A blue and white baby blanket knitted by Lou Henry Hoover. There is a blue knotted bow attached to the blanket.

Yarns, Needles, Knitting, and Baby Blankets

A blue and white baby blanket knitted by Lou Henry Hoover. (75.4.2) A blue and white baby blanket knitted by Lou Henry Hoover. (75.4.2) By Thomas F. Schwartz Dr. Helen B. Pryor, a close friend and early biographer of Lou Henry Hoover, recalled: “Even though fond of the out-of-doors, Mrs. Hoover has many domestic traits, … Continue reading Yarns, Needles, Knitting, and Baby Blankets

Lou Henry Hoover is seen wearing a striped dress and a hat at a Belgian Relief fair in Palo Alto, California, in 1916.

Lou Henry Hoover Learns Mandarin

By Thomas F. Schwartz Helen P. Downes of Yonkers, New York studied with Ch'uan Yueh-Tung in 1921 while a resident in Peking [Beijing, China]. Clipping an article from the newspaper with a picture of Lou and Mr. Ch'uan, Downer sent it to her former teacher. Ch'uan wrote a lengthy reply of thanks that Downes then forwarded … Continue reading Lou Henry Hoover Learns Mandarin

Lou Henry Hoover is seen resting her arm on a cannon during her time in China. This photo is dated from 1900.

Ch’uan Yueh-Tung: Lou Hoover’s Chinese Language Instructor

By Thomas F. Schwartz Lou Henry Hoover’s papers contain a published obituary of Ch’uan Yueh-Tung, revealing the following information: “Mr. Ch’uan’s chief contribution, however, was his teaching of Chinese. He spoke the beautiful Peking dialect [Mandarin] without a flaw and to hear him speak was like listening to delightful music. He was an enthusiastic teacher and … Continue reading Ch’uan Yueh-Tung: Lou Hoover’s Chinese Language Instructor

"The Cask of Death and Other Crimes" is shown on a bookshelf in the research room at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VIII

"The Cask of Death and Other Crimes" is shown on a bookshelf in the research room at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death and Other Crimes."Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death and Other Crimes."Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death and Other Crimes."Illustrations featured in "The Cask of Death … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VIII

A signed picture of Herbert Hoover in 1921 sitting at a desk taking notes.

Herbert Hoover and Zoning

By Thomas F. Schwartz In the second volume of his memoirs, The Cabinet and the Presidency 1920-1933, Herbert Hoover explained the origins of zoning codes: “The building codes in our towns and cites had been largely dominated by contractors and labor organizations who greatly and unnecessarily increased costs. We called a national conference of public officials … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and Zoning

The book covers of two mystery novels are shown on a table. The books are "Missing or Murdered" by Robin Forsythe and "Mystery in the Channel" by Freeman Wills Crofts.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VII

By Thomas F. Schwartz Two English mystery writers whose works were on the shelves at Camp Rapidan were Robin Forsythe and Freeman Wills Crofts. Both were born in 1879, Forsythe in Punjab, British India now Pakistan and Crofts in Dublin, Ireland. Both were popular during the “Golden Age” of detective fiction, roughly the two decades of 1920 … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VII

The books "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd" and "The Omnibus of Crime" are placed next to each other on a table.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VI

By Thomas F. Schwartz Two titles on the shelves at Camp Rapidan were authors considered the best writers of the mystery genre: Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, often claimed to be the best mystery novel written by Christie, and The Omnibus of Crime, edited by Dorothy L. Sayers, offer interesting … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part VI

The dedication page of "The Tapestry Room Murder" by Carolyn Wells Houghton. It says: "To Herbert Hoover, my long time friend who lives up to the presidential tradition of liking detective stories."

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part V, Carolyn Wells Houghton

By Thomas F. Schwartz Carolyn Wells was born on June 18, 1862, in Rahway, New Jersey. She worked as a librarian after completing her education, accounting for her interest in books and writing. Her marriage to Hadwin Houghton, heir to the publishing house Houghton-Mifflin, provided an additional tie to the book world.  Author of 170 books, … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part V, Carolyn Wells Houghton

A page inside of the mystery novel "The Matilda Hunter Murder" tells readers to stop and guess who the murderer is. Readers at the time were encouraged to send in their guess as to "who done it."

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part IV

By Thomas F. Schwartz Lawrence Saunders (a pseudonym for the married couple John Burton Davis and Clare Ogden Davis, not the Lawrence Saunders of The Anderson Tapes) and Harry Stephen Keeler are relatively unknown today but were rather well-known mystery writers in their day. The Columnist Murder (1931) was dedicated to Walter Winchell, the infamous gossip … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part IV

A group sits inside the President's cabin at Camp Rapidan. Lou Henry Hoover is seen on the left with guests.

Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part III

A group sits inside the President's cabin at Camp Rapidan. Lou Henry Hoover is seen on the left knitting. By Thomas F. Schwartz Many of the leading mystery writers of the era were English and tended to place murder settings in country manors. Class status, a pronounced feature of British society up to and beyond World … Continue reading Mystery Writers Read by the Hoovers: Part III