Mad Men and Miss Manners: A Hoover Christmas Carol

By Thomas F. Schwartz Bruce Barton is not a familiar name to most people but they certainly know some of his iconic brands such as Betty Crocker.  Barton was a principal in the advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn.  The writer/director Matthew Weiner used the advertising industry as a model for his 2007 show … Continue reading Mad Men and Miss Manners: A Hoover Christmas Carol

Words and a Wall: Remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall

By Thomas F. Schwartz A number of remembrances took place on November 9, 2019, marking the 30th anniversary of the opening of travel between East and West Berlin and an end to the border wall of separation.  The end of a divided Berlin was the culmination of public protests in East Germany and a wave … Continue reading Words and a Wall: Remembering the fall of the Berlin Wall

The Original Meatless Monday

By Thomas F. Schwartz A recent opinion piece advocated for the return of meatless Monday as a way of addressing climate change.  Certain animals release methane, a greenhouse-gas that adversely impacts the ozone.  Foregoing meat on Monday, according to the editorial board, would help the environment.  This view is hardly new.  A website was launched … Continue reading The Original Meatless Monday

Tangible and Intangible Uses of Historical Knowledge

Lou Henry Hoover sitting at the "Monroe Desk" which was reproduced for the White House collection. ca 1931 By Thomas F. Schwartz Another of Lou Henry Hoover’s undeveloped musings addresses the problem of people who only mine the past for practical applications in the present.  A deeper understanding of the context that gave rise to … Continue reading Tangible and Intangible Uses of Historical Knowledge

Parodies of the New Deal

By Thomas F. Schwartz New York Stock Exchange, ca. 1929                 Much of the negativity connecting Herbert Hoover to the Great Depression was a relentless effort on the part of Charles Michelson a publicist hired by the Democratic National Committee in 1930 to attack Hoover’s policies and person.  It was Michelson who created a series … Continue reading Parodies of the New Deal

When Typewriter Rentals Were Banned

This Royal typewriter is on display at the Hoover Museum, it is typical of what Herbert Hoover would have used while living in the Waldorf-Astoria. By Thomas F. Schwartz As the manuscript collections clearly document, Herbert Hoover was a compulsive writer.   Typically, drafts were typed, edited, amended, and retyped ad nauseam before Hoover was … Continue reading When Typewriter Rentals Were Banned

On Human Nature: Lou Henry Hoover’s Musings

Lou Henry Hoover, ca. 1932 By Thomas F. Schwartz                 Lou Henry Hoover liked to capture kernels of ideas on papers for further elaboration at some later date.  Often, the ideas never were revisited and remain unpolished thoughts containing interesting potential.  One of these describes the problem of human nature.  Lou writes: “It is a … Continue reading On Human Nature: Lou Henry Hoover’s Musings

An Eclectic Taste in Music: Herbert Hoover’s Favorite Tunes

By Thomas F. Schwartz President Hoover and First Lady Lou Hoover at a dinner at the Waldorf Astoria, Feb. 12, 1933. A common approach to short biography today is to provide a series of questions asking the interview subject to list their favorite foods, movies, music, etc.  The archivists are frequently asked these same questions … Continue reading An Eclectic Taste in Music: Herbert Hoover’s Favorite Tunes

The Lost Documentary Film of the Commission for Relief in Belgium

Part 2 By Thomas F. Schwartz                 Though the original ten reel production never was released for general viewing, the existing scripts give a sense of its contents.  Because it was a silent film, the subtitles clearly describe the film footage that preceded it.  It begins by stating: “This is not a picture of actors … Continue reading The Lost Documentary Film of the Commission for Relief in Belgium