King Neptune Ceremony

The United States Navy has long stood on traditions.  These traditions reinforce the discipline needed to keep the crew’s morale high and their mission focused.  One such tradition is the King Neptune ceremony when crossing the equator aboard ship.  An experienced sailor dresses as Neptune; another cross-dresses as Queen Amphitrite, a third appears as Davy … Continue reading King Neptune Ceremony

Gifts to the Hoovers

As the Hoovers toured Latin America, they were feted with lavish dinners and receptions by heads of state and other dignitaries.  At these events the Hoovers were usually given a memento to mark the occasion.  By the time the Hoovers reached Chile, these mementos had grown so numerous that it was decided to ship them … Continue reading Gifts to the Hoovers

The Invisible Guest-Part II

Last year at about this time Thomas Schwartz wrote a blog here about Hoover’s ‘Invisible Guest’ dinners, innovative efforts to raise private funds to pay for the feeding of Europeans after World War I.  Congress had originally appropriated $100 million to this humanitarian effort, but was reluctant to expend funds beyond this commitment.  Hoover recognized … Continue reading The Invisible Guest-Part II

Mad Men and Miss Manners: A Hoover Christmas Carol

By Thomas F. Schwartz Bruce Barton is not a familiar name to most people but they certainly know some of his iconic brands such as Betty Crocker.  Barton was a principal in the advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn.  The writer/director Matthew Weiner used the advertising industry as a model for his 2007 show … Continue reading Mad Men and Miss Manners: A Hoover Christmas Carol

The Good Will Tour – a Journalist’s Adventure

Rodney Dutcher was one of 27 journalists who accompanied President-Elect Herbert Hoover on his "Good Will Tour" of Latin America in November and December 1928.  Dutcher was a bureau manager and political columnist for the Newspaper Enterprise Association, one of the big news syndicates that served 850 U.S. newspapers.  As published for a much smaller … Continue reading The Good Will Tour – a Journalist’s Adventure

Hoover’s Latin American Trip and the Press

Shortly before his departure on the Latin American goodwill trip, Herbert Hoover wrote to Elihu Root: ‘As usual, it is very difficult to deal with the press in these matters. The youngsters who are detailed to inform the American public seem to think they have a divine right to invent something sensational each day and … Continue reading Hoover’s Latin American Trip and the Press

“Viva Hoover” exhibit – but what’s that thing that looks like a clock?

A number of visitors to the temporary exhibit "Viva Hoover!  The 1928 Goodwill Tour"have asked about one of the large photographs of the battleship USS Maryland -- what is that clock-like thing on the mast? It's a device called a "range clock," and you will see it in pictures of battleships from World War I … Continue reading “Viva Hoover” exhibit – but what’s that thing that looks like a clock?

Herbert Hoover’s Good Will Tour – by Battleship

When Herbert Hoover was elected President in 1928, long-distance air travel was still in the future – Franklin Roosevelt would become the first President to travel internationally by air.  Hoover left the continental U.S. twice – first, as President-Elect in 1928, he traveled to Latin America on a "Good Will Tour," then in 1931 he … Continue reading Herbert Hoover’s Good Will Tour – by Battleship

Words and a Wall: Remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall

By Thomas F. Schwartz A number of remembrances took place on November 9, 2019, marking the 30th anniversary of the opening of travel between East and West Berlin and an end to the border wall of separation.  The end of a divided Berlin was the culmination of public protests in East Germany and a wave … Continue reading Words and a Wall: Remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall

The Second Purpose of Hoover’s 1928 Goodwill Tour

Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover were experienced travelers when they embarked on their trip to Latin America in late November 1928.  This was not the case for many of their fellow travelers.  Lou Hoover felt that it was incumbent on her to bring everyone up to speed by distributing a three-page typed memorandum on the … Continue reading The Second Purpose of Hoover’s 1928 Goodwill Tour