George McGovern Reading Room

George McGovern’s death on Oct. 21, 2012, unleashed an avalanche of media coverage and commentary on his life and legacy. Following are links to some of that coverage.

Hometown newspaper coverage

The Daily Republic’s “George McGovern” tag page

General tributes

Prairie Democrat

George McGovern, American

Column: George McGovern a man of deep principle

George McGovern’s Legacy: From Liberalism to Feeding the Hungry

George McGovern was the most honorable politician I have ever known

Remembering George McGovern

Remember and Thank George McGovern

McGovern ’72: An Oral History


McGovern’s legacy is anti-hunger advocacy

George McGovern And The Social Gospel Movement To End Hunger

George McGovern: A Friend To The Hungry


Phil Power: McGovern’s political legacy turns sour

Democratic Party impact

Commentary: How George McGovern shaped Obama’s Democratic Party

Foreign policy

Will: Has America finally heard George McGovern’s call to ‘come home’?

McGovern proved big success can start in small places

Published Oct. 30, 2012, in The Daily Republic

Superintendent, Mitchell School District

One of the many things I have enjoyed about working in this school district over the last decade-plus is the fact that Mitchell High School has not only a very prominent alumnus, but also one who is very much alive and present in our community.

Part of that changed last week, of course, with the death of Sen. George McGovern. (It is one sign of his incredible level of accomplishment that I’m never quite sure which title to use — senator? ambassador? 1972 presidential nominee?) But only part of it has changed. He remains an alumnus and, though deceased, he also remains very present in our community — through his library on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University, his affable socializing at community events (as recently as the downtown activities during Corn Palace Week), his numerous speaking engagements around town and his indelible mark on the lives of so many here in Mitchell who were able to bask in the presence simultaneously of fame and history.

People like McGovern provide something special for the students of Mitchell High School and all the schools that feed into it. They provide absolute, verifiable, undeniable proof that incredibly high goals are achievable by someone from our relatively small community. While many of us mouth this sentiment and some of us even believe it, you might be surprised just how rare it can be among young people.

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Young McGovern: Christians, and maybe even Republicans, benefit from fear of the devil

George McGovern during his college professor days at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. (Image courtesy of DWU Archives)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column, published Aug. 21, 1952, was part of a series written that year by 30-year-old Dakota Wesleyan University college professor George McGovern for The Daily Republic.


In last week’s article I set forth a personal analysis of the contemporary political situation. The article contended that the major portion of the Democratic Party was still riding a historic trend that may well mean victory this fall. I have been somewhat concerned about the reception of that opinion by a few readers. Their reaction raises an issue that is important to us all.

Those persons have expressed amazement that a college professor would dare to publicly advocate a political opinion, especially one that was in disagreement with the prevailing view of many influential people of this area. They have insisted that to do so was to jeopardize both the fine college that employs me and my own professional career. They have further urged that all such public expression should cease and that the proposed series of articles be abandoned.

This reaction is, indeed, an unhealthy one and is certainly not within the spirit of American democracy. The basic tenet of our national faith is that every citizen shall be perfectly free to act and speak according to the dictates of his own conscience. That is the birthright of all Americans, including college professors.

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More information about George McGovern’s military service

I received the following email from John Meinhold, whose late father Chief Master Sgt. Robert Meinhold served with George McGovern in the Fifteenth Air Force Command.

John details some interesting and little-known McGovern content on the website for the 455th Bombardment Group.

Thought you might consider to post this website for the 455th Bombardment Group:

This is the group command McGovern was assigned to in WWII. He was in the 741st squadron. If you peruse this site you will find photos of McGovern at the 2007 Reunion for the 455th. There was also a photo I saw (that some may not have seen before) that has a picture of McGovern with his aircrew (all the names of his aircrew are listed). This photo can be found under the link for “455th BG History- Squadrons” on page 232,

Also on page 191 of the same document is a description of the mission which McGovern received the Distinguished Flying Cross. It is under the heading “Landing at the Isle of Vis.”

There is a great deal of historic photos available at this website.

Also of note is that the 455th received two Distinguished Unit Citations (now called the Presidential Unit Citation).  This is the same award that was given to the Navy Seals that took out Bin Laden. Very few combat units receive the Presidential Unit Citation let alone 2 of them. It is only given to a unit that performs “exceptional heroism.” The 455th received this award on April 2 and June 26, 1944.

McGovern was assigned just after this period. But, it shows what valor this group command had.