Herbert Hoover’s vision for healthy children – Part 2: The Children’s Charter

When Herbert Hoover became President in 1929, one of his early initiatives was to call for a national conference on child health.  Hoping to build on the work of the non-profit American Child Health Association, an organization he had founded in 1923, President Hoover announced that the purpose of his proposed conference was “to study … Continue reading Herbert Hoover’s vision for healthy children – Part 2: The Children’s Charter

Herbert Hoover on Public Acceptance of the President

Herbert Hoover won the 1928 election in a landslide over Democrat Al Smith of New York.  Four years later Hoover lost the 1932 election in a landslide to New York Democrat Franklin Roosevelt.  The intervening four years marked the onset of the Great Depression. Ever pragmatic, Hoover knew that the American people would place their … Continue reading Herbert Hoover on Public Acceptance of the President

Parrot Fever — the 1929 pandemic

The fall of 1929 is typically remembered for the October stock market crash, but did you know that 1929 also witnessed a pandemic scare, one that ended almost as soon as it started?  It wasn’t Covid-19 or even the Spanish Flu;  it was Parrot Fever. Known to science as Psittacosis, parrot fever is caused by … Continue reading Parrot Fever — the 1929 pandemic

Hoover’s Efforts to Jail Al Capone

By Thomas F. Schwartz Alphonse “Al” Capone remains one of the most legendary mobsters.  His extensive empire of bootlegging during Prohibition and bribing leading political figures from the mayor to law enforcement officials in Chicago, made him the kingpin of the city.  Capone tried to soften his ruthless acts protecting his criminal empire by providing … Continue reading Hoover’s Efforts to Jail Al Capone

Federal Home Loan Banks

Economists are still divided about what caused the Great Depression, and what turned a relatively mild downturn into a decade long nightmare.  One contributing problem was that the United States had too many small banks (branch banking was illegal at that time), and many banks made risky loans during the late 1920s.  Only one third … Continue reading Federal Home Loan Banks

Herbert Hoover and the Veterans Administration

When Herbert Hoover became President in 1929, the care of America's veterans was one of the nation’s most pressing issues.  Three agencies had overlapping jurisdiction over veterans affairs:  the Veterans Bureau, the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, and the Bureau of Pensions.  By the end of the 1920's, the total expenditures on veterans' affairs … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and the Veterans Administration

An Average Day in the Life of a President

By Thomas F. Schwartz             George Aubrey Hastings served as an administrative assistant to President Herbert Hoover.  After Hoover left office, Hastings was asked to speak about his time in the White House and what he observed.  In a talk before the National Republican Club on May 16, 1933, Hastings provided a glimpse into the … Continue reading An Average Day in the Life of a President

Herbert Hoover and the 1930 Drought, continued

Part 2 -- The Great Humanitarian Stumbles [For Part 1, see https://hoover.blogs.archives.gov/2020/09/16/herbert-hoover-and-the-1930-drought/ ] At first, Hoover’s drought relief plan was widely praised;  it seemed that he had come up with a perfect combination of Federal leadership and local control.  The state and local committees went to work with enthusiasm.  But as summer turned to fall … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and the 1930 Drought, continued

Herbert Hoover and the 1930 Drought

Part 1 -- The Forgotten Crisis For many Americans, 1930 was a year of struggle as the national economy sank into what became the Great Depression. In the history books, the stock market and urban unemployment often take center stage, leaving aside the hardships of rural America.  Already reeling from a decade of depressed prices … Continue reading Herbert Hoover and the 1930 Drought

The Economy Act of 1932

By Spencer Howard On June 30, 1932, President Herbert Hoover signed into law the "Economy Act of 1932" to reduce government salaries, which was intended to help balance the Federal budget that was badly in the red due to the Great Depression.  At the time almost all economists and politicians believed that a balanced budget … Continue reading The Economy Act of 1932