Presidents and Engineers

Herbert Hoover mining in possibly Australia or South Africa, ca. 1900. America celebrates National Engineering Week each February in the week containing February 22nd, George Washington’s birthday.  Washington, who used engineering skills while surveying land on the frontier, is an apt President on which to hang this celebration of engineering.  Other Presidents who’d merit consideration … Continue reading Presidents and Engineers

I Might as well Finish my Smoke…

Herbert Hoover, 1931. A while back, I wrote on Hoover’s smoking as President.  Given the times, this was not a surprise.  No further surprise to learn that Hoover smoked all of his adult life.  Thus there are six folders in box 286 of his Post-Presidential Subject Files related to smoking.   These document various aspects of … Continue reading I Might as well Finish my Smoke…

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Barack Obama was the most recent President to smoke cigarettes.  He did his best to keep his habit out of the public eye knowing that it was frowned upon.  Before the habit was socially stigmatized, many Presidents smoked.  Herbert Hoover was one of them.  A recent reference question concerning Hoover’s choice in pipe tobacco led … Continue reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 3: Caring for the children

Continuing Coningsby Dawson's tour of post-World War I Vienna, his writings sought to convey the absolute desperation of the people – primarily children – who were dependent on the American Relief Administration.  In this dispatch, he describes his visit to one of the child-feeding stations: Today I visited one of the strategic points where the battle … Continue reading Christmas in Vienna, 1920 – Part 3: Caring for the children

Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century, Part 3

  This third installment in the saga of Hoover’s ties with American Presidents gets tricky.  Hoover’s connections to Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft were small, self-contained universes which allowed for easy translation into a blog post.  This is not the case with Hoover and Woodrow Wilson.  Their contacts were frequent, their engagement deep, their conjoined … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and American Presidents of the 20th century, Part 3

The Invisible Guest

By Thomas F. Schwartz During the season of goblins, ghosts, witches, vampires, and zombies, “invisible guests” would find themselves among friends.  But invisibility can be the spiteful kind as in H. G. Welles, Invisible Man or something that is not present but felt.  It is the latter that Herbert Hoover evoked in a series of … Continue reading The Invisible Guest

Thanksgiving Proclamation-Arkansas, 1931

The early 1930s were not good years for Arkansas.  Parts of the state were still struggling to recover from the massive Mississippi River Flood of 1927.  Arkansas was also at the center of a severe drought in 1930 which withered crops in the field, leading to a devastatingly bad harvest.  Crop failures led to widespread … Continue reading Thanksgiving Proclamation-Arkansas, 1931

Stanford-Cal Big Game

  While every region has its natural collegiate rivals in football—think Auburn-Alabama, Michigan-Ohio State, Texas-Oklahoma—only one rivalry comes complete with capital letters.  The Stanford-Cal Big Game [always capitalized by the cognoscenti] dates back to 1892, when Walter Camp coached the Stanford team to a 14-10 victory over their rivals across the bay.  As a student, … Continue reading Stanford-Cal Big Game

From the Herbert Hoover Snark-ives

by Matthew Schaefer During his fifty years of public service, Herbert Hoover wrote at least one million letters.  Carbon copies of these letters constitute the bulk of the Herbert Hoover papers.  Most of the letters from his later years are terse, honed by long practice to speak only to the point. Hoover’s prose in these … Continue reading From the Herbert Hoover Snark-ives