A Problem of Youth:  Herbert Hoover’s Changeable Age

By Thomas F. Schwartz Many young people are in a hurry to grow up and be able to do things that their age prevents.  Once they get older, they begin to pine for the previous unencumbered joys of childhood.  It remains a great irony of life.  Herbert Hoover was one of the many precocious youth … Continue reading A Problem of Youth:  Herbert Hoover’s Changeable Age

Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Bess Goodykoontz-Educator and Writer

Bess Goodykoontz was born in 1894 and raised in Waukon, Iowa.  She earned BA and MA degrees from the University of Iowa, then taught in rural Iowa schools, supervised elementary schools in Green Bay, Wisconsin and taught at the University of Pittsburgh for five years.  In 1929, Goodykoontz was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Education within … Continue reading Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Bess Goodykoontz-Educator and Writer

Brazilian President-Elect Prestes Visits the Hoover White House

The goodwill tour of Latin America by the Hoovers had ripples that extended long after they returned to the United States.  Reciprocal visits by Latin American heads of state included: Pascual Ortiz Rubio, President of Mexico in December 1929, Dr. Enrique Olaya, President-elect of Columbia in early June 1930, and Dr. Julio Prestes, President-elect of … Continue reading Brazilian President-Elect Prestes Visits the Hoover White House

Campbell Hodges reports on visit of Columbia President-Elect and First Lady

The Hoovers were not the only First Couple to go on a goodwill trip.  Enrique and Maria Olaya Herrera, President-Elect and First Lady of Columbia, visited the Hoover White House in early June 1930.  After serving eight years as Columbian Minister to the United States, Olaya was elected President in February 1930, but he did … Continue reading Campbell Hodges reports on visit of Columbia President-Elect and First Lady

Wonder Boy — Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce

Herbert Hoover is remembered today primarily as the President who struggled to contain the Great Depression.  It’s hard for us to imagine how incredibly popular he was before entering the White House, and how he dazzled the world with his meteoric rise to fame.  Hoover’s adult life leading up to the Presidency can be neatly … Continue reading Wonder Boy — Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce

The 20th Amendment :  the obscure amendment that changed Inauguration Day

Today we know Inauguration Day falls every four years on January 20, but for much of American history it was March 4, almost four months after election day.  Herbert Hoover was the last and perhaps most unfortunate President to serve four months as a “lame duck.”  What changed?  The ratification of the 20th Amendment to … Continue reading The 20th Amendment :  the obscure amendment that changed Inauguration Day

Graduations that never happened — Laura Ingalls Wilder

In the spring of 1885, 18-year-old Laura Ingalls (soon to be married to Almazo Wilder) did not graduate from high school in De Smet, South Dakota, though perhaps she should have. Of course, high school in the current sense didn’t exist then, especially in rural areas.  Most Americans had no opportunity to attend school beyond … Continue reading Graduations that never happened — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Searching for the real Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of the hidden gems at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum are the papers of Rose Wilder Lane, which document the extraordinary lives of Rose and her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Laura’s Little House books are a fictionalized account of her childhood, but they contain many charming and vivid descriptions of pioneer life in the … Continue reading Searching for the real Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mary Bethune: Adviser to Presidents

Mary McLeod Bethune was a prominent African-American educator and public servant in the early 20th century.  Born in South Carolina in 1875, she was the 15th of 17 children of former slaves Samuel and Patsy McLeod.  As a child she excelled in her studies at a mission school and won scholarships for advanced education.  She … Continue reading Mary Bethune: Adviser to Presidents