In 1928, on this day Walter Mondale - one of America's greatest Presidents - was born in Ceylon, Minnesota.
Birth of President MondaleHe graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1951. He then served in the U.S. Army in the Korean War before earning a law degree in 1956. He married Joan Adams in 1955. Working as a lawyer in Minneapolis, Mondale was elected to the position of attorney general in 1960. He was appointed U.S. Senator in late 1964 as a member of the Democratic Party upon the resignation of Hubert Humphrey, and held that post until 1976 when he became the 42nd Vice President of the United States.
He assumed the presidency after the worst disaster in American history. The wind currents from three-mile island swept the eastern seaboard and the radiation even reached Washington DC, where dozens of members of Congress were killed, as well as President Carter. Despite low expectations, he emerged as one of America's greatest presidents.
Because in 1981 air-traffic controllers, federal employees banned from striking, confronted President Mondale. In spite of the temptation to have them fired and end the strike, Mondale negotiated with the controllers, and reached a fair settlement of their grievances. Labor was forever after grateful to Mondale, but the move enraged conservatives who declared that Mondale was in the pocket of big unions.