What’s in a Name?  The Saga of the Hoover Dam

On September 17, 1930, Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur journeyed to the Nevada desert to drive a silver railroad spike, marking an end and a beginning.  The spike commemorated the completion of a railroad from Las Vegas to Black Canyon, which was to be the site of an enormous new dam on the … Continue reading What’s in a Name?  The Saga of the Hoover Dam

The most interesting – but largely forgotten – siege and bombardment of the age

On August 8, 1900, a young Lou Henry Hoover wrote to her friend Evelyn Wight, “you missed one of the opportunities of your life by not coming to China in the summer of 1900… So many many many times I thought of you, and that you should have been here, at the most interesting siege … Continue reading The most interesting – but largely forgotten – siege and bombardment of the age

Wonder Boy — Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce

Herbert Hoover is remembered today primarily as the President who struggled to contain the Great Depression.  It’s hard for us to imagine how incredibly popular he was before entering the White House, and how he dazzled the world with his meteoric rise to fame.  Hoover’s adult life leading up to the Presidency can be neatly … Continue reading Wonder Boy — Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce

The 20th Amendment :  the obscure amendment that changed Inauguration Day

Today we know Inauguration Day falls every four years on January 20, but for much of American history it was March 4, almost four months after election day.  Herbert Hoover was the last and perhaps most unfortunate President to serve four months as a “lame duck.”  What changed?  The ratification of the 20th Amendment to … Continue reading The 20th Amendment :  the obscure amendment that changed Inauguration Day

Graduations that never happened — Laura Ingalls Wilder

In the spring of 1885, 18-year-old Laura Ingalls (soon to be married to Almazo Wilder) did not graduate from high school in De Smet, South Dakota, though perhaps she should have. Of course, high school in the current sense didn’t exist then, especially in rural areas.  Most Americans had no opportunity to attend school beyond … Continue reading Graduations that never happened — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Searching for the real Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of the hidden gems at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum are the papers of Rose Wilder Lane, which document the extraordinary lives of Rose and her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Laura’s Little House books are a fictionalized account of her childhood, but they contain many charming and vivid descriptions of pioneer life in the … Continue reading Searching for the real Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mary Bethune: Adviser to Presidents

Mary McLeod Bethune was a prominent African-American educator and public servant in the early 20th century.  Born in South Carolina in 1875, she was the 15th of 17 children of former slaves Samuel and Patsy McLeod.  As a child she excelled in her studies at a mission school and won scholarships for advanced education.  She … Continue reading Mary Bethune: Adviser to Presidents

Make Sure Your Getaway Vehicle Doesn’t Break Down

The following story is filed with Bureau of Standards reports to Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover: On Sunday morning, March 20, 1921, the arrest of a young man and the recovery of a truck full of Government radio equipment was reported to the Superintendent of the Bureau of Standards.  The robbery was committed by Oscar … Continue reading Make Sure Your Getaway Vehicle Doesn’t Break Down

In remembrance of Professor Ellis Wayne Hawley

A great friend of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum died on September 15.  Professor Ellis Hawley mentored generations of undergraduate and graduate students from 1957 to his retirement in 1994.  He began his career on faculty of North Texas State University, moving to Ohio State University, and ending his career at the University … Continue reading In remembrance of Professor Ellis Wayne Hawley

Herbert Hoover and the 1930 Drought, continued

Part 2 -- The Great Humanitarian Stumbles [For Part 1, see https://hoover.blogs.archives.gov/2020/09/16/herbert-hoover-and-the-1930-drought/ ] At first, Hoover’s drought relief plan was widely praised;  it seemed that he had come up with a perfect combination of Federal leadership and local control.  The state and local committees went to work with enthusiasm.  But as summer turned to fall … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and the 1930 Drought, continued