Olesen’s oratorical skills and political acumen on the Chautauqua circuit soon caught the attention of national Democrats.
Christian Bjornson received his BA in history and political science from the University of Minnesota and a certificate in American politics from American University. He is currently a master’s student in history at Norwich University. He lives in Hastings and is an intern with MNopedia in 2018–19.
During the 1916 campaign, Thomas Van Lear successfully used controversies surrounding Twin Cities Rapid Transit streetcar fares and corporate control of the city’s utilities to his advantage.