Relaxing Day At McCarthy Park

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I had the day off yesterday so I decided to go to McCarthy park and do some kayaking on the lake. It was my third time visiting, so I thought I’d do some sightseeing as well before I got in the water. I started out very early, so there was plenty left of the day.

There’s a beach section on the lake, so I sat there for a while and ate some stuff out of my cooler. It’s small so I can take it with me on my kayak that I got after reading inflatable kayak reviews. I’m glad I did so I would know what the perfect kayak would be for me. I can also hike here so I’ll definitely be back for that.

mccarthy beach

There’s some camping nearby too, so I can always take a weekend to relax here as well. It’s so peaceful I could spend a week here at a time. After I relaxed and ate on the beach, I put my kayak in the water, got on and started paddling. There are other lakes surrounding the one I was on. It would be great to explore all of them. One thing at a time I guess!

Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 Presidential Run

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The Significance Of Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 Presidential Run

Eugene McCarthy served the Congress as a representative of the state of Minnesota, a member of the House of Representatives, and in the Senate as the Senator of Minnesota from 1959 to 1971. But the long-serving Congressman is popularly remembered for his bid to vie for the 1968 Democratic Party nomination, challenging President Lyndon Johnson in his re-election bid. McCarthy was the first candidate to openly express his intention to challenge President Johnson.

McCarthy’s campaign platform was the Vietnam War and his opinions on it greatly differed from those of President Johnson. Though he was initially not very popular, he was able to garner an unexpected number of votes in the New Hampshire primary. This challenge and the strong polling that he received for the Wisconsin primary led to President Johnson’s decision to withdrawal from the race. This action attracted Robert Kennedy into the political contest.

president johnson

In spite of all the dynamics surrounding McCarthy’s campaign, one thing stands out as the most significant ‘idea’ or ‘issue’, and that was his strong stance against the Vietnam War. His run had great significance on the campaign against the war before he became a candidate seeking the presidency. Notably, McCarthy was recruited to challenge the incumbent by the Dump Johnson Movement’s leader, Allard Lowenstein, who held strong anti-Vietnam War sentiments.

Supposedly, McCarthy was recruited to oppose the incumbent after George McGovern and Robert Kennedy refused to take up the role. Interestingly, both of them joined the race later on, perhaps after witnessing how well McCarthy had fared against the President, who decided to bow out of the race. These anti-war sentiments could be traced back to Senator Wayne Morse from Oregon, who voted against the 1964 resolution known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Senator Morse’s speeches were the initial spark that would later ignite McCarthy into action.

wayne morse

After the declaration of his candidacy in 1967, the news media and political analysts quickly dismissed McCarthy. As a result, he was given little to no room to make an impact in the primaries against the incumbent. However, following the Tet Offensive of 1968, which led to the disillusionment of most democrats on matters relating to the Vietnam War, McCarthy began to shine as a rising star in the race. His major campaign platform, which was anti-Vietnam War, finally became relevant and Americans started paying attention to his words. As such, his ratings on the opinion polls rose significantly.

McCarthy later reached a record of 42% against President Johnson’s 49% of the popular vote in New Hampshire and got more delegates for the nomination. These small, but significant wins against the incumbent revealed the deep-seated divisions that were present among the democrats on the Vietnam War. In essence, McCarthy’s run had more significance for the war than it had for his bid to get to the presidency. Indeed he later lost the bid, but his campaign is widely remembered for the role it played as an opinion changer on the Vietnam War.

mccarthy campaign

Eugene Was Born In Watkins, MN

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Watkins is a city found in Meeker County, Minnesota. It has a total land area of .7 square miles and the main road into the city is the Minnesota State Highway 55.

Watkins has several lakes and recreational parks for you and your family, if you ever plan to visit there. This article gives you some information about the different fun things you can do.

1. Clear Lake

This is a 520 acre lake located about 3 miles south of Watkins on CSAH #2. It is around this area that the Clear Lake Campground and Watkins Sportsmen’s Club are located. Other than Clear Lake, there are other lakes located within a 10 – 20 miles radius. These include the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes found in the Sauk River area. There are numerous resorts and campgrounds all suitable for vacation.

2. Crane Lake

Crane Lake offers a lot of recreational activities both for summer and winter. These activities include boat riding, sports fishing, snowmobiling during winter, hiking, berry picking, bird watching, star gazing and cliff jumping.

crane lake

Additionally, Crane Lake has numerous resorts and lounges where you can spend your vacation and use the best inflatable kayak on the lake. The popular boat rentals around Crane Lake are:

Norway Lodge Resort and RV Park

Scott’s Resort & Seaplane Base

Nelson’s Resort

Scott’s Peaceful Valley

Cabins on Crane

Pine Point Lodge, Resort & Motel

Anderson’s Outfitters

Sand Point Lodge

Voyagaire Lodge and Houseboats

There are also recreational parks in Watkins you can visit for fun and to learn some history of the city like:

1. Clear Lake County Park

This is a 34.4 acre park in the southern area of the Clear Lake on CSAH #2 just 3 miles south of Watkins. It has numerous recreational amenities such as a fishing pier, hiking trails, boat landing site, picnic area with shelters and bathrooms. You could take an inflatable kayak down to the water and start paddling, then have a picnic after that great arm workout.

2. Veterans Park

Veterans Park is located on Veteran’s Drive, west of Central Avenue off State Highway 55. This park is mainly a veterans commemoration park with five granite markers for WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Korea and other conflicts’ veterans. Watkins City’s Memorial Day service starts at this park.

3. McCarthy Beach State Park

mccarthy park

McCarthy Beach State Park is located on the northern end of Central Avenue and has two open shelters, a stage, and several picnic tables. It is here that Watkins Kraut N’ Wurst Days are held every Saturday in August.

The park is named after politician and 1968 Presidential candidate Eugene Joseph “Gene” McCarthy who served as a member of the United States Congress for Minnesota from 1949 to 1959.

4. VFW Park

VFW park is being built in the Faber Addition on the eastern side of Watkins City. The Wat-Kim-Valley V.F.W. donated the initiation funds to finance its construction. As a result, the park is named VFW in their honor.

Who is Eugene McCarthy?

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… and we are going to answer that question today!

Who is Eugene McCarthy?

Eugene McCarthy Sitting Black & WhiteEugene McCarthy was a Democratic congressman from Minnesota, having served in both the House of Representatives (from 1949 to 1959) and the Senate (from 1959 to 1971). He made five unsuccessful bids for the presidency, the most noteworthy of which was in 1968. He ran against sitting president Lyndon B. Johnson in the Democratic primaries on a platform of ending the war in Vietnam, and his unsuspected strong showing ultimately spelled the end of the Johnson administration.

Early Life and Political Career (1916 – 1968)

McCarthy was born on March 29, 1916, in Watkins, Minnesota. He was known to be an avid reader. McCarthy attended St. John’s University, and was known for being a brilliant young man: due to his intelligence and wit, his friends referred to him as the “Watkins Wonder.” After graduation, McCarthy spent some years as a public school teacher, eventually earning his masters and become a professor of economics at his old alma mater. At one point, he even seriously considered becoming a Benedictine monk, spending nine months as a novice but ultimately deciding not to continue. He became involved in politics in 1949, being elected to the House of Representatives where he served for ten years. In 1959, McCarthy was elected to the Senate, where he would serve for nearly another decade. This brings us to 1968.

McCarthy and the 1968 Presidential Election

1968 was a crucial year in American history. This was the year Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and the year of the Tet Offensive (which strongly damaged Johnson’s reputation) in Vietnam. The country was divided, in large part over whether or not the war in Vietnam was justified. This division extended into the Democratic Party.

Some Democrats, such as sitting president Lyndon B. Johnson, were for the war, whereas others, like Eugene McCarthy, were against it. It’s this anti-war conviction which drove McCarthy, reluctantly, into the national spotlight in 1968 He had actually wanted Robert Kennedy to run on an anti-war platform, but Kennedy wasn’t interested, and so McCarthy stepped up to the plate.

eugene mccarthy for president

The 1968 New Hampshire primary was a surprise for the Johnson administration. Johnson won, and this was expected as he had all the advantages. The problem for Johnson was that he won only by a relatively narrow margin, even with everything in his favor: 49% to McCarthy’s 42%. Robert Kennedy, who had not originally wanted to run, now saw an opportunity and announced his candidacy, and what happened about two weeks later stunned the country: Johnson announced that he intended not to run for president. This was something unprecedented for a sitting president. Although McCarthy would ultimately withdraw from the race, his anti-war line of thinking triumphed, showing that people did not want more of the Johnson administration’s foreign policy. Kennedy, of course, would be assassinated before he had a chance to become the Democratic Party’s nominee.

Hubert Humphrey, Johnson’s vice-president, became the Democratic Party’s nominee. Humphrey’s connection to Johnson helped ensure that Richard Nixon, who ran on the promise of “new leadership” in the war, would win the election. Anti-Johnson sentiment was very high in America in 1968, too high for Humphrey to win.

Later Life and Summary

McCarthy would run for the presidency four more times after 1968. He never received the nomination of his party, however, and became less and less politically relevant as the years went by. Eugene became a bitter man, always complaining about how Robert Kennedy had stabbed him in the back by seeking the nomination. In his years “in the political wilderness,” McCarthy published over 20 books of poetry.

If he had been successful in the 1968 election, the war in Vietnam could have ended earlier. Ultimately, tens of thousands of American lives could have been saved from a war that would eventually end with victory for North Vietnam anyway. Therefore, McCarthy’s legacy is a powerful one. He had the conviction to stand up to his own party, against all odds, and brought down a sitting president with his strong showing in New Hampshire.