Joseph Pilates and Herbert Hoover

A short time ago, I wrote a blog on Herbert Hoover as a paragon of aging.  Well into his 80s, Hoover was still writing books, giving speeches, and serving as elder statesman to the Republican Party.  This caught the attention of Hoover’s long-time friend Bernard Baruch, who wrote a magazine article about Hoover’s vitality and … Continue reading Joseph Pilates and Herbert Hoover

Freedom Betrayed

Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover's Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath Nearly eighty years ago, during World War II, former President Herbert Hoover began writing the first words of what was later to be called his “magnum opus.”  The "magnum opus" originated as a volume of Hoover’s memoirs, a book initially focused … Continue reading Freedom Betrayed

Happy Birthday Mr. President

Herbert Hoover celebrated his 80th birthday in his hometown, West Branch, Iowa.  It was a celebration of small-town America, a time capsule of the ‘good old days’ when friends and neighbors got together to share life’s big events.  Hoover’s birthday party drew on the volunteer efforts of local citizens to cook, organize the parade, and … Continue reading Happy Birthday Mr. President

Rock, Scissors, Sandpaper

By Thomas F. Schwartz A popular children’s game is rock, scissors, paper: rock breaks scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock.  Hoover’s eye doctor, Maynard C. Wheeler offered an interesting variation on the game in his oral history about Herbert Hoover.  Previous blog posts have detailed Hoover’s habit of smoking Cuban cigars and pipe smoking … Continue reading Rock, Scissors, Sandpaper

The Phantom President

By Thomas F. Schwartz A recent viral video shows a famous Hollywood actor performing magic tricks.  Surprisingly, it is not the actor at all but someone with an uncanny resemblance.  “Deep fakes,” the use of artificial intelligence to create videos showing images so real, such as Queen Elizabeth performing a TicTok dance, that the fake … Continue reading The Phantom President

A Problem of Youth:  Herbert Hoover’s Changeable Age

By Thomas F. Schwartz Many young people are in a hurry to grow up and be able to do things that their age prevents.  Once they get older, they begin to pine for the previous unencumbered joys of childhood.  It remains a great irony of life.  Herbert Hoover was one of the many precocious youth … Continue reading A Problem of Youth:  Herbert Hoover’s Changeable Age

Campbell Hodges reports on visit of Columbia President-Elect and First Lady

The Hoovers were not the only First Couple to go on a goodwill trip.  Enrique and Maria Olaya Herrera, President-Elect and First Lady of Columbia, visited the Hoover White House in early June 1930.  After serving eight years as Columbian Minister to the United States, Olaya was elected President in February 1930, but he did … Continue reading Campbell Hodges reports on visit of Columbia President-Elect and First Lady

Graduations that never happened — Laura Ingalls Wilder

In the spring of 1885, 18-year-old Laura Ingalls (soon to be married to Almazo Wilder) did not graduate from high school in De Smet, South Dakota, though perhaps she should have. Of course, high school in the current sense didn’t exist then, especially in rural areas.  Most Americans had no opportunity to attend school beyond … Continue reading Graduations that never happened — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mary Bethune: Adviser to Presidents

Mary McLeod Bethune was a prominent African-American educator and public servant in the early 20th century.  Born in South Carolina in 1875, she was the 15th of 17 children of former slaves Samuel and Patsy McLeod.  As a child she excelled in her studies at a mission school and won scholarships for advanced education.  She … Continue reading Mary Bethune: Adviser to Presidents