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Family, Friends Celebrate McGovern's Birthday

August 1, 2012, 4:57 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Family, Friends Celebrate McGovern's Birthday

There's a big party planned in Sioux Falls Wednesday evening for one of South Dakota's most prominent Democrats.

George McGovern turned 90 last month.  Now, his family, friends and fellow politicos are celebrating.  As McGovern celebrates this milestone, we look back at his historic political life.

He is South Dakota's Modern Democrat.  George McGovern served this state and country during what seems like a lifetime of politics from the 1950s on.

The Mitchell native was head of the South Dakota Democratic Party. In 1957, voters sent him to Washington as a member of the House of Representatives.

"I would like to state in my own words the reasons I would be well-qualified to serve the state of South Dakota as your U.S. Senator," McGovern said.

McGovern won a bid for U.S. Senate in 1962. He went on to serve three terms, from January 1963 until 1981. McGovern's vocal opposition to the Vietnam War propelled him to national prominence and put him on the 1972 Democratic presidential ticket.

McGovern lost the election to Richard Nixon. He also mounted two other unsuccessful bids for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968 and 1984.

McGovern calls himself a world hunger advocate. He says a part from his opposition to the Vietnam War, feeding the hungry has been one of his greatest global legacies.

McGovern continues writing too. His 12th and latest book is a take on politics and what it means to be Democrat.

The party is open to the public.  It will go until 7 p.m. at Josiah's coffee in downtown Sioux Falls.

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