The Great Stock Market Crash of 1929: Why History Textbooks and the Conventional Wisdom Get It Wrong

The Great Stock Market Crash of 1929: Why History Textbooks and the Conventional Wisdom Get It Wrong By Thomas F. Schwartz History textbooks tell us that the 1929 stock market crash signaled the beginning of the “Great Depression.”  Warning signs of overvaluation and buying on the margin were flashing red lights that a corrective path … Continue reading The Great Stock Market Crash of 1929: Why History Textbooks and the Conventional Wisdom Get It Wrong

Christmas During the First “Great Depression”

By Thomas F. Schwartz At the end of a bruising 1932 campaign, Hoover travelled to Iowa where he gave a series of speeches in early October.  While much of the content focused on issues of the day, Hoover also used the opportunity to reminisce about his early youth in Iowa.  Hoover reminded his audience that … Continue reading Christmas During the First “Great Depression”

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

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 the bedrock principles of U.S. economic policy.    In the late 19th and early 20th century, … Continue reading The Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930

Hoover and His Young Advisors

By Thomas F. Schwartz Presidents receive endless unsolicited advice on what to do and how to do it.  Modern Presidents, even with the most vigilant staff, cannot prevent unsolicited advice from reaching their boss, especially in open public settings.  Hoover tended to be impatient with advice given by adults, especially from the general public.  But … Continue reading Hoover and His Young Advisors

Hitching a Ride with a President

By Thomas Schwartz John Wade Gordon stood along a hot, dusty California highway not far from Petaluma hoping to hitch a ride to Sausalito ferry about forty miles south.  Gordon had relocated to California from Memphis, Tennessee is search of better prospects.  It was August 24, 1933.  Hungry and in need of employment, Gordon hoped … Continue reading Hitching a Ride with a President