Harold E. Stassen
Harold Stassen is known for his many contributions to Minnesota
and to the United States in his long career. Born in 1907 on a farm in Dakota County, Stassen graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1929. An attorney in South St. Paul, Stassen was elected Governor of Minnesota in 1938 at the young age of 31. Known as the “boy governor,” Stassen was the youngest person elected to that post. Stassen was reelected governor in 1940 and in 1942.
He resigned as governor of Minnesota in 1943 to take a key post in the Navy, serving as chief of staff for Admiral William F. Halsey in the South Pacific. Stassen had an illustrious military career and was appointed by President Roosevelt as a delegate to the United Nations charter conference in 1945. There, he played key roles in the development of the United Nations Charter and positioning the United States as a world leader.
Stassen was a strong contender for the Republican nomination for president in 1948 but was defeated by Thomas Dewey at the G.O.P. national convention. He went on to serve as president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1948-1953. Stassen also ran a strong campaign against Senator Robert Taft of Ohio for the 1952 Republican presidential nomination, but both Stassen and Taft were defeated by Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Stassen continued to run for the Republican nomination for President until 1992.
GET STARTED WITH SECONDARY SOURCES:
- "10 Reasons Why I Am for Harold Stassen for President."
[Minneapolis: Neighbors for Stassen, 1948?]
MHS call number: JK 2358 .M5 T36 1948.
- A Bridge of Ideas, directed by Averill Kronick.
Minneapolis, MN : United Nations Association of Minnesota, c1994.
A biography of former Minnesota governor Harold Stassen, emphasizing his work in the founding of the United Nations [videorecording]
MHS call number: Videorecording 653.
- "Can Stassen Win?" by Richard Wilson.
In Look, (June 22, 1948): pp. 54-56.
MHS call number: FOLIO E 748 .S78 W7.
- Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: A Political Biography of Harold Stassen, by Alexander B. Kirby.
Ph.D. thesis (George Washington University), 1992.
MHS call number: Microfilm 2007.
- "Farm Boy with a Future: Harold Stassen, Minnesota's 35-year-old Governor, Wants to Win the War Now, Help Rebuild a Better world When Peace Comes."
In Look, Vol. 6, no. 22 (Nov. 3, 1942): pp. 50-51.
MHS call number: FOLIO E 748 .S78 L8.
- "Governor Stassen, Republican Party's Hopeful, Plans to Get Re-elected and then Join the Navy," by Jack Alexander.
In Life, Vol. 13, no. 16 (Oct. 19, 1942): pp. 122-133.
MHS call number: FOLIO E 748 .S78
- "Harold Stassen ..." by Robert Coughlan.
In Life, Vol. 16, no. 25 (June 26, 1944): pp. 94-96, 98, 100, 102, 105-106.
MHS call number: E 748 .S78 C8.
- Harold Stassen: His Career, the Man, and the 1957 London Arms Control Negotiations, by Robert E. Matteson.
Inver Grove Hts., Minn. : Desk Top Ink, 1993.
MHS call number: JK 1974 .M385 1993.
- Harold Stassen and Developments in the Republican Party in Minnesota, 1937-1943, by Ivan Hinderaker.
Thesis (Ph.D.) — University of Minnesota, 1949.
MHS call number: E 748 .S78 H56.
- "A Major Contender: Harold Stassen and the Politics of American Presidential Nominations," by Alec Kirby.
In Minnesota History, Vol. 55, no. 4 (winter 1996-97): pp. 150-165.
MHS call number: F 601.5 .M66 v.55:4, or view an electronic version of the article (PDF).
- "Possible Presidents: Harold Stassen, " by Roger Butterfield.
In Ladies Home Journal, Vol. 65, no. 4 (April 1948): pp. 36-37, 240-244.
MHS call number: E 748 .S78 B9
- "The Rise of Harold E. Stassen." by Wayne E. Gilbert.
Typescript, 33 pages.
MHS call number: E 748 .S78 G5.
- Minnesota History index terms that may be useful for this topic:
Stassen, Esther (Mrs. Harold E.)
Stassen, Harold E.
Stassen for President Volunteers
Stassen Minutemen (presidential campaign)
- Harold Stassen Papers.
Papers documenting the life and career of a former Minnesota governor, presidential contender, naval officer, United Nations charter delegate, and Eisenhower cabinet member. The papers include correspondence and memoranda, speeches, campaign literature, schedules and itineraries, awards and certificates, press releases, press conference transcripts, magazine articles authored by Stassen, news clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, sound recordings, motion films, and video recordings. The collection highlights Stassen's gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, his role in post-World War II international diplomacy, and his involvement with civic, professional, and religious organizations.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed alphabetically under Stassen, Harold—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 215 boxes of material), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
- Oral History Interview with Harold Stassen, interviewed by Alec Kirby.
Stassen discusses his governorship of the state of Minnesota, the state's relationship with the mining industry, and he refutes the label from the 1940s that Minnesota was an isolationist state. He details his decision to resign as governor of Minnesota to join the United States Navy in 1943 and describes his service in the Navy. He lists his accomplishments at the University of Pennsylvania and talks about his own personal politics and political life.
MHS call number: OH 6.
- Robert E. Matteson Papers.
Correspondence, memoranda, diaries, reports, speeches, articles, clippings, a videotape, and other materials written or assembled by St. Paul native Robert E. Matteson, relating primarily to his career in U.S. government service (1953-1971), on the White House staff and in other executive departments, and documenting his long association with Harold Stassen.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed alphabetically under Matteson, Robert E.—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 5 boxes of material, but not all relate to this topic), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
- Oral History Interview with Robert E. Matteson , interviewed by Alec Kirby.
Matteson had a long and varied career as a government official (1953-1972), including director of the White House disarmament staff in the 1950s, chief of staff for the Foreign Operations Administration, member of the Central Intelligence Agency's Board of National Intelligence Estimates, and director of civilian operations in the II Corps sector in Vietnam. In this interview Matteson speaks of his long involvement with the U.S. State Department, his relationships with Harold Stassen and Sigurd Olson, and his involvement in and attitudes towards the Vietnam War.
MHS call number: OH 7.
- Pamphlet Collection.
Contains pamphlets and printed ephemera relating to political figures representing Minnesota in Congress and other government offices during the twentieth century, particularly Harold Stassen and Hubert Humphrey.
MHS call number: Pamphlet Collection E748 through E840.
- Selected Speeches, Radio Addresses, etc., by Harold Stassen:
- "American World Policy for Peace and Progress."
Address given by Harold E. Stassen at the University of Minnesota, March 7, 1945.
MHS call number: D 815 .S767 1945.
- Broadcast Recordings.
Radio addresses, debates, etc., of Governor Stassen, 1939-[194-].
MHS call number: See the black State Archives Notebooks—filed under Stassen, Harold—for a detailed list of recordings (there are 2 packages containing several 16-inch disc recordings).
- "The Front Line Trenches of Democracy."
Address of Harold E. Stassen, January 12, 1939.
MHS call number: JK 6125 1939 .S79.
Inaugural Messages of Governor Harold E. Stassen to the Legislature of Minnesota:
January 3, 1939; MHS call number: J 87 .M62 1939.
January 8, 1941; MHS call number: J 87 .M62 1941.
January 6, 1943; MHS call number: J 87 .M62 1943.
- Keynote Address Before the Republican National Convention.
Text of Stassen's keynote address beofre the RNC on June 24, 1940.
MHS call number: JK 2357 1940s.
- "A Pattern for Peace."
Address of Minnesota Governor Stassen delivered at the Northern Baptist Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 30, 1942.
MHS call number: E 748 .S78 P33.
- "A Proposal of a Definite United Nations Government."
An address by Governor Stassen at a joint session of the Minneapolis and St. Paul branches of the Foreign Policy Association at Coffman Memorial Union, University of Minnesota, January 7, 1943.
MHS call number: E 748 .S78 P9.
- "American World Policy for Peace and Progress."
- Selected Writings by Harold E. Stassen:
- "The Cost of Lasting Peace," by Harold E. Stassen.
In Collier's, Vol. 113, no. 16 (April 21, 1945): pp. 11, 76-80.
MHS call number: FOLIO D 815 .S77c.
- Eisenhower—Turning the World Toward Peace, by Harold Stassen and Marshall Houts.
St. Paul, Minn.: Merrill/Magnus Pub. Corp, 1990.
MHS call number: E 836 .S69 1990.
- Man Was Meant to be Free: Selected Statements, 1940-1951, by Harold Stassen; edited and forward by Amos J. Peaslee.
Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1951.
MHS call number: E 813 .S8.
- "Organization of the Postwar World: Frank and Thorough Discussion Now Must Precede an Orderly World After the War," by Governor Harold E. Stassen.
Reprint from the Saturday Evening Post (May 15 and 22, 1942).
MHS call number: E 748 .S78 W2.
- Where I Stand! by Harold Stassen.
Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1947.
MHS call number: E 748 .S75.
- Newspapers that may be useful for this topic:
- Minneapolis Star-Tribune
- Minneapolis Tribune
- St. Paul Dispatch
- St. Paul Pioneer Press
- Photographs that may be useful for this topic:
- Check the library catalog for other materials.