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

H. L. Mencken: Sage of Baltimore

Former president Hoover with Stanford University president, Ray Lyman Wilbur, enjoying the Yale vs. Penn football game at Franklin Field. 10/13/1935 Sometimes history—and this blog post—take shape through coincidence.  For instance, I was in Baltimore last week for a family event.  I took advantage of the situation to do some literary sight-seeing, visiting the homes … Continue reading H. L. Mencken: Sage of Baltimore

Herbert Hoover on the Outbreak of the European War

This past September marked the eightieth anniversary of the beginning of the Second World War, an event that shocked many who felt that civilization had moved beyond such barbarous means.  Herbert Hoover offered this trenchant commentary to a San Francisco audience, September 1st 1939: This is one of the saddest weeks that has come to … Continue reading Herbert Hoover on the Outbreak of the European War

Lou Hoover and the Early Days of World War I

London, 1914, American Women's Committee. Lou Hoover is sitting at the table, the fourth one from the right. Last month we made a presentation to our local Questers group. They are big fans of Lou Hoover, so they asked us to speak on Lou and relief work during World War I.  I felt that we’d … Continue reading Lou Hoover and the Early Days of World War I