Nixon's impeachment, Humphrey commented that they were acting "more out of emotion and passion than reason and prudent judgment" and that the request was irresponsible. [206] On May 21, Humphrey said ending hunger and malnutrition in the U.S. was "a moral obligation" during a speech to International Food Service Manufacturers Association members at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. [207] In June, Humphrey delivered the commencement address at the University of Bridgeport [208] and days later said that he believed Nixon was interested in seeing a peaceful end to the Vietnam War "as badly as any senator or anybody else." [209] On July 14, while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Arms Control, Humphrey proposed amending the defense procurement bill to place in escrow all funds for creation and usage of multiple‐missile warheads in the midst of continued arms limitations talks. Humphrey said members of the Nixon administration needed to remember "when they talk of a tough negotiating position, they are going to get a tough response." [210] On September 6, Humphrey rebuked the Nixon administration's wage price freeze, saying it was based on trickle-down policies and advocating "percolate up" as a replacement, while speaking at a United Rubber Workers gathering. [211] On October 26, Humphrey stated his support for removing barriers to voting registration and authorizing students to establish voting residences in their college communities, rebuking the refusal of United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell the previous month to take a role in shaping voter registration laws as applicable to new voters. [212] On December 24, 1971, Humphrey accused the Nixon administration of turning its back on the impoverished in the rural parts of the United States, citing few implementations of the relief recommendations of the 1967 National Advisory Commission in another statement he said only 3 of the 150 recommendations had been implemented. [213] On December 27, Humphrey said the Nixon administration was responsible for an escalation of the Southeast Asia war and requested complete cessation of North Vietnam bombing while responding to antiwar protestors in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [214]

In January 1972, Humphrey stated the U.S. would be out of the Vietnam War by that point had he been elected President, saying Nixon was taking longer to withdraw American troops from the country than it took to defeat Adolf Hitler. [215] On May 20, Humphrey said Nixon's proposal to limit schoolchildren busing was "insufficient in the amount of aid needed for our children, deceptive to the American people, and insensitive to the laws and the Constitution of this nation", in a reversal of his prior stance, while in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. [216] During a May 30 appearance in Burbank, California, Humphrey stated his support for an immediate withdrawal of American forces from South Vietnam despite an invasion by North Vietnam. [217]

In January 1973, Humphrey said the Nixon administration was plotting to eliminate a school milk program in the upcoming fiscal year budget during a telephone interview. [218] On February 18, 1973, Humphrey said the Middle East could possibly usher in peace following the Vietnam War ending along with American troops withdrawing from Indochina during an appearance at the New York Hilton. [219] In August 1973, Humphrey called on Nixon to schedule a meeting with nations exporting and importing foods as part of an effort to both create a worldwide policy on food and do away with food hoarding. [220] After Nixon's dismissal of Archibald Cox, Humphrey said he found "the whole situation entirely depressing." [221] Three days after Cox's dismissal, during a speech to the AFL-CIO convention on October 23, Humphrey declined to state his position on whether Nixon should be impeached, citing that his congressional position would likely cause him to have to play a role in determining Nixon's fate. [222] On December 21, Humphrey disclosed his request of federal tax deductions of US$199,153 for the donation of his vice presidential papers to the Minnesota State Historical Society. [223]

In early January 1974, Humphrey checked into the Bethesda Naval Hospital for tests regarding a minute tumor of the bladder. His physician Edgar Berman said the next day that Humphrey "looks fine and feels fine" and was expected to leave early the following week. [224] In an interview conducted on March 29, 1974, Humphrey concurred with Senator Mike Mansfield's assessment from the prior day that the House of Representatives had enough votes to impeach Nixon. [225] Humphrey was reportedly pleased by Nixon's resignation. [221]

In an April 1975 news conference at the spring education conference of the United Federation of Teachers, Humphrey cited the need for a national department of education, a national education trust fund, and a federal government provision for a third of America's educational expenses. He said the Ford administration had no educational policy and noted the United States was the only industrialized country without a separate national education department. [226] In May, Humphrey testified at the trial of his former campaign manager Jack L. Chestnut, admitting that as a candidate he sought the support of Associated Milk Producers, Inc., but saying he was not privy to the illegal contributions Chestnut was accused of taking from the organization. [227] Later that month, Humphrey was one of 19 senators to originate a letter stating the expectation of 75 senators that Ford would submit a foreign aid request to Congress meeting the "urgent military and economic needs" of Israel. [228] In August, after the United States Court of Appeals ruled that Ford had no authority to continue levying fees of $2 a barrel on imported oil, Humphrey hailed the decision as "the best news we've heard on the inflation front in a long time" and urged Ford to accept the decision because the price reduction on oil and oil‐related products would benefit the national economy. [229] In October, after Sara Jane Moore's assassination attempt on Ford, Humphrey joined former presidential candidates Barry Goldwater, Edmund Muskie, and George McGovern in urging Ford and other presidential candidates to restrain their campaigning the following year to prevent future attempts on their lives. [230]

In October 1976, Humphrey was admitted to a hospital for the removal of a cancerous bladder, [231] predicted his victory in his reelection bid and advocated for members of his party to launch efforts to increase voter turnout upon his release. [232]

1972 presidential election

On November 4, 1970, shortly after being elected to the Senate, Humphrey stated his intention to take on the role of a "harmonizer" within the Democratic Party to minimize the possibility of potential presidential candidates within the party lambasting each other prior to deciding to run in the then-upcoming election, dismissing that he was an active candidate at that time. [233] In December 1971, Humphrey made his second trip to New Jersey in under a month, talking with a plurality of county leaders at the Robert Treat Hotel: "I told them I wanted their support. I said I'd rather work with them than against them." [234]

In 1972, Humphrey once again ran for the Democratic nomination for president, announcing his candidacy on January 10, 1972 during a twenty-minute speech in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the time of the announcement, Humphrey said he was running on a platform of the removal of troops from Vietnam and a revitalization of the United States economy. [235] He drew upon continuing support from organized labor and the African-American and Jewish communities, but remained unpopular with college students because of his association with the Vietnam War, even though he had altered his position in the years since his 1968 defeat. Humphrey initially planned to skip the primaries, as he had in 1968. Even after he revised this strategy he still stayed out of New Hampshire, a decision that allowed McGovern to emerge as the leading challenger to Muskie in that state. Humphrey did win some primaries, including those in Ohio, [236] Indiana and Pennsylvania, but was defeated by McGovern in several others, including the crucial California primary. Humphrey also was out-organized by McGovern in caucus states and was trailing in delegates at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. His hopes rested on challenges to the credentials of some of the McGovern delegates. For example, the Humphrey forces argued that the winner-take-all rule for the California primary violated procedural reforms intended to produce a better reflection of the popular vote, the reason that the Illinois delegation was bounced. The effort failed, as several votes on delegate credentials went McGovern's way, guaranteeing his victory.

1976 presidential election

On April 22, 1974, Humphrey said that he would not enter the upcoming Democratic presidential primary for the 1976 Presidential election. Humphrey said at the time that he was urging fellow Senator and Minnesotan Walter Mondale to run, despite believing that Ted Kennedy would enter the race as well. [237] Leading up to the election cycle, Humphrey also said, "Here's a time in my life when I appear to have more support than at any other time in my life. But it's too financially, politically, and physically debilitating – and I'm just not going to do it." [238] In December 1975, a Gallup poll was released showing Humphrey and Ronald Reagan as the leading Democratic and Republican candidates for the following year's presidential election. [239]

On April 12, 1976, Chairman of the New Jersey Democratic Party State Senator James P. Dugan said the selection of a majority of uncommitted delegates could be interpreted as a victory for Humphrey, who had indicated his availability as a presidential candidate for the convention. [240] Humphrey announced his choice to not enter the New Jersey primary nor authorize any committees to work to support him during an April 29, 1976 appearance in the Senate Caucus Room. [241] Even after Jimmy Carter had won enough delegates to clinch the nomination, many still wanted Humphrey to announce his availability for a draft. However, he did not do so, and Carter easily secured the nomination on the first round of balloting. Humphrey had learned that he had terminal cancer, prompting him to sit the race out.

Humphrey attended the November 17, 1976 meeting between President-elect Carter and Democratic congressional leaders in which Carter sought out support for a proposal to have the president's power to reorganize the government reinstated with potential to be vetoed by Congress. [242]

Fifth Senate term

Humphrey attended the May 3, 1977 White House meeting on legislative priorities. Humphrey told President Carter that the U.S. would enter a period of high unemployment without an economic stimulus and noted that in "every period in our history, a rise in unemployment has been accompanied by a rise in inflation". Humphrey stated a preventative health care program would be the only way for the Carter administration to not have to fund soaring health costs. [243] In July 1977, after the Senate began debating approval for funding of the neutron bomb, Humphrey stated that the White House had granted the impact statement on arms control be released. [244]

Deputy President pro tempore of the Senate (1977–1978)

In 1974, along with Rep. Augustus Hawkins of California, Humphrey authored the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, the first attempt at full employment legislation. The original bill proposed to guarantee full employment to all citizens over 16 and set up a permanent system of public jobs to meet that goal. A watered-down version called the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act passed the House and Senate in 1978. It set the goal of 4 percent unemployment and 3 percent inflation and instructed the Federal Reserve Board to try to produce those goals when making policy decisions.

Humphrey ran for Majority Leader after the 1976 election but lost to Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The Senate honored Humphrey by creating the post of Deputy President pro tempore of the Senate for him. On August 16, 1977, Humphrey revealed he was suffering from terminal bladder cancer. On October 25 of that year, he addressed the Senate, and on November 3, Humphrey became the first person other than a member of the House or the President of the United States to address the House of Representatives in session. [245] President Carter honored him by giving him command of Air Force One for his final trip to Washington on October 23. One of Humphrey's final speeches contained the lines "It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped", which is sometimes described as the "liberals' mantra". [246]

Humphrey spent his last weeks calling old political acquaintances. One call was to Richard Nixon inviting him to his upcoming funeral, which Nixon accepted. Staying in the hospital, Humphrey went from room to room, cheering up other patients by telling them jokes and listening to them. On January 13, 1978, he died of bladder cancer at his home in Waverly, Minnesota, at the age of 66.

Humphrey's body lay in state in the rotundas of the U.S. Capitol [247] and the Minnesota State Capitol before being interred at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis. His passing overshadowed the death of his colleague from Montana, Senator Lee Metcalf, who had died the day before Humphrey. Old friends and opponents of Humphrey, from Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon to President Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale, paid their final respects. "He taught us how to live, and finally he taught us how to die", said Mondale. [248]

Humphrey's wife Muriel was appointed by Minnesota governor Rudy Perpich to serve in the U.S. Senate until a special election to fill the term was held she did not seek election to finish her husband's term in office. In 1981 she married Max Brown and took the name Muriel Humphrey Brown. [249] Upon her death in 1998 she was interred next to Humphrey at Lakewood Cemetery. [27]

In 1965, Humphrey was made an Honorary Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically African American fraternity. [250]

In 1978, Humphrey received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards. [251]

He was awarded posthumously the Congressional Gold Medal on June 13, 1979 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.

He was honored by the United States Postal Service with a 52¢ Great Americans series (1980–2000) postage stamp. [252]

There is a statue of him in front of the Minneapolis City Hall. [253]

Humphrey's legacy is bolstered by his early leadership in civil rights, and undermined by his long support of the Vietnam War. His leading biographer Arnold A. Offner says he was "the most successful legislator in the nation’s history and a powerful voice for equal justice for all." [254] Offner writes that Humphrey was:

A major force for nearly every important liberal policy initiative. putting civil rights on his party’s and the nation’s agenda [in 1948] for decades to come. As senator he proposed legislation to effect national health insurance, for aid to poor nations, immigration and income tax reform, a Job Corps, the Peace Corps, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the path breaking 1963 Limited Test Ban Treaty. [He provided] masterful stewardship of the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act through the Senate. [255]

While acknowledging his accomplishments, some historians emphasize that Humphrey was "a flawed, and not entirely likeable, figure who talked too much and neglected his family while pursuing a politics of compromise that owed as much to his vaunting personal ambition as to political pragmatism." [256]


The New Struggle

And yet, in spite of their cultural and economic tenacity, the last decade has been a period of struggle for HBCUs. In a sense, argues a publication called the American Prospect, HBCUs have struggled for survival since their very founding. That many of these schools emerged in the midst of racial struggle is magnified by the embattled path that many HBCUs have taken to arrive at the present day.

As the American Prospect points out, even as HBCUs emerged to help black Americans transcend the vestiges of slavery and advance in society, they remained at the mercy of structural racism. Massive federal funding and works initiatives like the New Deal and the GI Bill channeled substantially greater resources to predominantly white institutions even as these same institutions restricted or limited access for people of color. As the Prospect explains, “The historic outright refusal of many white colleges to admit black students, coupled with constraints on the growth of HBCUs and far narrower access to federal subsidies for college education for blacks—all products of public policy—resulted in a significant unmet black demand for higher education. The drastically restricted capacity of African Americans to build wealth interacted with the financial deprivation of the very institutions that had the greatest commitment to providing blacks with higher education. That pattern persists.”

In recent years, HBCUs have suffered a fate similar to that of many other small colleges but often with greater intensity.

These patterns are only compounded by years of fluctuation in enrollment and graduation rates. Between 1976 and 2001, total enrollment in HBCUs grew from 180,059 to 222,453, but during this same period of time, the number of bachelor's degrees these schools awarded to America's black students declined from 35% to 21.5%. Of course, much of this was due to the numerous opportunities that were opening for black students in fully integrated schools. Still, with the number of black students attending HBCUs dropping from 90% in 1960 to just 11% in 2015, many of these historical colleges have faced painful economic hardships.

In recent years, HBCUs have suffered a fate similar to that of many other small colleges but often with greater intensity. The public universities among them have seen declining fiscal support at the state level and the private among them have struggled to maintain competitive enrollment numbers. The Huffington Post reports that, in 2013, decreases in federal grant funding to HBCUs and changes in the Parent PLUS Loan Program have cost black colleges more than $300 million in the last two years, one of the worst stretches in history for public HBCU support.”

The consequences were fatal or near-fatal for many of these historic institutions. In the next three years, Saint Paul's College, Knoxville College and Barber Scotia College all permanently or temporarily closed their doors.

Many other highly regarded HBCUs remain behind the financial 8-Ball. For instance, in 2015, South Carolina State University faced a temporary shutdown as state legislatures attempted to shutter the cash-strapped institution. Though outspoken students, alumni, and public advocates fought to have South Carolina's only public HBCU reinstated, it re-opened its doors with widespread reductions to faculty and staff, reduced opportunities for student scholarships, and the threat of building closures.

Even the historically-important Wilberforce was forced recently to introduce a rejuvenation plan aimed at heading off disaccreditation. Some of the proposed measures included enrollment drives, emergency fundraisers, and calls for increased donations from alumni.

While these challenges are certainly not unique to HBCUs alone, there is something distinct about the threat of closure. Whereas the general market for institutions of higher education is fairly saturated with competition, this is not so for HBCUs. Inherently, because schools that receive this designation are historic in nature, and do have historic ties to black communities in America, ties that can't be simply replicated on other campuses, each one that closes leaves a vacuum never to be filled.

Should South Carolina State University ultimately close, for instance, there will be no public HBCU to take its place in the state of South Carolina. Students seeking out this educational experience will be forced to look elsewhere. The elimination of any one HBCU could mean the closing off of opportunity to any number of would-be attendees.

All evidence suggests that HBCUs need strong public support and advocacy in order to revitalize their mission. The report from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education argues that “In many places where these data show HBCUs lagging behind their national counterparts, the disconnect reflects less on the institutions themselves than on the tendency in the United States to invest in students who need the least help instead of those who need the most. What is striking is how successful HBCUs have been in educating traditionally underserved students despite the many obstacles these institutions face.”

The idea of a post-racial America has been sharply challenged by a heightening of racial tensions in recent years—in city streets, in the political sphere, on the internet, and on the college campus. This suggests that, even absent the forces of legal segregation, HBCUs still have an important cultural, educational, and economic role to play.

As the HBCU Digest characterizes it, HBCUs are forever on the front lines of both the black struggle and black excellence. The Digest notes that “HBCUs, by their nature, live at the margins of both realities. They operate on the verges of financial crisis and cultural breakthrough every single day empowering students and faculty to do and to give more in spite of society's push for them to disappear into a post-racial oblivion. And to their credit, students and faculty deliver in spite of the emerging social norms which make their commitment and productivity seem anonymous, racially-tinged and socially irrelevant.”


What was the First HBCU?

Richard Humphreys established the first HBCU, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, in 1837. Humphreys originally named the school the African Institute, which then changed to the Institute for Colored Youth a few months later. He left money to begin a school that would bring higher education opportunities to African Americans.

The first classes at Cheyney University focused on trades and agriculture. Now, the university offers opportunities to Philadelphia inner-city students.


Hubert Humphrey’s Early Life and Career

Born in Wallace, South Dakota, in 1911, Hubert Humphrey Jr. left his home state to attend college at the University of Minnesota. Early in the Great Depression, he returned to help manage the family drug store, later earning his pharmacist’s license. Humphrey completed his bachelor’s degree at Minnesota in 1939, followed by a master’s degree in political science at the University of Louisiana. Back in Minnesota, he was hired to teach political science as part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Did you know? Near the end of Hubert Humphrey&aposs career, an Associated Press poll of 1,000 congressional administrative assistants named him the most effective U.S. senator of the previous 50 years.

Humphrey launched his political career in 1943 with a failed run for mayor of Minneapolis, then taught at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and gained exposure as a radio news commentator. In 1945, he won the mayoral race, and would serve in the post until 1948. That same year, he attracted national attention with an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention, in which he argued that the party’s presidential platform should include a civil rights plank. In the race for a U.S. Senate seat that fall, Humphrey’s populist-style coalition of Democrats, farmers and labor unions propelled him to victory in a state that hadn’t elected a Democratic senator since 1901.


The Impact of HBCUs Today

While HBCUs are no longer the only path to higher education for people of African descent, due to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Black students still attend them in increasing numbers. HBCUs remain a refuge for students to delve further into their cultural heritage and excel academically without fear of discrimination.

Whether it’s the groundbreaking STEM and liberal arts programs, low-cost tuition, dynamic atmosphere, or large diversity of students and professors, students are looking to HBCUs for a quality education and reflective cultural experience. The institutions even attract students from other ethnic backgrounds. In 2018, non-Black students made up 24% of enrollment at HBCUs compared to 15% in 1976.

The growing enrollment of ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse students at HBCUs encourage the federal government to respect and invest in the institutions. Legislation continues to pass that strengthens educational resources, increases administrative capacity and provides great financial assistance for students at these powerful think tanks.

HBCUs are golden products of the African diaspora and symbols of the strength and resilience of Black people. Their rich culture and academic rigor have allowed them to persevere despite continued obstacles. As evidenced by their long list of notable alumni, such as Thurgood Marshall, Spike Lee, Toni Morrison and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, there’s no doubt that HBCUs will always be necessary and valuable members of the academic world.

Interested in possibly studying away for a semester or year at an HBCU? Read our blog post "Five Historically Black Colleges or Universities to Consider for Studying Away" for recommendations.


Watch the video: Virtual Town Hall Meeting - Ending Remarks (December 2021).