American History TV continues to reair C-SPAN's history series “The Contenders,” which features profiles of key figures who ran for president and lost, but changed political history. This week, we focus on the life and career of Hubert H. Humphrey.
With anti-Vietnam war protests raging across the country in March of 1968, President Lyndon Johnson made his announcement that he would not seek, nor accept, the nomination of his party for the presidency. With that, the doors were opened for Vice President Hubert Humphrey and other Democrats to try and win that nomination. In April, the same month that Martin Luther King was assassinated, and less than two months before Robert F. Kennedy would also be gunned down, Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy.
With this tumultuous year as a backdrop, our Contenders program on Hubert H. Humphrey originates from the Minnesota History Center - where their exhibit on 1968 helps us delve into Humphrey and his Vice-Presidency, his relationship with LBJ, his views on Vietnam, his reasons for entering the race, his long record on Civil Rights reform during his years as Minneapolis Mayor and then U.S. Senator, his relationship with the Kennedys, as well as the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the general election campaign that followed. Hubert H. Humphrey lost a close race to Richard Nixon that year - one in which third party candidate George Wallace would win 46 electoral votes - but he still changed political history.