On this day in 1978...


Former Minneapolis mayor, U.S. senator, and U.S. vice president Hubert H. Humphrey dies in Waverly, Minnesota.

Born in Wallace, South Dakota, Humphrey would attend the University of Minnesota for a year before financial issues forced him to go a pharmacy school in Denver.

He earned his pharmacist's license and helped run his family's pharmacy for six years before returning to the U of M to complete a bachelor of arts in 1939.

From there, Humphrey would earn a masters degree at LSU and become an instructor at Minnesota and would later be a political professor of political science at Macalester College in St. Paul.

He was a key figure in merging the Democratic and Farmer-Labor parties of Minnesota to form the DFL, and in his second attempt at Minneapolis mayor, would win the seat in 1945, serving until 1948.

After departing from his head post of Minneapolis, he would serve as a U.S. senator from 1948-1964, and run for president unsuccessfully in 1952 and 1960.

In 1964, he would be chosen by Lyndon B. Johnson as his running mate in Johnson's campaign for the presidency, and in one of the most lopsided races in the country's history, Johnson/Humphrey would take 44 states in the election, winning the electoral vote 486-52 over republicans Barry Goldwater and William Miller.

In 1968, Johnson withdrew from the nomination for president after serving one term, and Humphrey would gain the democratic nomination. He was defeated by Richard Nixon after winning only 13 states and Washington D.C.

The South Dakota native would spend his later years with a return to the U.S. Senate, where he would serve until his death.

Humphrey would have the Metrodome, which served as home of the Vikings and Twins among other teams and events, named after him upon construction, which began in 1979.

His funeral would attract big names Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale, and many others after he passed away from bladder cancer.

Humphrey is buried in the Lakewood Cemetary in Minneapolis.

Next Up