Are You Ready for some Football?—College Coaches’ Mythic Edition

Like millions of Americans, I am captivated by the autumnal pull of college football.  The crisp cool air, the turning leaves, the thump of pad upon pad, the siren call of homecoming at the alma mater all weave their magic. I spend many Saturday hours inside watching the local heroes on the Big-10 network.   … Continue reading Are You Ready for some Football?—College Coaches’ Mythic Edition

Political Campaigns and Dirty Tricks

  Dirty tricks in political campaigns are not recent phenomena.  Every American electoral cycle spawns a new reason for candidates to be justifiably paranoid.  Someone is out to get them, or at least to get their political office.  Those closest to the candidate, especially members of their immediate family, sometimes get caught up in the … Continue reading Political Campaigns and Dirty Tricks

When is a yacht not a yacht?

by Spencer Howard At his news conference on March 22, 1929, President Hoover announced that he had ordered the Presidential yacht, USS Mayflower, decommissioned.  He explained, "The Secretary of the Navy reports that it costs over $300,000 a year to maintain the yacht and that it requires a complement of 9 officers and 148 enlisted … Continue reading When is a yacht not a yacht?

Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

Groucho and Other Solicitations Made to an Ex-President. By Thomas F. Schwartz It was not uncommon in the Nineteenth Century for sitting and former presidents to publically endorse commercial products and services, usually without compensation.  In 1862, Abraham Lincoln wrote a glowing endorsement for his foot doctor: “Dr. Zacharie, has, with great dexterity, taken some … Continue reading Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?

Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century

Part 2 by Matthew Schaefer This post is the second in an intermittent series describing the continuing saga of Herbert Hoover’s connections to U.S. Presidents.  In 1910, the 36 year-old Hoover wrote letters to friends explaining that he’d grown bored with the game of making money and that he’d welcome a new challenge.  Well-connected friends … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century

Lou Henry Hoover on the Middle Class

by Matthew Schaefer When I give presentations to the general public within the friendly confines of the Hoover Library, I make it a point to show and share manuscripts from our collections.  This is the first visit to a Presidential Library for many in my audience.  Showing a folder with drafts of Herbert Hoover speeches, … Continue reading Lou Henry Hoover on the Middle Class

Old School Iowa Social Networking

by Matthew Schaefer This blog is the closest this archivist gets to modern social media and the digital social network.  I’m a bit of a dinosaur in this regard.  Facebook, Twitter, Snap-Chat are as foreign to me as Urdu, Swahili and Latin.  My social networking is old school. It does not trend. It trades on … Continue reading Old School Iowa Social Networking

Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century

by Matthew Schaefer Theodore Roosevelt Box 12 of the Allan Hoover papers contains an intriguing folder titled ‘People Herbert Hoover Knew.’  The names on these twenty-seven pages obviously did not list every one that Hoover knew, just those with sufficient political prominence to catch Hoover’s attention.  One page was especially noteworthy.  On it Hoover listed … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century

Left to the Vagaries of History

August 13th is International Lefthanders Day, a day to celebrate the uniqueness of lefthanders.  First observed in 1976 by a small cadre of left-thinking individuals, International Lefthanders Day has grown over the years to become something of a social media phenomena.  This year’s version highlighted American Presidents who were left-handed.  Somehow Herbert Hoover is listed … Continue reading Left to the Vagaries of History

Days of Reckoning-Herbert Hoover’s Birthdays at age 80+

by Matthew Schaefer Many years after Hoover left the White House, he became a respected elder statesman.  Hoover relished this role, giving advice to Democrats and Republicans alike as he entered his eighties.  At this late stage of his life, Hoover came to be seen as a model of vigorous aging.  Magazine articles were written … Continue reading Days of Reckoning-Herbert Hoover’s Birthdays at age 80+