Voices of Minnesota

Oral History Interview with Elmer L. Andersen

DATE: February 9, 1978


Elmer Lee Andersen was a former governor of Minnesota. He attended grade school, high school and junior college in Muskegon, Michigan. He came to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1928 as a sales representative for a Michigan manufacturer of laboratory furniture. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1931 and joined the H.B. Fuller Company in 1934. He began serving as president and secretary of the firm in 1941 and held that post until 1961. Governor Andersen's political and governmental positions included: delegate, Republican National Convention, 1948, 1964; Minnesota State Senate 1949-59; Governor of Minnesota, 1961-1963. Governor Andersen's achievements in legislation while a senator and Governor were in Fair Employment Practices; Workmen's Compensation; Taconite taxation; Education; Welfare; and the establishment of the Metropolitan Planning Commission.

Subjects discussed include: impressions of Karl Rolvaag as lieutenant-governor and as governor; 1962 general election campaign and the Highway (Interstate) 35 issue; 1962 recount proceedings; impressions of Sandy Keith; attitude toward seeking gubernatorial endorsement from the Republicans in 1966; events in the DFL Party; Sugar Hills Meeting, Convention, etc.; Republican State Convention (1966) and the meeting after the 13th ballot that enabled LeVander to win the endorsement; conservative-liberal split in Minnesota Republican Party, particularly during the 1964 National Convention; Republican Party in Minnesota today.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 1 hour 13 minutes

TRANSCRIPT: 16 pages