McGovern, G. ga.jpg
Induction Category & YearGeneral 1994
Home TownMitchell, SD
BirthJuly 19, 1922
Avon, SD
DeathOctober 21, 2012

   George McGovern
Champion of Excellence

Legends Bio
 Ambitious, active, and dedicated describe this significant person of the South Dakota Hall of Fame. George McGovern’s ambition led him from being a teacher to a World War ll pilot, a U.S. senator, a nomineee for the President of the United States, and finally an ambassador to the United Nations.

George McGovern was born in Avon, South Dakota, on July 19, 1922. He attended public schools of Mitchell, SD, and also Dakota Wesleyan University. In high school, he was an outstanding student, and his proficiency in debate won him a scholarship to that university in Mitchell, SD. There he met his wife, Eleanor Stegeberg. All five of their children were born there. During World War ll McGovern flew 35 combat missions as a B-24 bomber pilot. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. After the war McGovern returned to Dakota Wesleyan University and became a professor of history and political science. He left the university in 1955 and became politically involved in the Democratic party for South Dakota. McGovern was elected as a U.S. Congressman in 1956. He was a strong advocate for the American farmer. As a Congressman he would ask two questions: (1) “In the world of plenty, why must millions of children go to bed hungry?” and (2) “Why should the most productive farmers in world history not receive a fair price for their products and their work?” Maybe those concerns are why President Kennedy appointed him as the first Director of the U. S. Food for Peace Program. In 1998, he became the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies. McGovern served for 22 years in the U.S. Congress. Because of his leadership and involvement in the Democratic party, he became a presidential nomineee. At the age of 50, on November 7, 1972, George McGovern lost the presidential race to Republican nomineee, Richard Nixon. McGovern continued to carry out his leadership qualities as a delegate to the United Nations and as an author and speaker. He lectured at more than 1,000 colleges and universities around the world. In the year 2000, President Clinton awarded him the highest civilian honor, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The summer of 2012 George McGovern turned 90 years old. He has given well over a half century of public service and has earned the right to offer this advice: “No matter what your career, always plan to give a portion of your time and money to the service of others.”
advocate somebody giving support
ambassador an appointed official who represents his or her country in another country
Congress United States legislature made up of the House of Representatives and Senate
Democratic related to one of the political parties in the U.S.
distinguished to stand out; to be recognized as different
elected to choose by vote for an office, position, or membership
nominee a person selected or appointed to run for a position
politically concerned with government
proficiency advancement in knowledge or skill, progress
senator an elected member of the U.S. Senate
Extended Activities

Use the links at the Links/Sources page to learn more about George McGovern. Then create a Bio Cube to show what you have learned about this important South Dakotan. Don’t forget to include a special quote on Side 6. Take a look at a few examples of George McGovern Quotes that might help.

Common Core Standards 4. RI.9 (ELA) • 4.W.2 (ELA) v 4.W.6 (ELA) • 4.W.8 (ELA)

SD Standards

Create a poem about George McGovern. Try “Diamonte Poem” or another form you like at Instant Poetry Forms.

Common Core Standards 4.W.9 (ELA) • 4.RL.5 (ELA) • 4.L.5 (ELA)

SD Standards

As a class select a topic found at Juggle Debates. Divide into groups and choose your position of for or against. Make a poster or a presentation with a catchy slogan to support your position. Share your work in class and then vote as a class on the most popular position.

Common Core Standards 4.SL.1 (ELA) • 4. SL.3 (ELA)

SD Standards

Politicians like George McGovern share their views and opinions with others. They also carefully listen to needs of those who elect them. To express your views and opinions try writing a letter to the editor. Go through the lesson and practice on Letters to the Editor. Then write your own letter to the editor on a topic important to you. You might try using the Friendly Letter Creator.

Common Core Standards 4.W.1 (ELA) • 4.W.4 (ELA) • 4.L.3 (ELA)

SD Standards

George McGovern ran for president in 1972. Kick off your campaign for president by playing You’re the Candidate. Learn what it’s like to make a run for the Oval Office. Be ready to write a press release as part of the activity to explain your campaign strategy. Good luck!

Common Core Standards 4.W.2 (ELA)

SD Standards

George served as an elected leader of our state. Create a chart or poster that identifies your local, state, and national leaders. Include the name, position, and a picture of each. Use My Elected Leaders as a graphic organizer for your work.

Common Core Standards 4.W.6 (ELA)

SD Standards

George McGovern is a strong advocate of the farmers of our state. Take a look at South Dakota Agriculture The Common Thread 2012 to learn more about farming and ranching in our state. On page 3, find the table “South Dakota Acres Harvested.” On page 5, find the table “Annual Livestock Inventory.” Use the data from one of the tables to create a pie chart. Be sure all data is in the same form when entering it. (1.3 million = 1,300,000 or 495,000 = .495 million) Write word problems that can be solved using the graph you create and share these and your graph with a classmate.

Common Core Standards 4.RI.7 (ELA) • 4.NBT.4 (Math) • 4.NBT.6 (Math) • SMP 1, 2, 6, 7 (Math)

SD Standards

OETA Newsmaker Interview with George McGovern aired 9-7-12

George McGovern Acceptance Speech at the 1972 Democratic Convention
Image Gallery
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Home Town (Mitchell, SD)
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