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Hubert H. Humphrey Digitization Project

This is the eighth installment of our NHPRC funded project to digitize Hubert H. Humphrey's speech texts. This month we focus on the years 1966 and 1967, the middle of Humphrey's tenure as Vice President of the United States.

Republic of Vietnam map, circa 1968


By the beginning of 1966 Humphrey was back in the good graces of Lyndon Johnson. "Now commences the most startling chapter in Humphrey's life" wrote his biographer Carl Solberg, "The vice president who had opposed the president's war policy persuaded himself that Johnson was right, and emerged as the leading spokesman for the president's course on Vietnam" (Hubert Humphrey: A Biography, p. 285).

Washington, D.C.: Arrival statement, return from Far East, January 3, 1966At the end of 1965 Johnson sent Humphrey on a trip to the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. On January 3rd, 1966 Humphrey gave his impressions of these countries and of his first trip traveling abroad for the president. In this speech he stated that "the future of Asia is full of hope."

Canberra, Australia: Harold E. Holt Luncheon, February 19, 1966After being summoned to Hawaii by the president and then sent on a tour of Vietnam, Humphrey gave a speech on February 19 at the Prime Minister's luncheon in Canberra. In this speech, the previous version of which he had thrown away in one of his many angry disagreements with his staff, he likened the Communist oppressors in Vietnam with the forces that challenged Europe and America in the 1940s. The Australian Prime Minister Holt called it "the greatest speech I have ever heard in my years of public life." Humphrey's staff were far less enthusiastic (Hubert Humphrey: A Biography, p. 289).

New York City: Niebuhr Dinner, Christianity and Crisis, February 25, 1966Humphrey's wholehearted adoption of Johnson's policies also did not win him support among his liberal friends or university students who were already vehemently opposing the war. On February 25, 1966 Humphrey addressed a dinner honoring Reinhold Niebuhr, co-father of the ADA (Americans for Democratic Action). Two hundred students paraded outside in protest as Humphrey gave this speech that included the cautioning words "The great tradition of social protest in America... has failings that crop up regularly. One failing is over-simplification and another is self-righteousness. Another is political naivety. Another is sweeping impatience with everybody in authority -- The Establishment and the Power Structure is what they are called now. We had other names in my younger days but it meant the same."

Washington, D.C.: National Press Club: Meeting the Challenge of Viet Nam, March 11, 1966Despite continued and increasing protests at his speeches Humphrey maintained his support of the president's policies in Vietnam. In this March 11, 1966 speech to the National Press Club Humphrey predicted that "Ten or twenty years hence, historians will mark Vietnam as a place where our nation -- and free peoples -- were faced with a challenge by totalitarianism... and where they met the challenge" (p.15).

New York City: Columbia Scholastic Press: American Youth and Viet Nam, March 12, 1966Though Humphrey was now almost totally in the president's favor, the country showed little favor towards either of them. Things were not going well in Vietnam where troop numbers exceeded 380,000 by the summer of 1966. Johnson increased the unpopular bombing in northern Vietnam in June. Great Society proposals stalled in Congress at home.

Civil rights protests continued to cause negative headlines as well. James Meredith, first African-American student to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962, was shot in a march he helped organize from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi. On June 23 civil rights marchers in Mississippi were dispersed with tear gas. At the National Association of Counties meeting in New Orleans in July Humphrey proposed that he, too, would react strongly if his living conditions were as horrible: "As hot as it has been... I would hate to be stuck on the fourth floor of a tenement with the rats nibbling on the kids' toes -- and they do -- with the garbage uncollected -- and it is -- with the streets filthy, with no swimming pools, National Association of Counties, New Orleans, Louisiana: Local Government's Great Opportunity, and excerpts from press conference, July 15, 1966with little or no recreation -- I would hate to be put in those conditions, and I want to tell you, if I were in those conditions -- if that should happen to have been my situation... I have enough spark left in me to lead a might good revolt under those conditions" (pages 27-28). These ad-libbed words in an otherwise prepared speech foreshadowed the summer riots that erupted in Cleveland, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles that year. The administration was seen by the media to condone unrest in America's cities.

Johnson was feeling his loss of popularity and arranged for Humphrey to do all of his campaigning that year. Though Humphrey tried to deliver the administration's message effectively to the American populace, 45 House seats and many important Senate races were lost by the Democrats.


Washington, D.C.: National Press Club: Meeting the Challenge of Viet Nam, March 11, 1966


1967 fared little better. Soured by the bad election year and dropping polls, Johnson rarely visited college campuses and was careful about his public appearances in general. Humphrey however, accustomed to being in the midst of protests and demonstrations, met with even more violence than usual. At a Stanford University student panel discussion on February 20th where Humphrey gave this Stanford University Meeting: Student Panel, Stanford, California, February 20, 1967speech "four hundred anti-war demonstrators mobbed his car, pushed placards in his face, and shrieked: 'War criminal,' 'Murderer,' and 'Burn, Baby, Burn.' Several tried to crash through the cordon of police, and one emptied a can of urine on a Secret Service man defending the vice president. Another threw himself under the front wheel of Humphrey's car but was dragged back by a policeman" (Hubert Humphrey: A Biography, p. 303).

A week later Humphrey gave this United Jewish Appeal, Washington, D.C., February 23, 1967speech to the United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Cabinet where he bemoaned the fact that, though it was laudable that students were able to protest in a country like ours, still: "There is something quite tragic and discouraging about young men and women, especially at an institution of learning, not being willing to listen to another point of view and to debate the great issues of our time" (p. 2).

On March 22, 1967 Humphrey gave a Birmingham Red Cross Awards Program, Birmingham, Alabama, March 22, 1967speech in the cradle of the civil rights movement to the Birmingham Red Cross Awards Program extolling their support of blood donations to the cause in Vietnam. Although Humphrey saw himself as a champion of civil rights, his loyalty towards Johnson was at cross purposes with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s view of the war in Vietnam. In April of 1967 King gave a speech titled: Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence in which he named the Vietnam War as the biggest obstacle to the civil rights movement. "A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor -- both black and white -- through the Poverty Program. Then came the build-up in Vietnam, and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political play thing of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such."

U.S. Military Academy, West Point Commencement: West Point, New York, June 8, 1966At the time King gave this speech, Humphrey was in Europe dealing with anti-war protestors abroad while visiting Switzerland, the Netherlands, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and even meeting with the Pope. He was back in time for more riots in numerous American cities that summer, a war in the Middle East, another escalation of troops to Vietnam by August of that year and a continuation of student protests.

In a National Defense Reserve, Washington, D.C., October 23, 1967speech to the National Defense Executive Reserve on October 23, 1967 Humphrey still vehemently supported the president's policies on Vietnam: "I support the President, and I support the course he is following because I too believe that it is right, and no amount of popularity that can be gained is worth the abandonment of conscience" (p.22).Viet Nam speech: U.S. Embassy, Saigon, South Viet Nam, October 31, 1967 By late October Humphrey was again sent to Vietnam and Southeast Asia, and made this speech at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon where he exclaimed to the U.S. Mission Staff: "This is our great adventure and a wonderful one it is" (p. 15). People found his words obscene (Hubert Humphrey: A Biography, p. 312).

On November 18, 1967 Humphrey addressed the Young Democrats National Convention in this Young Democrats' National Convention, Hollywood, Florida, November 18, 1967speech. In a note added to the speech, handwritten on hotel stationary, Humphrey wrote: "If you don't believe in yourself, your party or your President, how do you expect others to believe in you? Never put poison in the well from which you will have to drink." This staunch loyalty would be tested to the brink of Humphrey's endurance in the events of the election year of 1968.



These speech texts, as well as all of Humphrey's speeches from 1941-1967 are linked to the inventory of his Speech Text Files. More of Humphrey's speeches will be made available each month throughout this project. Look for the first half of 1968 in April!


National Historical Publications and Records Commission



This project was awarded the support of a $46,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) administered by the National Archives.

Learn more about how the NHPRC helps preserve records of enduring national historical value and promotes their public access and interpretation through archival and documentary programs.


New and Updated Finding Aids - March 2013

Name/Abstract File No.
ALAN R. WOOLWORTH: An Inventory of His Papers 00339
Personal papers and research files of Alan R. Woolworth, a Minnesota historian and archaeologist, primarily concerning events and individuals from nineteenth century Minnesota. Research files and other records of his and his wife's consulting business, Woolworth Research Associates, are included.
Architects' Small House Service Bureau: An Inventory of Its Records 01085
Correspondence, minutes, financial statements, newspaper clippings, printed and promotional materials, and related records of a regional and national organization, founded and headquartered in Minneapolis, that published and sold stock architectural plans for a variety of small homes, offered advice and counseling, and performed other professional services for people with limited incomes wishing to build small, well designed, and attractive homes.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT: An Inventory of Its Published Records and Reports gr00435
Reports, newsletters, and miscellaneous print and near-print items of or about the Education Department. The records cover all aspects of the department's duties and activities, including curriculum, rules and regulations, standards, administration, school finance, development, Indian education, instruction, foreign languages, pupil personnel services, libraries, management, planning, equal educational opportunity, professions development, school facilities and transportation, special education, statistics, teacher certification and placement, vocational rehabilitation, and vocational-technical education.
F. T. (Frithiof T.) Gustavson and Family: An Inventory of Their Papers 01083
Biographical data, correspondence, writings, clippings, and photographs of Gustavson, operator of the Home Trading Company in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, amateur archaeologist, student of aboriginal peoples and history of the area, superintendent of the Chippewa Museum in Cass Lake, Minnesota, and lecturer, tourism promoter and author.
Future Now (Organization): An Inventory of Its Records 01088
Annual reports, articles of incorporation, bylaws, financial statements, minutes, administrative files, and client and potential client files of a Twin Cities-based consulting firm working to advance progressive issues through the training of and consultation with members of local environmental, neighborhood, cooperative, social justice, and similar organizations.
GAMMA (Organization): An Inventory of Its Organizational Records 00383
Records of a social and athletic organization for gay men in the Twin Cities.
Governor: An Inventory of Its Election Records gr00696
Materials created or accumulated by the Governor's Office in confirmation of the validation of elections and the electoral process.
Human Rights Department: An Inventory of Its Records gr00697
Annual/biennial reports, minutes, commissioner's correspondence, topical background and subject files, news clippings, and published records a0nd reports documenting the main administrative activities and duties of the department. Included are records of the commission's predecessors, the Governor's Interracial Commission, Governor's Human Rights Commission, Fair Employment Practices Commission, and State Commission Against Discrimination.
Hubert H. Humphrey: An Inventory of His Speech Text Files 00442
Hubert H. Humphrey Copies of Humphrey's speeches, in varying formats including notes, drafts, speaking texts, printed copies, and transcripts. Also present are excerpts, sample speeches, and incomplete indexes and checklists.
Includes digital content.
James R. Anderson: An Inventory of His Papers 01087
Biographical information, patents, product catalogs, reports, product information sheets, and other records compiled by Anderson while employed as a chief electronics engineer and founding partner of Research, Incorporated, a Minneapolis firm that designed, manufactured, and sold electronic instruments, communications devices, and heating devices to industrial customers. There is also some material pertaining to Anderson Business Computer Systems, Inc., the company Anderson incorporated in 1981 after leaving Research, Inc. and operated until its dissolution in 1988.
Minnesota Transfer Railway Company: An Inventory of Its Records 00487
Minutes, stock certificates, annual reports, correspondence and subject files, financial and accounting records, operating analyses and monthly operating reports, maps and engineering drawings, payroll records, and miscellaneous legal papers of a St. Paul-based railroad company organized under the impetus of James J. Hill by a consortium of nine major railroads entering the Twin Cities to facilitate the transfer and handling of freight entering the cities by rail.
Saint Paul Union Depot Company: An Inventory of Its Records 00770
Minutes (1897-1985), annual reports (1885-1980), correspondence and subject files (1910s-1970s), payroll records (1885-1970), accounting records (1879-1977), operating statements (1921-1975), engineering and architectural drawings (1889-1954), and miscellaneous legal and financial papers (1896-1955) documenting the existence of a now defunct company organized in 1879 to serve the nine major railroads entering the Twin Cities. The jointly owned and operated company controlled 9.24 miles of St. Paul trackage and terminal facilities, including the depot building. The company was operated in tandem with the Minnesota Transfer Railway Company, with effective control of both properties exercised by the same board comprised of representatives of the nine joint tenants. The current depot facility was built during 1919-1924; passenger service ceased in 1971.
St. Paul Retired Teachers, Inc.: An Inventory of Its Records 01089
Articles of incorporation, constitutions and bylaws, historical compilations, newsletters, board activity files, annual historical books, a history of the organization, and a treasurer's book of this social, fund-raising, and advocacy organization of retired teachers in St. Paul.
Theodore Christian Blegen: An Inventory of His Papers p1666
Kensington Runestone research files (1899-1968) and miscellaneous correspondence files (1878-1956) of Theodore C. Blegen (1891-1969), a University of Minnesota professor (1927-1939), dean (1940-1960), superintendent (1931-1939), and research fellow (1960-1969) at the Minnesota Historical Society. The runestone files generated in the 1960s while he was researching the stone, concern a large stone bearing runic inscriptions that were purportedly carved by Viking explorers, and which was found near Kensington (Douglas County), Minnesota in 1898.

New and Updated Catalog Records

Name/Abstract
Bigelow, H. R. (Horace Ransom), 1820-1894.
Letters, photographs, a diary, and other papers of early St. Paul lawyer Horace R. Bigelow.
Chamberlain, Charles A. (Charles Addision). Charles A. Chamberlain and family papers, 1865-1905.
Papers of Charles A. Chamberlain of Ortonville, Minnesota, who served in the Civil War with the Second Minnesota Regiment.
Holman, Martin J. (Martin John). Farm account book and related papers, 1929-1937.
Farm account book (1929-1937) of Martin John Holman for his 240-acre farm in Otter Tail County, Minnesota and related papers.
Irish, Gail L. The Ribbon project papers, 1983-1993.
Correspondence, photographs, news clippings and printed materials, and a sound cassette documenting Minnesota’s participation in The Ribbon: A Celebration of Life, a grassroots anti-war project that encircled the Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, with quilts.
Kimball, Wilbur S. (Wibur Stanley). Wilbur S. Kimball papers, 1864-1894.
Papers of a Jackson, Minnesota man who served in the Civil War as a member of the Fourth Minnesota Regiment.
Roberts, Vincent, addressee. Letters received from family and acquaintances in Minnesota, 1864-1886.
Twenty-eight letters received by Vincent Roberts, a farmer, justice of the peace, and real estate and loan agent living at Iron Ridge, Dodge County, Wisconsin, from family and acquaintances discussing family matters and economic conditions in southern Minnesota.
Ronellenfitsch, Anthony, addressee. Letters received from servicemen, 1942-1945.
Letters received by Fr. Anthony Ronellenfitsch, O.S.B., pastor of St. Michael's parish in Mahnomen, Minnesota from three servicemen during World War II.
Tozer, Maude. Apron sketchbook, 1940-1960.
Notebook containing sketches, measurements, fabric descriptions, and other details of aprons made and sold by Minneapolis seamstress Maude Tozer.

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