‘It’s 11:59 on the Clock of Starvation’

Speaking to an American radio audience just before the German surrender at the end of World War II, Hoover raised important issues for Western Civilization in the post-war world. His main focus was on food availability and security.  Hoover observed ‘No peace will be possible in nations that are half well-fed and half starved.’  He … Continue reading ‘It’s 11:59 on the Clock of Starvation’

Revisiting Hoover’s Memo to Truman, May 1945

At this time last year, I wrote a blog on Hoover’s return to the world stage in response to President Truman’s request for Hoover’s insights into the food situation in Europe immediately after V-E Day.  I summarized an 18-page memo Hoover sent to Truman on May 31, 1945, recapping the main points of their 55-minute … Continue reading Revisiting Hoover’s Memo to Truman, May 1945

The Interstate Highway System, Dwight Eisenhower and Lou Henry Hoover

Eisenhower Interstate Sign Attentive drivers will notice that the highways connecting America are named the Dwight Eisenhower Interstate Highway System. This is a nod to Eisenhower’s commitment to securing passage of the 1956 Interstate Highway Act, a concrete legacy of his presidency.  When discussing improvements to infrastructure today, some policy wonks invoke Ike, calling for … Continue reading The Interstate Highway System, Dwight Eisenhower and Lou Henry Hoover

Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Bess Goodykoontz-Educator and Writer

Bess Goodykoontz was born in 1894 and raised in Waukon, Iowa.  She earned BA and MA degrees from the University of Iowa, then taught in rural Iowa schools, supervised elementary schools in Green Bay, Wisconsin and taught at the University of Pittsburgh for five years.  In 1929, Goodykoontz was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Education within … Continue reading Women’s History Sources at the Hoover Library: Bess Goodykoontz-Educator and Writer

Brazilian President-Elect Prestes Visits the Hoover White House

The goodwill tour of Latin America by the Hoovers had ripples that extended long after they returned to the United States.  Reciprocal visits by Latin American heads of state included: Pascual Ortiz Rubio, President of Mexico in December 1929, Dr. Enrique Olaya, President-elect of Columbia in early June 1930, and Dr. Julio Prestes, President-elect of … Continue reading Brazilian President-Elect Prestes Visits the Hoover White House

Campbell Hodges reports on visit of Columbia President-Elect and First Lady

The Hoovers were not the only First Couple to go on a goodwill trip.  Enrique and Maria Olaya Herrera, President-Elect and First Lady of Columbia, visited the Hoover White House in early June 1930.  After serving eight years as Columbian Minister to the United States, Olaya was elected President in February 1930, but he did … Continue reading Campbell Hodges reports on visit of Columbia President-Elect and First Lady

Ernie Shackleton: A Lesson in Leadership

I have often posted stories here about a humanitarian whose efforts led him to ensure that millions of people would not starve. These are the stories about Herbert Hoover or, as I call him, Bert. Let me now tell a story about Ernie. Ernie was blessed with a boundless energy and an unquenchable passion for … Continue reading Ernie Shackleton: A Lesson in Leadership

Christmas Gift Exchanges in the Waldorf-Astoria

My colleagues here sometimes tease me about ‘my favorite thing’ in the archives.  It is Hoover’s reading copy of a speech he gave at Cairo in April 1946.  It is inscribed to Kitty Milbank, one of Hoover’s close friends: ‘Dear Kitty, This is one of the most important speeches I have ever delivered.’  Hoover gave … Continue reading Christmas Gift Exchanges in the Waldorf-Astoria

Chance and Circumstance: Pearl Harbor in History

History is strange.  It has a perverse way of folding back on itself like a Mobius strip.  I once listened to an entire lecture by a seasoned historian who, after years of research and thought, ascribed the cause of the 1967 Detroit riots to chance and circumstance.  Really?  Can we resolve complex events to such … Continue reading Chance and Circumstance: Pearl Harbor in History