20th Century, Culture, Economics, History, Minnesota, Politics, Uncategorized

Petersen Becomes Governor

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Aug 19, 1936
Hjalmar Petersen takes office as the state’s 23rd governor upon the death of Governor Floyd B. Olson. Following his short stint as governor, Petersen tries and fails four times to regain the office.*

“Hjalmer Petersen, the twenty-third governor of Minnesota, was born in Eskildstrup, Denmark on January 2, 1890. His education was limited and attained in the common schools of Denmark and Minnesota. At fourteen years old, he left school and went to work in the newspaper business, eventually founding the Askov American in 1914, a newspaper he owned the rest of his life. Petersen first entered politics as the clerk and then mayor of Askov. He also served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1930 to 1934, and was the lieutenant governor of Minnesota from 1934 to 1936. On August 22, 1936, Governor Floyd B. Olson died in office, and Petersen, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, the federal unemployment insurance law was initiated; several labor disputes were dealt with; and significant judicial appointments were approved. After serving 134 days as governor, Petersen left office on January 2, 1936. He continued to stay politically active, serving as a member of the State Railroad and Warehouse Commission, a position he held until 1966. He also made several unsuccessful bids for the governor’s office, as well as a 1958 run for the U.S. Senate. Governor Hjalmar Petersen passed away on March 29, 1968 in Columbus, Ohio. Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.”**

What did Governor Petersen’s keystone legislation of unemployment look like in his era? Minnesotans who were discharged through no fault of their own were to receive $15 a week for up to 16 weeks as of May 1,1938.*** See the table below to compare and contrast what this amount meant to a worker back at its commencement.****

inflation-and-actual-prices

Shall we pray? Lord, we give You thanks for being the Governor of All, for being our shield and very great reward! We agree with Your covenant promises in Genesis 15 to Abraham and his children that Your favor is greater than the sum of all property, labor, and accomplishments. We remember and bless Your eternal words, and Your heart of unmerited goodness to all who believe!

Will You forgive us our broken trust in Your provision both in Governor Petersen’s era, and in the present? We have accepted wealth from the state that it does not create or own, but extracted from our neighbors. We have accepted the premise that our present condition of dysfunction becomes the problem of our functional neighbors. Will You forgive us this faulty logic and co-dependent relationship(s)?

What if the state had made unemployment insurance voluntary instead of mandatory? We can see at least three immediate benefits immediately from this premise. First, it would allow contributors to share their wealth freely with a true spirit of giving instead of the spirit of extortion through forced charity collected by the state. Secondly, it would remove politicians from the direct relationship between those with extra and those in need. Maybe this would remove a sense of entitlement of guaranteed benefits, and enable a sense of gratitude and trust towards givers from receivers because they would have no expectations?
Third, it would displace politicians’ from the false narrative that they were the givers of wealth, and undercut the credit they have taken for the gifts of others.
Will You forgive us for trusting in the politicians of Minnesota, and the provisions forced on our neighbor by the co-dependent law of unemployment insurance? We have assumed a co-dependent relationship between giver and receiver and state. Will You help us revisit these issues and remove the expectations, dependency, shame, and manipulation from helping each other? Will You remove what is false and create real relationship, real opportunity to give from the heart, and real gratitude? Will You fulfill the good intentions and desires of Hjalmer Petersen on Your terms, and show us a better, more honest way to love our unemployed neighbor?

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

* P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** https://www.nga.org/governor/hjalmar-petersen/
*** https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v48n10/v48n10p22.pdf
**** http://www.mybudget360.com/cost-of-living-1938-to-2015-inflation-history-cost-of-goods-inflation/

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19th Century, Agriculture, Business, Civics, Culture, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

State Fair Finds a Home, Ramsey County Poor Farm Loses

mn_state_fair_4

1885
The Minnesota State Fair finds a permanent home in the Midway area of Saint Paul.      (The 1885 fair was the 27th annual state fair.)*

Lord, it does help to have more information when interceding; and most facets of life. Even with my limited research, I see a few things: 1. The Fair was a positive statement by the city of St. Paul and MN. 2. There were poor people who were displaced. 3. There was a sense of rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul. 4. The shift of care for poor from the county to the state to the Federal government.
To begin, I want to announce to the land formerly known as the Ramsey County Poor Farm the jubilee and blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you for this example of caring for the the elderly and poor! I want to bless those generations attached to the Poor Farm whether as employees or residents, and ask that any bitterness on their part be forgiven and removed.
Lord, will you forgive our lack of relationship with those in need? Will you heal the rift over HOW we do charity, and WHAT it looks like? Each election, we still battle over WHO gets the credit for being charitable; the State or individuals!?! May this land that is now called the state fair be a place where we iron out these differences! May we find Your way of blessing each other; rich to poor, in any state of health!
Also, will you forgive the political and business rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul? Jesus, will you make these “Twin Cities” live at peace with each other? Holy Spirit, will you inhabit this property now known as the State Fair and bring your life there? Will You dignify the poor and show them their potential for society, and most importantly, their eternal value to You?

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

More on how the poorhouse was transformed into the Minnesota State Fair:
**http://www.postcardy.com/msf.html

Competition between cities for a fairgrounds:

***http://www.mnopedia.org/structure/industrial-exposition-building-minneapolis

Alternative means of providing for the poor:

****https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poorhouse

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19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

State Capitol Burns Mar 1, 1881

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The first state capitol building burns. Three hundred people escape safely, but the building, including the law library, is a total loss. Luckily, most of the Minnesota Historical Society’s artifacts are rescued from the basement.*

Thanks for the government of Minnesota, Lord. Thank you for the saved lives of the people on this day. May You rewrite any critical laws or ordinances that were lost this day on our hearts’, minds, and once again into law. Thanks that today Your mercy triumphs over judgment for the people of Minnesota!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

**Read more from the Star & Tribune account? http://www.startribune.com/march-1-1881-fire-destroys-the-state-capitol/117267958/

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19th Century, Civics, government, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Politics, State Government

Swift Becomes Governor

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Jul 10, 1863 to Jan 11, 1864
Henry A. Swift takes office as the state’s third governor. Described by peers as gentle, self-effacing, and ambivalent toward politics, Henry Swift was Minnesota’s third governor for less than a year, completing the second term of Alexander Ramsey, who had been elected United States Senator. With little time or apparent inclination to effect major change, this un-elected governor concentrated on assuring the welfare of Civil War veterans.*

It’s difficult to ascertain which information is critical to convey about any historical event, let alone a single human life. On this day, I chose to scan the data I could easily find about Governor Swift, but remain listening to what the Holy Spirit prompted me to underscore.

This is what I’ve learned about him so far: he was very capable, he did his duty, and then he moved on. Below is an example, not unusual in party politics, where there is a hesitancy to take leadership.

“Republican party leaders nominated Swift for Sibley County’s state Senate seat, after another candidate refused the offer.” (Session Weekly, St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives Information Office, April 2, 1993, p. 16)
https://www.leg.state.mn.us/legdb/fulldetail?ID=15034

G-d Almighty, thank for those, like Swift, who do their part and then get out of the way. Thank you for leaders uncorrupted by power and authority. Thank you for his example of humble governing. May his successes be amplified, his failures forgiven, and his generations be blessed by Jesus’ authority. Amen!

“HENRY A. SWIFT, the third governor of Minnesota, was born in Ravenna, Ohio on March 23, 1823. His education was attained at Western Reserve College, where he graduated in 1842 with high honors. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1845. Swift entered a career in public service in 1846, serving as the assistant clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives, a position he held until 1847. He also served as chief clerk of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1848. After moving to Minnesota in 1853, Swift established a career in the real estate and insurance business. He returned to politics in 1862, winning election to the Minnesota State Senate, a position in which he also served as senate president. As senate president, Swift assumed the office of lieutenant governor in 1863. On July 10, 1863, Governor Alexander Ramsey resigned from office, and Swift, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, the state’s population increased; and a treaty with the Chippewa Indians was negotiated that resulted in the acquisition of substantial land. After declining to run for a term of his own, Swift left office on January 11, 1864. He later secured an appointment as registrar of the St. Peter Land Office, a position he held from 1865 to 1869. Governor Henry A. Swift passed away on February 25, 1869, and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Ravenna, Ohio.”
http://www.nga.org/cms/home/governors/past-governors-bios/page_minnesota/col2-content/main-content-list/title_swift_henry.html

For more specific information regarding Governor Swift, see the link below:
http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gov017.xml

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out!

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19th Century, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, State Government

1st Territorial Legislature Meets Sep 3, 1849  

Central House, St. Paul, MN

The Minnesota Territorial Legislature met for the first time in the Central House in Saint Paul.*

Will You come today, Counselor, and offer Your teaching about this beginning? I find that the first territorial legislature was dominated by men from New England or of New England ancestry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota It was a legal business meeting first, but what other impacts may have occurred?

My first thought, Teacher, is that we carry our personal histories with us into each new venture no matter how tightly we hold our cards. That said, I’m wondering now the impact of these sons of New England on our state. What were their strengths, fears, dreams, or biases?

In any case, I commend to you this representative meeting. Christ, our Advocate, how You must smile when we seek to keep faith by simply meeting with each other! May we follow Your example of humble authority in the governance of this state. May these meetings be an eternal ray of blessing from September 3, 1849 forward!

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