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Tribute set for former Gov. Elmer L. Andersen

Former Gov. Elmer L. Andersen would have been 100 years old on June 17, had he not died in 2004. The renowned politician, businessman and journalist is remembered for many achievements, but in the past six months is most often recalled for conceding in his 1962 re-election bid, after a recount showed him 91 votes behind Karl Rolvaag. No recount appeal or federal case was made out of this one.

As Minnesota’s 30th governor, he was responsible for the creation of several new state parks, the landmark Fair Housing Bill and highway safety legislation that resulted in a substantial drop in fatal accidents.

To celebrate his centenary, the University of Minnesota — where Andersen was a long-time regent — will celebrate his life with festivities on June 17 at the university’s Willey Hall, 225 19th Avenue S., Minneapolis. It’s free and open to the public, but reservations are requested by Wednesday, June 10, at or 612-624-9339.

At the celebration, there will be music by VocalEssence Ensemble Singers and remarks by university librarian Wendy Pradt Lougee, Andersen’s son Julian Andersen, and Star Tribune columnist and Andersen biographer Lori Sturdevant. Then there will be a showing of “Legacy of a Leader: Elmer L. Andersen,” a new TPT documentary.

Following the film will be an opening reception for “A Man’s Reach: A Transforming Life,” a new exhibit at the Elmer L. Andersen Library exploring Andersen’s broad interests, his philosophies regarding government and business practices, and his impact on the university, the state and the nation.

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