H. L. Mencken: Sage of Baltimore

Former president Hoover with Stanford University president, Ray Lyman Wilbur, enjoying the Yale vs. Penn football game at Franklin Field. 10/13/1935 Sometimes history—and this blog post—take shape through coincidence.  For instance, I was in Baltimore last week for a family event.  I took advantage of the situation to do some literary sight-seeing, visiting the homes … Continue reading H. L. Mencken: Sage of Baltimore

Seasons Change, but Football Remains

1940 official rule book - American Football for Boys A Safe Game. Official Rules If it is autumn, Americans’ attention turn to football.  The cool crisp autumnal air is the perfect vector to carry the satisfying sound of leather meeting leather on the gridiron.  The satisfaction of a well-executed tackle was held just as dear … Continue reading Seasons Change, but Football Remains

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

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

Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919

Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919

By Thomas F. Schwartz Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919 Among the innovative methods to publicize the work of the Commission for Relief in Belgium [CRB] and the American Relief Administration [ARA] were two documentary film efforts, both which are lost to history.  George Barr Baker served with Herbert Hoover in both … Continue reading Herbert Hoover, American Relief Administration, Brussels, Belgian ca. 1919

What Do You Collect?

By Thomas F. Schwartz Collaborating Collectors, the new temporary exhibit at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, explores the collecting habits of Herbert and Lou Hoover.  But it ultimately poses the question “What do you collect?”  When someone posed that question to me, I gave an unhelpful answer: “dust.”  But a more serious and … Continue reading What Do You Collect?