Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Franklin Roosevelt

Picking up a thread dropped months ago, I resume my series on Hoover’s interactions with American Presidents.  Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, connections get deep.  In fact, there have been book-length explorations of Hoover’s ties to FDR, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.  Rather than recap them, I suggest that those who want to know the rest … Continue reading Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Franklin Roosevelt

Opening Day, Baseball and Tough Times

Working at home due to covid-19, I am trying to adjust to the new normal.  As a die-hard baseball fan, my adjustment may have been eased if I had baseball to watch.  Alas, public health and reasonable prudence dictates that there will be no major league baseball until this crisis has passed.  Sad, sobering and … Continue reading Opening Day, Baseball and Tough Times

Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Marie Meloney-American Queenmaker

Recently, the Wall Street Journal printed a review of American Queenmaker, Julie Des Jardins’s biography of Marie Mattingly Meloney.  I read this review avidly, for Meloney was one of the many strong-minded women whose careers intersected with Herbert Hoover’s public service.  At a time when few women sat in the editor’s chair, Meloney was editor … Continue reading Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Marie Meloney-American Queenmaker

Lou Hoover and ‘The American Girl’

Lou Hoover was in the midst of her second tenure as President of the Girl Scouts in October 1936 when she received a letter from Jean Magee.  Magee was a high school junior tasked with writing a term paper on ‘The American Girl.’  She judged Lou Hoover to be the best authority on the subject. … Continue reading Lou Hoover and ‘The American Girl’

Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Rosalie Slaughter Morton-Woman Surgeon

Several years ago a colleague and I presented on women’s history sources at the Hoover Library to the Women and Gender Historians of the Midwest.  Attendees were surprised to discover that the Hoover Library held more than thirty collections documenting women.  To celebrate Women’s History Month this year, we will feature some of these women’s … Continue reading Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Rosalie Slaughter Morton-Woman Surgeon

West Union, Iowa Women’s Club Program, 1929

Anna Phillips, of West Union, Iowa, wrote to Mrs. Herbert Hoover on October 4, 1929: ‘We small town folk of Iowa, are trying eagerly to gather authentic information about some of the policies President Hoover is bringing to public attention….  Our Woman’s Club has an October 23rd program discussing Our President and His South American … Continue reading West Union, Iowa Women’s Club Program, 1929

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