Voices of Minnesota

Oral History Interview with Harold E. Stassen

DATE: June 24-28, 1991


Harold Stassen was born in Minnesota in 1907. His political career began in 1930 when he was elected as Dakota County attorney. He was governor of Minnesota 1939-1943 and in 1945 was appointed as one of the drafters and signers of the United Nations Charter. From 1948-1952 he served as president of the University of Pennsylvania and 1953-1958 as a cabinet rank "secretary of peace" for Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 7 hours 20 minutes

TRANSCRIPT: 99 pages