Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Clara, John and Peter Jorgensen

Transcript (PDF)


Titles Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project: Interview with Clara, John and Peter Jorgensen
Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Clara was born on a farm in Pine County in 1913, one of nine children. She completed only the eighth grade in school, before starting to work on the farm full-time. In 1934 she married John Jorgensen, and they started their own dairy farm. Peter and John Jorgensen left Denmark in 1919 and came to Minnesota. John and Clara and Pete were all active in the Farm Holiday Association and the Farmer-Labor Party. Clara and Pete actually joined the Communist Party, while John sympathized strongly with it. Pete Jorgensen left Pine County around 1936 to participate in some of the labor struggles in the Twin Cities. In 1937 he volunteered for the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, and fought in the Spanish Civil War, where he was wounded. When he returned from Spain, he continued to work and organize in the Twin Cities until after the Second World War. Then he came back to Pine County to help John and Clara on their farm. At the time of the interview, all three were living in and around Askov, Minnesota. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Farm protests of the 1930s: United Farmers League, Farm Holiday Association, demonstrations at the state capitol, foreclosure actions. Farm prices and conditions, 1930s and 1970s. Organizing among dairy farmers in Pine County, 1930s. Senator Joseph McCarthy and the Red-baiting of the 1950s. Memories of Marian LeSueur, Suzie Stageberg, and Selma Seestrom. Opinion of the merger of the Democratic and Farmer-Labor Parties, 1944. Description of Farm Holiday meetings, 1930s. Commentary on unemployment levels, 1970s. People's Lobby, 1937. Assessment of John Bosch. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: The interview is somewhat unfocused and fragmentary. The transcript is only partially edited, so the spellings of many names are approximate. There is a good deal of confusion about the male speakers, because their voices are so similar, and the transcriber could not distinguish them. RESTRICTIONS ON USE: Interview cannot be quoted directly for publication.
Quantity 1 hour sound cassette
17 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:01:29 running time
Creation Interviewee: Jørgensen, Clara
Interviewee: Jorgensen, John
Interviewee: Jørgensen, Peter
Interviewer: Trimble, Steve
Made in: Askov, Pine County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 12/08/1974
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 30.39 (Library Call Number)
AV1990.228.66 (Accession Number)
More Info MNHS Library Catalog
Collection Finding Aid
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Twentieth Century Radicalism in Minnesota Oral History Project'


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