White House Staff Remember Lou

By Thomas F. Schwartz, Director A genre of writing concerns the memoirs of domestic White House staff.  Personal secretaries, head butlers, maids, and secret service who live round the clock with the President, First Lady, and First Family see and hear things that are typically not reported at the time but become known through “tell … Continue reading White House Staff Remember Lou

Spring Diversions

by Matthew Schaefer Every spring, certain recursive features appear on the American landscape—crocuses, April showers, Easter bonnets, and elders addressing students on college campuses.  On May 16th 1920, Lou Henry Hoover made her contribution to this annual tradition, giving a short address to the women of Bryn Mawr College. As was her wont, Lou Hoover … Continue reading Spring Diversions

Women’s Place in the Present Emergency

by Hoover Archivist, Matthew Schaefer In honor of First Lady Lou Henry Hoover's birthday, March 29, 1874 At 5:15 in the evening of Sunday, November 27th, 1932, First Lady Lou Hoover gave an address, ‘Women’s Place in the Present Emergency,’ over the NBC national radio network.  The speech was part of a series of weekly … Continue reading Women’s Place in the Present Emergency

Santa Claus Lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

By Thomas F. Schwartz December 1931 was like any other except that more Americans were feeling the effects of what would later be known as the Great Depression.   Herbert and Lou Hoover had a long history of assisting those in need.  The First Lady decided that the annual Christmas party would have a different emphasis.  … Continue reading Santa Claus Lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Writing Christmas Cards Under Fire

By Thomas F. Schwartz December 7, 1941 was, as President Franklin Roosevelt aptly stated: “a date which will live in infamy.”  The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese plunged America into World War II.  At the time of the attack, Lou Henry Hoover’s sister, Jean Henry Large and niece, Janet Large, resided on … Continue reading Writing Christmas Cards Under Fire

Lou Henry Hoover and the “Mad Sculptor”

One of the most sensational New York City murders of 1937 involved artist, Robert Irwin, who brutally murdered three people on Easter Sunday. Nicknamed the "mad sculptor" by the newspapers, Irwin briefly boarded with Mary Gedeon and her two daughters, Veronica and Ethel at their Beekman Place apartment. Veronica was a model who posed for … Continue reading Lou Henry Hoover and the “Mad Sculptor”

Stanford’s “Animal House”

Lou Hoover encounters Stanford’s “Animal House”   College is a time for both refining one’s education as well as gaining important life lessons.  Often these lessons consist of doing things that seem like harmless fun until one realizes how incredibly stupid they were in retrospect.  Such is the case with former First Lady Lou Henry … Continue reading Stanford’s “Animal House”

The Politics of Personal Destruction

The eminent Hoover biographer, George Nash, describes Charles Michelson as "the Democratic Party's chief publicist and spin-meister," who, during the Hoover Administration, "orchestrated an unremitting barrage of disparagement of Hoover's shortcomings: a foretaste of what later generations would call "the politics of personal destruction." Michelson's job was an unrelenting flow of criticism, often as ghostwritten … Continue reading The Politics of Personal Destruction

White House ‘Musicales’

The Hoovers continued the tradition, which began during the Theodore Roosevelt administration, of sponsoring concerts or "musicales" at the White House, usually following important dinners or receptions. The Hoovers' tastes, and therefore the programming, tended toward classical music. Some of the renowned artists who performed at the Hoover White House included opera stars Margaret Matzenauer … Continue reading White House ‘Musicales’

Lou Henry Hoover and the Girl Scouts

Yesterday, March 29 was Lou Henry Hoover's birthday. Lou spent many years of her life involved with the Girl Scout movement. Here is an excerpt from a tribute written in late 1945 by Dare Stark McMullin, a friend and former secretary of Mrs. Hoover: "Mrs. Hoover first became associated with the Girl Scout movement in 1917. … Continue reading Lou Henry Hoover and the Girl Scouts