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Frederick Valdemar Erastus Peterson is Born

Today in Masonic History Frederick Valdemar Erastus Peterson is born in 1903.

Frederick Valdemar Erastus Peterson was an American politician.

Peterson was born in Oakland, Nebraska on July 18th, 1903. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Wayne State Teachers College before going on to a Master's degree in political science from the University of Nebraska. After graduation he settled in Elgin, Nebraska in 1933.

In Elgin, Peterson worked as a teacher in the Elgin area schools and became the superintendent of schools in Elgin. He also worked in the newspaper business and became the publisher of The Elgin Review for ten years.

In 1940 Peterson entered politics as a campaign manager for Hugh Butler in his 1940 run for the United States Senate. He went on to be administrative assistant and secretary to Governor Dwight Griswold from 1941 to 1942.

During World War II, Peterson served as a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Air Forces.

After the war, Peterson ran, successfully, for Governor in the 1946 election. He would serve three terms being reelected in 1948 and 1950. During his terms in office the Missouri River basin development was endorsed and highway revenue initiatives were sought. He also chaired the State Governors Conference and presided over the Council of State Governments in 1952. He was also the chairman of the National Governors Association.

After leaving the Governor's office, Peterson was appointed by President Eisenhower to be director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration. It is said that during this time he speculated about the construction of a cobalt doomsday bomb. He would go on to Ambassador to Denmark from 1957 to 1961 and Ambassador to Finland from 1969 to 1973.

Peterson passed away on October 17th, 1983.

Peterson was a member of Wayne Lodge No. 120 in Wayne, Nebraska. He went on to affiliate with Antelope Lodge No. 276, Elgin,Nebraska. He was also a member of Damascus Chapter No. 25, Royal Arch Masons in Norfolk, Nebraska. A member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Masonic Jurisdiction in Omaha, Nebraska. He was also a Shriner and a Jester.