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

Ernie Shackleton: A Lesson in Leadership

I have often posted stories here about a humanitarian whose efforts led him to ensure that millions of people would not starve. These are the stories about Herbert Hoover or, as I call him, Bert. Let me now tell a story about Ernie. Ernie was blessed with a boundless energy and an unquenchable passion for … Continue reading Ernie Shackleton: A Lesson in Leadership

Christmas During the First “Great Depression”

By Thomas F. Schwartz At the end of a bruising 1932 campaign, Hoover travelled to Iowa where he gave a series of speeches in early October.  While much of the content focused on issues of the day, Hoover also used the opportunity to reminisce about his early youth in Iowa.  Hoover reminded his audience that … Continue reading Christmas During the First “Great Depression”

In remembrance of Professor Ellis Wayne Hawley

A great friend of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum died on September 15.  Professor Ellis Hawley mentored generations of undergraduate and graduate students from 1957 to his retirement in 1994.  He began his career on faculty of North Texas State University, moving to Ohio State University, and ending his career at the University … Continue reading In remembrance of Professor Ellis Wayne Hawley

Better Living through Home Ownership

June is National Homeownership Month. It was initially National Homeownership week, established by President Bill Clinton in 1995. President George W. Bush first proclaimed National Homeownership month in 2002. While a whole month to recognize owning a home is less than twenty years old, the roots of celebrating home ownership with a day, a week, … Continue reading Better Living through Home Ownership

Graduations that Never Happened — Herbert Hoover

During his lifetime, Herbert Hoover earned a Bachelors degree in geology from Stanford University and was awarded more than 80 honorary degrees from Universities around the world for his many humanitarian efforts.  One distinction he never earned, however, was a high school diploma. As a child, Hoover attended the local school in his hometown of … Continue reading Graduations that Never Happened — Herbert Hoover

Persistence Prevails When All Else Fails

By Thomas F. Schwartz, Director, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.  It was given new meaning when we received word to close the museum and library to the public until public health officials determined that the coronavirus spread through public transmission had abated.  This decision was not … Continue reading Persistence Prevails When All Else Fails

Lou Hoover and ‘The American Girl’

Lou Hoover was in the midst of her second tenure as President of the Girl Scouts in October 1936 when she received a letter from Jean Magee.  Magee was a high school junior tasked with writing a term paper on ‘The American Girl.’  She judged Lou Hoover to be the best authority on the subject. … Continue reading Lou Hoover and ‘The American Girl’

Watching Movies on a Battleship

By Thomas F. Schwartz Having just watched the academy awards, it is appropriate to ask if Herbert Hoover was a film buff.  The simple answer is “yes!”  As Secretary of Commerce, Hoover helped promote the emerging U.S. film industry at home and abroad.  He was good friends with studio mogul Louis B. Mayer of MGM … Continue reading Watching Movies on a Battleship