Black and white photograph of Elmer A. Benson during his tenure as state banking commissioner, c.1934. Photographed by the St. Paul Daily News.

Elmer A. Benson as state banking commissioner

Elmer A. Benson during his tenure as state banking commissioner, c.1934. Photographed by the St. Paul Daily News.

Black and white photograph of Elmer Benson giving a speech, c.1937.

Elmer Benson giving a speech

Elmer Benson giving a speech, c.1937.

Black and white photograph of Elmer Benson at his desk, c.1934. Photographed by the St. Paul Daily News.

Elmer Benson at his desk

Elmer Benson at his desk, c.1934. Photographed by the St. Paul Daily News.

Black and white photograph of Governor Elmer Benson, c.1938.

Governor Elmer Benson

Governor Elmer Benson, c.1938.

Benson, Elmer (1895–1985)

Elmer Benson was elected in 1936 as Minnesota’s second Farmer-Labor Party governor with over 58 percent of the vote. He was defeated only two years later by an even larger margin. An outspoken champion of Minnesota’s workers and family farmers, Benson lacked the political gifts of his charismatic predecessor, Floyd B. Olson. However, many of his proposals—at first considered radical—became law in the decades that followed.

Black and white photograph of Jay Near, c.1930s

Jay Near

Jay Near, c.1930s

Black and white photograph of U.S. Supreme Court justices, 1932.

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1932

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, 1932.

Black and white photograph of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, 1931.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, 1931.

Black and white photograph of John L. Morrison, 1916.

John L. Morrison

John L. Morrison, 1916. Morrison published the Duluth magazine Rip-saw, which prompted state officials to create the Public Nuisance Law debated in the case, Near v. Minnesota.

Black and white photograph of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler, 1930.

Justice Pierce Butler

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler, 1930.

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