Bursting into fame toward the end of the Great Depression, Harold Stassen—elected governor of Minnesota at age thirty-one in 1938--excited a new generation of Republicans who enthusiastically supported his run for the presidency. After failing to win the nomination in 1948—a goal he believed his early successes merited—he repeatedly chased the nomination over the next generation. He became a figure of mockery as a perennial also-ran on the margins of the history of the twentieth century. He sought the Republican nomination for president of the United States twelve times between 1944 and 1992. Given his youth and enthusiasm, it was not surprising that he attracted supporters who were college age and younger. He broke with Republican Party leadership to engage in grassroots campaigning, bringing a corps of youthful admirers into his fold. He was a vigorous and articulate spokesman for a new generation ready to take over a demoralized party in the wake of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s election to an unprecedented third term in the White House.
Keywords: Minnesota, Republican Party, San Francisco Conference on the United Nations Charter President Eisenhower, Franklin D. Roosevelt, World War II, Mutual Security Agency (MSA), National Security Council
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