Former Minnesota senator speaking on ‘Magnificent America’

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March 16, 2018

Rudy BoschwitzFormer Minnesota Sen. Rudy Boschwitz will speak on “Magnificent America: A Review of America’s Past and Present Influence on the World” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in The Founders Room (room 170), Quadrangle Building, Saint John’s University.

Boschwitz will discuss the impact America’s policies on nations around the world. The event is free and open to the public.

In 1978, Boschwitz was on the winning side of what became known as the Minnesota Massacre.

That year, both U.S. Senate seats and the Minnesota governorship were won by Independent Republicans (as Republicans in the state were then called). Al Quie won the governor’s race, and SJU graduate Dave Durenberger ’55 won one of the Senate seats.

And Boschwitz? He beat Sen. Wendell Anderson for the second Senate seat.

After winning the election in 1978, Boschwitz was appointed to the Senate on Dec. 30, 1978. He served in the Senate until 1990, when he lost an election to Paul Wellstone; Wellstone would also beat Boschwitz in a political rematch in 1996.

While in the Senate, Boschwitz served on the committees of Agriculture, the Budget, Foreign Relations, Small Business and Veterans Affairs.    

A native of Germany, Boschwitz and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1933.

In 1963, Boschwitz founded Plywood Minnesota, Inc., which eventually grew into a chain of 68 home improvement stores (later known as Home Valu Interiors). Boschwitz did many of the televised ads for Plywood Minnesota himself.

He also gained popularity by running a flavored milk stand at the Minnesota State Fair.

The event is sponsored by the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at SJU.