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Collection on Luther Youngdahl

Identifier: M/A 0069

Description of Contents

One box, mainly newspaper clippings (1924 through 1992) as well as miscellaneous items such as 1951 inaugural address, 1949 budget message and a sketch of Mr. Youngdahl by Brenda Ueland. Biographical clippings on family members are also included.


  • 1924 - 1992


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections during the department's open hours.


Luther Youngdahl was born on May 29, 1896 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and died on June 21, 1978 in Washington, D.C. He attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, where he played football until World War I interrupted his studies. After serving briefly in the Army and attaining the rank of second lieutenant, he received a B.A. in 1919 from Gustavus, and his LL.B from the Minnesota College of Law in 1921. He practiced law, served as a municipal and then a district judge, and won the election for associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1942.

Youngdahl was elected Governor of Minnesota on the Republican ticket in 1946, and became known for his progressive approach to humane and moral policies, including welfare services, public health and housing, youth “conservation,” as well as his staunch antigambling and antiliquor stance. He was re-elected twice. However, he resigned toward the middle of his third term (1951) to accept a federal district judgeship under Harry S. Truman’s administration, some speculate to avoid his gubernatorial predecessor’s “Stassen for President” campaign. He is probably best known for his May 2, 1953 ruling in United States v. Lattimore, in which Youngdahl dismissed the indictment, in defiance of widespread anticommunist sentiment, of a professor accused of perjury for having denied being a communist sympathizer. He retired in 1966.

Youngdahl devoted his life to demonstrating his belief in that his, or anyone’s, deep Christian faith was compatible with a career in politics. He was a lifelong exercise enthusiast who, with wife Irene Annet Engdahl and their three children, enjoyed ice-skating, fishing, and hiking as well as intellectual discussions and family sing-alongs at the piano.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Collection on Luther Youngdahl
Kristine Harley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.