July 28, 1861

John A. Johnson, Minnesota’s first homegrown governor, is born in St. Peter. A Horatio Alger success story, Johnson would work his way up from poverty to become editor of the St. Peter Herald. A popular figure statewide, he would be elected governor in 1905, and his oratorical skills would attract nationwide attention. He died in office on September 21, 1909, cutting short plans to make him the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 1912.

Thanks to Juliana James’ 4th Grade Class at Frost Lake Magnet School part of St Paul Public Schools for the research on January’s Day in History.

Thanks also to Minnesota’s Learn and Serve America Service Learning Program for their help.

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