Presidents and Engineers

Herbert Hoover mining in possibly Australia or South Africa, ca. 1900. America celebrates National Engineering Week each February in the week containing February 22nd, George Washington’s birthday.  Washington, who used engineering skills while surveying land on the frontier, is an apt President on which to hang this celebration of engineering.  Other Presidents who’d merit consideration … Continue reading Presidents and Engineers

Valentine’s Day Cards – The Rest of the Story

A valentine from the Hoover collections. Last year, I wrote on the Valentine’s Day Cards received by President Hoover (https://hoover.blogs.archives.gov/2018/02/14/valentines-day-cards/).  I was surprised not only by the variety of cards in circulation in the early 1930s, but also by the large number of card manufacturers.  Growing up when and where I did, I assumed that … Continue reading Valentine’s Day Cards – The Rest of the Story

I Might as well Finish my Smoke…

Herbert Hoover, 1931. A while back, I wrote on Hoover’s smoking as President.  Given the times, this was not a surprise.  No further surprise to learn that Hoover smoked all of his adult life.  Thus there are six folders in box 286 of his Post-Presidential Subject Files related to smoking.   These document various aspects of … Continue reading I Might as well Finish my Smoke…

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Barack Obama was the most recent President to smoke cigarettes.  He did his best to keep his habit out of the public eye knowing that it was frowned upon.  Before the habit was socially stigmatized, many Presidents smoked.  Herbert Hoover was one of them.  A recent reference question concerning Hoover’s choice in pipe tobacco led … Continue reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

The Oval Office Roasting on a 1929 Christmas Fire

By Thomas F. Schwartz A previous blog described Christmas gifts Lou Henry Hoover gave to people in 1930.  Made from century-old pine beams original to the White House and removed in the 1927 renovation by Calvin Coolidge, some of the oral histories conducted with associates of Herbert Hoover conflate these gifts with the 1929 fire … Continue reading The Oval Office Roasting on a 1929 Christmas Fire

Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 3: Caring for the children

Continuing Coningsby Dawson's tour of post-World War I Vienna, his writings sought to convey the absolute desperation of the people – primarily children – who were dependent on the American Relief Administration.  In this dispatch, he describes his visit to one of the child-feeding stations: Today I visited one of the strategic points where the battle … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 3: Caring for the children

Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 2: The Dorotheum

In December 1920, as Coningsby Dawson toured Central Europe writing articles to promote the American Relief Administration fund drive, he sought to inform his readers about not only the immediate work of the ARA, but also to offer a wider view of the newly independent nations that were struggling to recover from the war.  In this … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 2: The Dorotheum

Christmas in Vienna, 1920 — Part 1: A visit from Santa

The year 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I.  As far as most Americans were concerned, that was the end of the war – the fighting stopped, the doughboys soon came home, and the Versailles Peace Conference concluded an acceptable peace. In much of Europe, the Armistice brought no … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna, 1920 — Part 1: A visit from Santa

Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century, Part 3

  This third installment in the saga of Hoover’s ties with American Presidents gets tricky.  Hoover’s connections to Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft were small, self-contained universes which allowed for easy translation into a blog post.  This is not the case with Hoover and Woodrow Wilson.  Their contacts were frequent, their engagement deep, their conjoined … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century, Part 3

The Invisible Guest

By Thomas F. Schwartz During the season of goblins, ghosts, witches, vampires, and zombies, “invisible guests” would find themselves among friends.  But invisibility can be the spiteful kind as in H. G. Welles, Invisible Man or something that is not present but felt.  It is the latter that Herbert Hoover evoked in a series of … Continue reading The Invisible Guest