Category: Government  Listing Date: 2012-10-21
George Stanley McGovern
(July 19, 1922 - October 21, 2012).
He attended the public schools of Mitchell, S.Dak., and Dakota Wesleyan University, 1940-1942; enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in June 1942, flew combat missions in the European Theater, and was discharged from the service in July 1945; returned to Dakota Wesleyan University and graduated in 1946; held teaching assistantship and fellowship at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., 1948-1950, receiving his Ph.D. from that university in 1953; professor of history and government at Dakota Wesleyan University 1950-1953; executive secretary of South Dakota Democratic Party 1953-1956; member of Advisory Committee on Political Organization of Democratic National Committee 1954-1956; elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-fifth and Eighty-sixth Congresses (January 3, 1957-January 3, 1961); was not a candidate for renomination in 1960, but was unsuccessful for election to the United States Senate; appointed special assistant to the President January 20, 1961, as director of the Food for Peace Program, and served until his resignation July 18, 1962, to become a candidate for the United States Senate; elected to the United States Senate in 1962; reelected in 1968 and 1974 and served from January 3, 1963, to January 3, 1981; chairman, Select Committee on Unmet Basic Needs (Ninetieth Congress), Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs (Ninety-first through Ninety-fifth Congresses); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the U.S. Senate in 1980; unsuccessful candidate for Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 and 1984; unsuccessful Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1972; lecturer and teacher; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Agencies in Rome, Italy, 1998-2001; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on August 9, 2000; appointed United Nations Global Ambassador on World Hunger in 2001.
A Country Road to Congress
Accomplishment and Heartbreak along the Way
South Dakota is spider web of country roads. Some would say that South Dakota has no other type of road as the state is nothing but rural. Even the larger cities (if you can call them cities) like Sioux Falls and Rapid City still have that small town feel.
On August 24, 2011 Mr. McGovern was at Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota for a book signing. His latest is a biography of Abraham Lincoln that is part of the American Presidents Series. Other McGovern books, one title "Terry", were available for sale and signing. Proceeds will go to nonprofit Terry McGovern Fund. Terry (Teresa Jane) McGovern suffered from alcoholism and depression and died of exposure in 1994 at age 45.
Avon, South Dakota would certainly be on a country road. This small town in the southeastern part of the state was the birthplace of George McGovern. McGovern, who's father was a Methodist minister, would follow the country roads all the way to Washington DC. He would serve as a representative January 3, 1957 – January 3, 1961 and senator January 3, 1963 - January 3, 1981. Senator McGovern was the 1972 presidential candidate on the Democrat ticket. Pretty fair accomplishments for a small town boy.
Age has diminished the senator’s stature somewhat. Age has a way of doing that, but even at 89 McGovern was clear and in control on this day at Mount Rushmore. You may not agree with the senator on everything but the road he has traveled, his accomplishments and heartbreaks, have defined the man who still brings a message.