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

Too Young to Vote But Not to Endorse

By Thomas F. Schwartz, PhD Often overlooked in most biographies of Herbert Hoover is his affinity for children and their affection for him.  His tireless advocacy of feeding and caring for children in times of war and famine abroad as well as his efforts to support the domestic welfare of children through legislation and organizations … Continue reading Too Young to Vote But Not to Endorse

Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Franklin Roosevelt

Picking up a thread dropped months ago, I resume my series on Hoover’s interactions with American Presidents.  Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, connections get deep.  In fact, there have been book-length explorations of Hoover’s ties to FDR, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.  Rather than recap them, I suggest that those who want to know the rest … Continue reading Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Franklin Roosevelt

Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Calvin Coolidge

In honor of Presidents Day, I resume my series on Hoover’s interactions with American Presidents.  In our last episode, I left Hoover at Warren Harding’s death bed in August 1923.  After Harding died, Vice President Calvin Coolidge rose to the office of President.  Coolidge, described as a ‘Puritan in Babylon’ by one writer, could not … Continue reading Hoover and 20th Century Presidents: Calvin Coolidge