Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Calvin Coolidge

In honor of Presidents Day, I resume my series on Hoover’s interactions with American Presidents.  In our last episode, I left Hoover at Warren Harding’s death bed in August 1923.  After Harding died, Vice President Calvin Coolidge rose to the office of President.  Coolidge, described as a ‘Puritan in Babylon’ by one writer, could not … Continue reading Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover and the Gasparilla Pirate Festival

I cannot imagine Herbert Hoover, at any age or in any context, attending Mardi Gras or any such foofaraw. The man, the mien, and Mardi Gras beads just do not mix. My mind is not that plastic.  Evidently Florida Senator Duncan Upshaw Fletcher had a broader perspective. He wrote to Hoover on December 15, 1928, … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and the Gasparilla Pirate Festival

Hoover, and Other Heads of the American State

My office mate and I had a conversation about Ozymandias, a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley more than two hundred years ago.  Fragments of the poem rattled in my memory; my colleague knew it by heart.  Lines that stuck with me: ‘And on the pedestal these words appear/ ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings/ … Continue reading Hoover, and Other Heads of the American State

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

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

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

The Purpose of Hoover’s 1928 Goodwill Tour

Shortly after Herbert Hoover won the Presidency in November 1928, he began planning a trip to Latin America. This would make him the first President-elect to make such a journey.  His experience as Secretary of Commerce convinced him of the economic importance of Latin America and of the need to walk back some North American … Continue reading The Purpose of Hoover’s 1928 Goodwill Tour

Joe Garagiola, NBC Broadcast on the Death of Herbert Hoover, October 22, 1964

President Lyndon Johnson in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to pay respects to former President Herbert Hoover, as the remains of the former president lay in state. 10/23/1964 Following are excerpts from a transcript in box 182 of Hoover’s Post-Presidential Subject Files, ‘Hoover funeral,’ written and delivered by Joe Garagiola, NBC Broadcaster. Although the custom is … Continue reading Joe Garagiola, NBC Broadcast on the Death of Herbert Hoover, October 22, 1964