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Event Series Event Series: Bloustein Memorial Lecture

Bloustein Lecture – Antisemitism in the Heartland: Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights

October 16, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Hubert Humphrey was elected mayor of Minneapolis in 1945 and, in just three years, transformed it from being nationally notorious for its antisemitism and anti-Black racism to being nationally acclaimed for its concrete progress on civil rights. How Humphrey accomplished what he did is both dramatic as a part of history and instructive amid the present upsurge in antisemitism. Raised in a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant enclave in South Dakota, there was no intrinsic reason for Humphrey to devote so much of his public life to battling against racial and religious discrimination.

Samuel Freedman will discuss his new book, Into the Bright Sunshine: Young Hubert Humphrey and the Fight for Civil Rights, which examines this obscure chapter of Humphrey’s life. It foretells the man who was President Lyndon B. Johnson’s right hand in pushing through the landmark civil rights laws of the mid-1960s and provides a powerful and useful analogue to today’s struggles.


The Ruth Ellen Steinman Bloustein and Edward J. Bloustein Memorial Lecture series focuses on three main themes. One area of exploration is the study and preservation of animal species and the natural environment. A second theme celebrates love, happiness, and laughter as tools of clinical medicine. The third topic seeks to explore and promote humane values, which Ed Bloustein believed were woven in the fabric of Judaic tradition and passed down from generation to generation.