Author Archives: Spencer Howard

The President’s Mountain School

by Spencer Howard When Hoover became President in 1929, he decided to build a weekend retreat – a fishing camp – some place where he could escape from Washington and unwind.  He chose a site on the eastern slope of … Continue reading

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Not Quite American

By Spencer Howard Lou Henry Hoover’s papers include numerous files documenting some of the secretaries, servants and aides that worked for her over the years.  Among them is a folder of letters that tell the story of a Filipino, Matias … Continue reading

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The Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930

In any discussion of President Hoover’s economic policies, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff often takes center stage.  What’s typically omitted, however, is the context in which the bill emerged. From the earliest days of the republic, a protective tariff was one of … Continue reading

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Desegregating the Commerce Department

  In 1928, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover took action for the civil rights of African Americans that was both momentous and trivial – he desegregated the Commerce Department. As his assistant, George Akerson pointed out, the official policy of … Continue reading

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Bonus Army

In late June, 1932, a few hundred unemployed World War I veterans boarded freight trains in Portland, Oregon.  Out of work and overwhelmed by the Depression, they had decided to go to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress for early payment … Continue reading

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SS President Hoover (2)

by Spencer Howard After the demise of the first  SS President Hoover, the precarious financial situation of the Dollar Line led the U.S. Maritime Commission to take control of the line in late 1938, and the name of the company … Continue reading

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Lincoln Portrait Fraud

by, Spencer Howard The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum presented a program by art conservator Barry Bauman entitled “The Demise of Mary Lincoln: An Artistic Conspiracy.” In short, Mr. Bauman discovered that a painting that had hung for years in … Continue reading

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Tempest in a Teapot – Lou Henry Hoover and the DePriest Tea Incident

By: Spencer Howard When Lou Henry Hoover became First Lady in 1929, one of her main responsibilities was to coordinate the social functions at the White House, and the first major event on her agenda was to invite the wives … Continue reading

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Hoover Field – Washington DC’s First Airport

The inauguration of the first air passenger service between Washington DC and Philadelphia on July 16, 1926 was a major milestone in the development of the nation’s capital, and of unusual personal significance for Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.  Not … Continue reading

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Herbert Hoover, President-Elect – a Florida vacation

In January 1929, President-Elect Herbert Hoover returned from his seven-week trip to Latin America and began preparing for the Inauguration.  (At that time Inauguration Day was March 4, so he had an extra six weeks to work with.)  After a … Continue reading

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