Herbert Hoover and the Centennial of American Entry into World War I: Episode II

By: Matthew Schaefer, Hoover Archivist The meeting of the Iowa World War I Centennial Committee reminded this Hoover archivist that it was time to pen the monthly installment of the Herbert Hoover saga.  When we left, Hoover was struggling to raise funds in America for the Commission for Relief in Belgium.  German submarines were exacting … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and the Centennial of American Entry into World War I: Episode II

White House Musicales: The Rest of the Story

By Thomas Schwartz Having previously noted some of the White House musicales presented during the Hoover Administration, one may ask who was in charge of determining the programs and securing the artists. These tasks were the responsibility, not of a White House staff member, but of Henry Junge at Steinway & Sons piano company. Actually, … Continue reading White House Musicales: The Rest of the Story

Hitching a Ride with a President

By Thomas Schwartz John Wade Gordon stood along a hot, dusty California highway not far from Petaluma hoping to hitch a ride to Sausalito ferry about forty miles south.  Gordon had relocated to California from Memphis, Tennessee is search of better prospects.  It was August 24, 1933.  Hungry and in need of employment, Gordon hoped … Continue reading Hitching a Ride with a President

On Centennial Celebrations

By Matthew Schaefer While driving back from a Des Moines meeting of the Iowa World War I Centennial Committee, it occurred to this Hoover Archivist that a series of monthly posts might be in order to describe the activities of Herbert Hoover as America edged closer to war.  Consider this episode one. Hoover had spent … Continue reading On Centennial Celebrations

Documenting the Hoover Marriage of February 10, 1899

By Thomas F. Schwartz Unlike Hoover’s birthday that remained a contested issue until 1924, Herbert “Bert” Hoover’s marriage to Lou Henry on February 10, 1899 has never been questioned.  Most of the accounts of the event were recalled years later resulting in conflicting information.  An earlier blog post on February 10, 2016, “The Hoover Wedding … Continue reading Documenting the Hoover Marriage of February 10, 1899

It’s the End of the Year as we Know it…

by Matthew Schaefer For some the end of the year is a time of reflection—a time to assess what has happened, what may yet come, and where they fit in the grand scheme of things.  Herbert Hoover gave voice to such reflections in the late Decembers between 1913 and 1918.  Hoover later titled these notes … Continue reading It’s the End of the Year as we Know it…

Herbert Hoover’s Many Facets of Christmas

By Matthew Schaefer Christmas is a holiday laden with memories--family, fun, food, and faith form the warp and woof of these memories.  This held true for Herbert Hoover.  Late in his life, Hoover began to collect his Christmas reminiscences to share with family and friends.  One set of such memories is found in Hoover’s Post-Presidential … Continue reading Herbert Hoover’s Many Facets of Christmas

Santa Claus Lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

By Thomas F. Schwartz December 1931 was like any other except that more Americans were feeling the effects of what would later be known as the Great Depression.   Herbert and Lou Hoover had a long history of assisting those in need.  The First Lady decided that the annual Christmas party would have a different emphasis.  … Continue reading Santa Claus Lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Writing Christmas Cards Under Fire

By Thomas F. Schwartz December 7, 1941 was, as President Franklin Roosevelt aptly stated: “a date which will live in infamy.”  The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese plunged America into World War II.  At the time of the attack, Lou Henry Hoover’s sister, Jean Henry Large and niece, Janet Large, resided on … Continue reading Writing Christmas Cards Under Fire

Thanksgiving in the White House

Thanksgiving as a national holiday dates back to George Washington’s proclamation in 1789, which named the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.  The tradition wavered in the 19th century until Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation in 1863 declaring the last Thursday in November be regularly commemorated as Thanksgiving.  It has been … Continue reading Thanksgiving in the White House