‘It’s 11:59 on the Clock of Starvation’

Speaking to an American radio audience just before the German surrender at the end of World War II, Hoover raised important issues for Western Civilization in the post-war world. His main focus was on food availability and security.  Hoover observed ‘No peace will be possible in nations that are half well-fed and half starved.’  He … Continue reading ‘It’s 11:59 on the Clock of Starvation’

What’s in a Name?  The Saga of the Hoover Dam

On September 17, 1930, Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur journeyed to the Nevada desert to drive a silver railroad spike, marking an end and a beginning.  The spike commemorated the completion of a railroad from Las Vegas to Black Canyon, which was to be the site of an enormous new dam on the … Continue reading What’s in a Name?  The Saga of the Hoover Dam

Jan Karski and Herbert Hoover

By Thomas F. Schwartz History, some argue, is the study of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It is also the study of extraordinary people doing seemingly impossible things.  Jan Karski is an example of the latter.  A Polish diplomat, Karski was taken prisoner by Soviet military forces during the 1939 invasion by both Nazi Germany … Continue reading Jan Karski and Herbert Hoover

The most interesting – but largely forgotten – siege and bombardment of the age

On August 8, 1900, a young Lou Henry Hoover wrote to her friend Evelyn Wight, “you missed one of the opportunities of your life by not coming to China in the summer of 1900… So many many many times I thought of you, and that you should have been here, at the most interesting siege … Continue reading The most interesting – but largely forgotten – siege and bombardment of the age

Revisiting Hoover’s Memo to Truman, May 1945

At this time last year, I wrote a blog on Hoover’s return to the world stage in response to President Truman’s request for Hoover’s insights into the food situation in Europe immediately after V-E Day.  I summarized an 18-page memo Hoover sent to Truman on May 31, 1945, recapping the main points of their 55-minute … Continue reading Revisiting Hoover’s Memo to Truman, May 1945

Rock, Scissors, Sandpaper

By Thomas F. Schwartz A popular children’s game is rock, scissors, paper: rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock.  Hoover’s eye doctor, Maynard C. Wheeler offered an interesting variation on the game in his oral history about Herbert Hoover.  Previous blog posts have detailed Hoover’s habit of smoking Cuban cigars and pipe smoking … Continue reading Rock, Scissors, Sandpaper

The Phantom President

By Thomas F. Schwartz A recent viral video shows a famous Hollywood actor performing magic tricks.  Surprisingly, it is not the actor at all but someone with an uncanny resemblance.  “Deep fakes,” the use of artificial intelligence to create videos showing images so real, such as Queen Elizabeth performing a TicTok dance, that the fake … Continue reading The Phantom President

A Troubled Relationship

Herbert Hoover with President Elect Franklin D Roosevelt as they leave the White House on their way to the Inauguration ceremonies. By Thomas F. Schwartz             Much ink has been spilled on the relationship between Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  What began as friendly mutual cooperation ended in a bitter transition of power.  It … Continue reading A Troubled Relationship

Lou Hoover on Women and Politics

By Thomas F. Schwartz Lou Hoover never voiced an interest in running for political office.  Her philosophy of “lead from behind” preferred a role as quiet mentor and not outspoken leader.  This did not prevent her from voicing her opinion on the larger role that women play in leadership and governance.  Speaking before a gathering … Continue reading Lou Hoover on Women and Politics

The Interstate Highway System, Dwight Eisenhower and Lou Henry Hoover

Eisenhower Interstate Sign Attentive drivers will notice that the highways connecting America are named the Dwight Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. This is a nod to Eisenhower’s commitment to securing passage of the 1956 Interstate Highway Act, a concrete legacy of his presidency.  When discussing improvements to infrastructure today, some policy wonks invoke Ike, calling for … Continue reading The Interstate Highway System, Dwight Eisenhower and Lou Henry Hoover