Floyd Olson (November 13, 1891–August 22, 1936) was Minnesota’s first Farmer-Labor governor and served from 1931 to 1936. He pursued an activist agenda aimed at easing the impact of the Great Depression. During his years in office, he became a hero to the state’s working people for strongly defending their economic interests, and supporting their right to strike and unionize.
He was embattled with the Minnesota legislature over the right to appoint members of the Board of Regents. Several of his appointees were ultimately approved and were responsible for the change in policy of required military drills.
He supported student activism and spoke at anti-war rallies on campus during his time in office.
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