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

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