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Main article: "United States presidential election, 1928

Republican nomination[edit]

When President Calvin Coolidge announced in August 1927 that he would not seek a second full term of office in the "1928 presidential election, Hoover became the leading Republican candidate, despite the fact Coolidge was lukewarm on Hoover, often deriding his ambitious and popular Commerce Secretary as "Wonder Boy".[99] Coolidge had been reluctant to choose Hoover as his successor; on one occasion he remarked that "for six years that man has given me unsolicited advice—all of it bad. I was particularly offended by his comment to 'shit or get off the pot'."[100] Even so, Coolidge had no desire to split the party by publicly opposing the popular Commerce Secretary's nomination.[101] Prior to the "1928 Republican National Convention, many wary Republican leaders cast about for an alternative candidate such as Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, former Secretary of State "Charles Evans Hughes, or Coolidge.[102] But no challenger emerged, and Hoover won the presidential nomination on the first ballot of the convention. The delegates considered nominating incumbent Vice President Charles Dawes to be Hoover's "running mate. But Coolidge (who hated Dawes) remarked that this would be "a personal affront" to him. The convention instead selected "Senator "Charles Curtis of Kansas.[103] Hoover accepted the nomination at "Stanford Stadium, telling a huge crowd that he would continue the policies of the Harding and Coolidge administration.[104]

General election[edit]

1928 electoral vote results.

Hoover campaigned for efficiency and the Republican record of prosperity against Democrat "Alfred E. Smith. Smith likewise was a proponent of efficiency earned as governor of New York. Both candidates were pro-business, and each promised to improve conditions for farmers, reform immigration laws, and maintain America’s isolationist foreign policy. Where they differed was on the "Volstead Act which outlawed the sale of liquor and beer. Smith was a “wet” who called for its repeal, whereas Hoover gave limited support for prohibition, calling it an “experiment noble in purpose.” His use of “experiment” suggested it was not permanent. While Smith won extra support among Catholics in the big cities, he was also the target of intense "anti-Catholicism from some Protestant communities, especially amongst Southern Baptists and German Lutherans.[105] Overall the religious factor worked to the advantage of Hoover, although he took no part in it.[106]

Historians agree that Hoover’s national reputation and the booming economy, combined with deep splits in the Democratic Party over religion and prohibition, guaranteed his landslide victory with 58 percent of the popular vote.[107] Hoover’s appeal to southern white voters succeeded in cracking the “"Solid South”, winning the Democratic strongholds of Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas and Tennessee, and nearly taking "Alabama on support from "Appalachian counties; the Deep South continued to support Smith as the Democratic candidate. This was the first time that a Republican candidate for president had carried Texas. Hoover and the national party had pursued a “lily-white southern strategy” to resuscitate the Republican Party in the South, “purging black Republicans from leadership positions in the southern wing of the G.O.P.”[108] This outraged the black leadership, which largely broke from the Republican Party, and began seeking candidates who supported "civil rights within the Democratic Party.[109] In 1956, "W. E. B. Du Bois, a leader in the "NAACP in the 1920s, would recall that “[i]n 1928, Negroes faced absolute dilemma. Neither Hoover nor Smith wanted the Negro vote and both publicly insulted us.”[110]

Presidency (1929–1933)[edit]

Presidency of Herbert Hoover
Inauguration of Hoover

Following his "inauguration, Hoover held a press conference on his first day in office, promising a "new phase of press relations".[111] He asked the group of journalists to elect a committee to recommend improvements to the White House press conference. Hoover declined to use a spokesman, instead asking reporters to directly quote him and giving them handouts with his statements ahead of time. In his first 120 days in office, he held more regular and frequent press conferences than any other President, before or since. However, he changed his press policies after the 1929 stock market crash, screening reporters and greatly reducing his availability.[111]

Hoover entered office with a plan to reform the nation's regulatory system, believing that a federal bureaucracy should have limited regulation over a country's economic system.[112] Hoover sought a balance among labor, capital, and the government, and he has been variously labeled a "corporatist or "associationalist.[113] Hoover saw the presidency as a vehicle for improving the conditions of all Americans by encouraging public-private cooperation—what he termed "volunteerism". He tended to oppose governmental coercion or intervention, as he thought they infringed on American ideals of individualism and self-reliance.[114] Hoover made extensive use of commissions to study issues and propose solutions, and many of those commissions were sponsored by private donors rather than by the government. One of the commissions started by Hoover, the Research Committee on Social Trends, was tasked with surveying the entirety of American society.[115]

"Lou Henry Hoover was an activist First Lady. She typified the new woman of the post–World War I era: intelligent, robust, and aware of multiple female possibilities.[116]

White House physician Admiral "Joel T. Boone invented the sport "Hooverball to keep Hoover fit while in the White House. Hooverball is a combination of "volleyball and "tennis, played with a 6 lb medicine ball. Hoover and several staff members played it each morning, earning them the nickname "Medicine Ball Cabinet.[117]

Domestic policies[edit]

Civil rights[edit]

Hoover seldom mentioned civil rights while he was President. He believed that African-Americans and other races could improve themselves with education and individual initiative.[118] He opposed federal anti-lynching laws, and when lynchings occurred in the South, including one incident linked to his party's efforts to 'Republicanize' southern states, he offered only verbal condemnation.[108]

First Lady "Lou Hoover defied custom and invited the wife of Republican "Oscar De Priest, the only African-American member in Congress, to "tea at the White House. "Booker T. Washington was the previous African-American to have dined at the White House, with "Theodore Roosevelt in 1901.[119]

"Charles Curtis, the nation's first "Native American Vice President, was from the "Kaw tribe in Kansas.[120] Hoover's humanitarian and Quaker reputation, along with Curtis as a vice-president, gave special meaning to his Indian policies. His Quaker upbringing influenced his views that Native Americans needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. As President, he appointed Charles J. Rhoads as commissioner of Indian affairs. Hoover supported Rhoads' commitment to Indian assimilation and sought to minimize the federal role in Indian affairs. His goal was to have Indians acting as individuals (not as tribes) and to assume the responsibilities of citizenship granted with the "Indian Citizenship Act of 1924.[121]

Great Depression[edit]

Great Depression in the United States

On taking office, Hoover said that "given the chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, we shall soon with the help of God, be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation."[122] Having seen the fruits of prosperity brought by technological progress, many shared Hoover's optimism, and the already bullish stock market climbed even higher on Hoover's accession.[123] But within months of taking office, the "Stock Market Crash of 1929 (also known as Black Tuesday) occurred, and the worldwide economy began to spiral downward into the "Great Depression.[124] The "causes of the Great Depression remain a matter of debate,[125] but Hoover viewed a lack of confidence in the financial system as the fundamental economic problem facing the nation.[126] He sought to avoid direct federal intervention, believing that the best way to bolster the economy was through the strengthening of businesses such as banks and railroads. He also feared that allowing individuals on the ""dole" would permanently weaken the country.[127] Instead, Hoover strongly believed that local governments and private giving should address the needs of individuals.[128] A reserved man with a fear of public speaking, Hoover allowed his political enemies to define him as cold, incompetent, reactionary, and out-of-touch.[129]

Early policies[edit]

Hoover pursued many policies in an attempt to pull the country out of depression, while attempting to restrain the federal government from becoming directly involved in commercial affairs. In the days following Black Tuesday, Hoover gathered business and labor leaders, asking them to avoid wage cuts and work stoppages while the country faced what he believed would be a short recession similar to the "Depression of 1920–21.[130] Some economists, such as Lee Ohanian, point to the resulting "wage rigidity as a key cause of the severity of the Great Depression.[131] Hoover also authorized the "Mexican Repatriation program to help unemployed Mexican citizens return home. The program was largely a "forced migration of approximately 500,000 people to Mexico, and continued until 1937. In the spring of 1930, Hoover acquired from Congress an additional $100 million to continue the "Federal Farm Board lending and purchasing policies. At the end of 1929, the FFB established the National Wool Marketing Corporation (NWMC), a national wool cooperative made up of 30 state associations.[132] Hoover also supported new public works projects, although his fear of budget deficits led him to oppose expansive projects such as that contemplated by the "Muscle Shoals Bill, which sought to establish government production and distribution of power in the "Tennessee Valley.[133] In autumn 1930, Hoover established the "President's Organization for Unemployment Relief, which issues press releases urging companies to hire.[128]

Hoover had taken office hoping to raise agricultural tariffs in order to help farmers reeling from the farm crisis of the 1920s, but his attempt to raise agricultural tariffs became connected with attempts to raise tariffs for other goods.[134] In June 1930, over the objection of many economists, Congress approved and Hoover reluctantly signed into law the "Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act. The legislation raised tariffs on thousands of imported items. The intent of the act was to encourage the purchase of American-made products by increasing the cost of imported goods, while raising revenue for the federal government and protecting farmers. However, economic depression had spread worldwide, and Canada, France and other nations retaliated by raising tariffs on imports from the U.S. The result was to contract international trade, and worsen the Depression.[135] Progressive Republicans such as Senator Borah were outraged when Hoover signed the bill, and Hoover's relations with that wing of the party never recovered.[136]

Later policies[edit]

For much of his presidency, Hoover opposed congressional proposals to provide federal relief, and he feared that Congress would impose a federal relief program that would infringe on the prerogatives of state and local governments and philanthropic organizations.[137] Hoover created the National Credit Corporation, a voluntary association of bankers, but the organization did not manage to save banks or ease credit as Hoover had hoped it would.[138] As the Great Depression continued, Hoover finally heeded calls for more direct federal intervention, though he vetoed a bill that would have allowed direct federal lending to individuals.[139] In January 1932, Hoover signed a bill creating the "Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC).[140] The RFC's initial goal was to provide government-secured loans to financial institutions, railroads, and local governments to continue relief programs. The RFC saved numerous businesses from failure, but it failed to stimulate commercial lending as Hoover had hoped, partly because it was run by conservative bankers unwilling to make riskier loans.[141] The RFC would be adopted by Roosevelt and greatly expanded as part of his New Deal.[142] With the RFC failing to stem the economic crisis, Hoover signed the "Emergency Relief and Construction Act, a major public works bill, in July 1932.[143]

Throughout his presidency, Hoover defended the "gold standard, and derided any other "monetary system as "collectivism."[144] Hoover and Senator "Carter Glass, another gold standard proponent, recognized that they needed to stop "deflation by encouraging the lending of credit. Hoover was instrumental in passing the "Glass–Steagall Act of 1932, which allowed for prime rediscounting at the Federal Reserve, in turn allowing further inflation of credit and bank reserves.[145] In July 1932, Hoover signed the "Federal Home Loan Bank Act, establishing 12 district banks overseen by a Federal Home Loan Bank Board in a manner similar to the Federal Reserve System.[146]

In 1930, unemployment stood at 8.9%, and many assumed that the United States was just in another recession.[147] But by 1932, unemployment had reached 24.9%, businesses had defaulted on record numbers of loans, and more than 5,000 banks had failed, especially small rural banks.[148] The homeless lived in shantytowns they called "Hoovervilles.[149]

Herbert Hoover in the Oval Office with Ted Joslin, 1932

Taxes, revenues, and deficits[edit]

National debt as a fraction of GNP up from 20% to 40% under Hoover. From Historical Statistics US (1976)

Hoover was a firm believer in balanced budgets, and sought to avoid a budget deficit by greatly increasing tax rates on the wealthy. To pay for government programs and to make up for revenue lost due to the Depression, Hoover signed the "Revenue Act of 1932. The act increased taxes across the board, so that top earners were taxed at 63% on their net income - up from 25% when Herbert Hoover took office. The 1932 Act also increased the tax on the net income of corporations from 12% to 13.75%.[150] Additionally, under Hoover, the "estate tax was doubled and "corporate taxes were raised by almost 15%. Also, a "check tax" took effect, placing a 2-cent tax (over 30 cents in today's economy) on all bank checks. Economists William D. Lastrapes and George Selgin conclude that the check tax was "an important contributing factor to that period's severe monetary contraction".[151] Despite the passage of the Revenue Act, the federal government continued to run a budget deficit.[152]

Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover aboard a train in Illinois.

Foreign relations[edit]

According to Leuchtenberg, Hoover was "the last American president to take office with no conspicuous need to pay attention to the rest of the world." But during Hoover's term, the world order established with the 1919 "Treaty of Versailles began to crumble.[153]

As president, Hoover largely made good on his pledge made prior to assuming office not to interfere in Latin America's internal affairs. In 1930, he released the "Clark Memorandum, a rejection of the "Roosevelt Corollary and a move towards non-interventionism in Latin America. Hoover did not completely refrain from the use of the military in Latin American affairs; he thrice threatened intervention in the "Dominican Republic, and he sent warships to "El Salvador to support the government against a left-wing revolution.[154] But he wound down the "Banana Wars, ending the "occupation of Nicaragua and nearly bringing an end to the "occupation of Haiti. Franklin Roosevelt's "Good Neighbor policy would continue the trend towards non-interventionism in Latin America. [155]

Though the United States remained outside of the "League of Nations, Hoover showed a willingness to work within multilateral structures. Hoover pursued United States membership in the "Permanent Court of International Justice, but the Senate never voted on his proposal. The Senate also defeated Hoover's proposed "Saint Lawrence Seaway Treaty with Canada.[156] In 1930, the United States and other major naval powers signed the "London Naval Treaty, an extension of the 1922 "Washington Naval Treaty, which sought to prevent a naval "arms race.[157] The treaty represented the first time that the naval powers had agreed to cap their tonnage of auxiliary vessels (previous agreements had focused on "capital ships), but the treaty failed to include France or Italy. The treaty provoked a nationalist backlash in Japan due to its reconfirmation of the "5-5-3" ratio which limited Japan to a smaller fleet than the United States or the United Kingdom. At the 1932 "World Disarmament Conference, Hoover urged worldwide cutbacks in armaments and the outlawing of "tanks and "bombers, but his proposals were not adopted.[158]

In 1931, Japan "invaded "Manchuria, defeating the "Republic of China's military forces and establishing "Manchukuo, a puppet state. The Hoover administration deplored the invasion, but also sought to avoid antagonizing the Japanese, fearing that taking too strong of a stand would weaken the moderate forces in the Japanese government. In response to the Japanese invasion, Hoover and Secretary of State "Henry Stimson outlined the "Stimson Doctrine, which held that the United States would not recognize territories gained by force. The Hoover administration based this declaration on the 1928 "Kellogg-Briand Pact, in which several nations (including Japan and the United States) renounced war and promised to peacefully solve disputes. In the aftermath of invasion of Manchuria, Stimson and other members of the Cabinet came to believe that war with Japan might be inevitable, though Hoover continued to push for "disarmament among the world powers.[159]

In 1931, Hoover issued the "Hoover Moratorium, calling for a one-year halt in "World War I "reparation payments. Hoover also made U.S. bankers agree to refrain from demanding payment on private loans from Germans.[160] Hoover hoped that the moratorium would help stabilize the European economy, which he viewed as a major cause of economic troubles in the United States.[161] As the moratorium neared its expiration the following year, an attempt to find a permanent solution was made at the "Lausanne Conference of 1932. A working compromise was never established, and reparations payments virtually stopped.[162]

Bonus Army[edit]

Bonus Army

Thousands of World War I veterans and their families demonstrated and camped out in Washington, DC, during June 1932, calling for immediate payment of a bonus that had been promised by the "World War Adjusted Compensation Act in 1924 for payment in 1945. Although offered money by "Congress to return home, some members of the "Bonus Army" remained. Washington police attempted to remove the demonstrators from their camp, but they were outnumbered and unsuccessful. Shots were fired by the police in a futile attempt to attain order, and two protesters were killed while many officers were injured. Hoover sent U.S. Army forces led by General "Douglas MacArthur and helped by lower ranking officers "Dwight D. Eisenhower and "George S. Patton to stop a march. MacArthur, believing he was fighting a communist revolution, chose to clear out the camp with military force. In the ensuing clash, hundreds of civilians were injured. Hoover had sent orders that the Army was not to move on the encampment, but MacArthur chose to ignore the command. Hoover was incensed, but refused to reprimand MacArthur. The entire incident was another devastating negative for Hoover in the "1932 election. That led New York governor and Democratic presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt to declare of Hoover: "There is nothing inside the man but jelly!"

1932 re-election campaign[edit]

Hoover addresses a large crowd in his 1932 campaign.
United States presidential election, 1932

Despite the economic calamity facing the nation and his dim hopes for re-election, Hoover faced little opposition for re-nomination at the "1932 Republican National Convention. Some Republicans talked of nominating Coolidge, former Vice President "Charles Dawes, or Senator "Hiram Johnson, but all passed on the opportunity to challenge Hoover.[163] Curtis was re-nominated as Hoover's running mate. Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidential nomination on the third ballot of the "1932 Democratic National Convention, defeating the 1928 Democratic nominee, "Al Smith. Speaker of the House "John Nance Garner was nominated as Roosevelt's running mate. By 1932, the "radio was in 12 million homes, changing the nature of presidential campaigns. No longer could presidents change the content of their speeches for each audience; anyone with a radio could listen to every major speech.[164]

Hoover originally planned to make only one or two major speeches, and to leave the rest of the campaigning to proxies, as sitting presidents had traditionally done. However, encouraged by Republican pleas and outraged by Democratic claims, Hoover entered the public fray. In his nine major radio addresses Hoover primarily defended his administration and his philosophy of government. Hoover urged voters to hold to the "foundations of experience," rejecting the notion that government interventionism could save the country from the Depression.[165]

1932 electoral vote results.

In his campaign trips around the country, Hoover was faced with perhaps the most hostile crowds of any sitting president. Besides having his train and motorcades pelted with eggs and rotten fruit, he was often heckled while speaking, and on several occasions, the "Secret Service halted attempts to kill Hoover by disgruntled citizens, including capturing one man nearing Hoover carrying sticks of dynamite, and another already having removed several spikes from the rails in front of the President's train.[166]

The Democrats attacked Hoover as the cause of the Great Depression, and for being indifferent to the suffering of millions.[167] As Governor of New York, Roosevelt had called on the New York legislature to provide aid for the needy, establishing Roosevelt's reputation for being more favorable toward government interventionism during the economic crisis.[168] Fausold rejects the notion that the two nominees were similar ideologically, pointing to differences between the two on federal spending on public works, agricultural issues, Prohibition, and the tariff.[169]

Hoover's attempts to vindicate his administration fell on deaf ears, as much of the public blamed his administration for the depression.[170] Roosevelt won 57.4 percent of the popular vote compared to Hoover's 39.7%. Hoover’s popular vote was reduced by nineteen percent from his result in the 1928 election, and he carried just five "Northeastern states and Delaware. Roosevelt became the first Democratic presidential nominee to win a "majority of the popular vote since the "Civil War.[171]


Hoover with Franklin D. Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

Hoover departed from Washington in March 1933, bitter at his election loss and continuing unpopularity.[172] Upon leaving office, Hoover was the only living ex-President for nearly 19 years, until "Harry Truman left office in 1953. The Hoovers went first to New York City, where they stayed for a while in the "Waldorf Astoria hotel. Later that spring, they returned to California to their Stanford residence. Hoover enjoyed returning to the men's clubs that he had long been involved with, including the "Bohemian Club, the "Pacific-Union Club, and the "University Club in San Francisco.[173] Hoover and his wife lived in Palo Alto until her death in 1944, at which point Hoover began to live permanently at the Waldorf Astoria.[174]

Hoover liked to drive his car, accompanied by his wife or a friend (former Presidents did not get "Secret Service protection until the 1960s), and drive on wandering journeys, visiting Western mining camps or small towns where he often went unrecognized, or heading up to the mountains, or deep into the woods, to go fishing in relative solitude. A year before his death, his own fishing days behind him, he published Fishing For Fun—And To Wash Your Soul, the last of more than sixteen books in his lifetime.

In 1939, Hoover became the first Honorary Chairman of "Tolstoy Foundation in "Valley Cottage, New York, and served in this capacity until his death in 1964.[175]

Hoover's book, Fishing For Fun – And To Wash Your Soul

Opposition to Roosevelt[edit]

Hoover continued to closely follow national events after his retirement, becoming a constant critic of Franklin Roosevelt. In response to continued attacks on his character and presidency, Hoover wrote more than two dozen books, including The Challenge to Liberty (1934), which harshly criticized the "New Deal. Hoover feared that the country had surrendered its "freedom of mind and spirit" to the New Deal. He described the "National Recovery Administration and "Agricultural Adjustment Administration as "fascistic," and the "1933 Banking Act as a "move to gigantic socialism."[176]

Hoover fishing in his home state of Iowa.

Only 58 when he left office, Hoover held out hope for another term during the 1930s. At the "1936 Republican National Convention, Hoover's speech attacking the New Deal was well received, but the nomination went to Kansas Governor "Alf Landon.[177] In the general election, Hoover campaigned for Landon's unsuccessful campaign with numerous well-publicized speeches attacking New Deal liberalism.[178] Though Hoover was eager to oppose Roosevelt at every turn, and Senator "Arthur Vandenberg and other Republicans urged the still-unpopular Hoover to remain out of the fray during the debate over Roosevelt's proposed "Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937. At the "1940 Republican National Convention, Hoover again hoped for the presidential nomination, and was dismayed when it went to the internationalist "Wendell Willkie.[179]

Hoover remained popular in Europe, and he was honored in France and Belgium. During a 1938 trip to Europe, Hoover met with "Adolf Hitler and stayed at "Hermann Göring's hunting lodge. Hoover expressed dismay at the persecution of Jews in Germany, but believed that Hitler did not present a threat. Instead, Hoover believed that Roosevelt posed the biggest threat to peace, as he believed that Roosevelt discouraged France and the United Kingdom from reaching an "accommodation" with Germany. After the September 1939 "invasion of Poland by Germany, Hoover opposed United States intervention in "World War II, including the "Lend-Lease policy.[180]

Hoover became a vocal supporter of providing relief to countries in "Nazi-occupied Europe.[181] He was instrumental in creating the "Commission for Polish Relief and "Finnish Relief Fund.[182][183] In 1939, Roosevelt asked Hoover to the White House for advice on getting aid to Poland, but Hoover turned down the offer. Much to his own frustration, Hoover was not called upon to serve after the "United States entered World War II due to his differences with Roosevelt and his continuing unpopularity.[174]

During a radio broadcast on June 29, 1941, one week after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Hoover disparaged any "tacit alliance" between the U.S. and the USSR by saying:

If we go further and join the war and we win, then we have won for Stalin the grip of communism on Russia... Again I say, if we join the war and Stalin wins, we have aided him to impose more communism on Europe and the world. At least we could not with such a bedfellow say to our sons that by making the supreme sacrifice, they are restoring freedom to the world. War alongside Stalin to impose freedom is more than a travesty. It is a tragedy.[184]

Post–World War II[edit]

Herbert Hoover with his son "Allan (left) and his grandson Andrew (above), 1950

Following "World War II, Hoover became friends with President "Harry S. Truman despite their ideological differences.[185] Hoover joked that they were for many years the sole members of the ""trade union" of former Presidents. Because of Hoover's experience with Germany at the end of World War I, in 1946 President Truman selected the former president to tour Germany to ascertain the food needs of the occupied nation. Hoover toured what was to become West Germany in "Hermann Göring's old train coach and produced "a number of reports critical of U.S. occupation policy. The economy of Germany had "sunk to the lowest level in a hundred years".[186] He stated in one report:

There is the illusion that the New Germany left after the "annexations can be reduced to a ""pastoral state". It cannot be done unless we "exterminate or move 25,000,000 people out of it.[187]

External audio
National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, Herbert Hoover, March 10, 1954, 37:23, Hoover speaks starting at 7:25 about the second reorganization commission, "Library of Congress[188]

On Hoover's initiative, a school meals program in the American and British occupation zones of Germany was begun on April 14, 1947. The program served 3,500,000 children aged six through 18. A total of 40,000 tons of American food was provided during the Hooverspeisung (Hoover meals).["citation needed]

In 1947, Truman appointed Hoover to a commission, which elected him chairman, to reorganize the executive departments. This became known as the "Hoover Commission. Led by Hoover, the commission recommended changes designed to strengthen the president's ability to manage the federal government. Though Hoover had opposed FDR's concentration of power in the 1930s, he believed that a stronger presidency was required with the advent of "Atomic Age. In 1953, Hoover was appointed to a similar commission by President "Dwight D. Eisenhower. Despite the appointment, Hoover disliked Eisenhower, faulting the latter's failure to roll back the New Deal.[189]

Hoover's official "White House portrait painted by Elmer Wesley Greene.

Despite his advancing years, Hoover continued to work nearly full-time both on writing (among his literary works is The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson, a bestseller, and the first time one former President had ever written a biography about another), as well as overseeing the Hoover Institution at "Stanford University, which housed not only his own professional papers, but also those of a number of other former high ranking governmental and military servants. He also threw himself into fund-raising for the Boys Clubs (now the "Boys & Girls Clubs of America), which became his pet charity.["citation needed]

In 1958, Congress passed the "Former Presidents Act, offering a $25,000 yearly pension to each former president.[190] Hoover, who was the only other living former president, took the pension even though he did not need the money; reportedly, he did so to avoid embarrassing former President Truman whose precarious financial status played a role in the law's enactment.[191]

Final years and death[edit]

Hoover was the only living former Republican president between his last day in office in 1933 and Eisenhower's last day in office in 1961. Starting with the 1948 convention, Hoover was feted as the guest of "farewell" ceremonies, with the unspoken assumption that the aging former President might not survive until the next convention. In 1960, Hoover appeared at his final Republican National Convention. Joking to the delegates, he said, "Apparently, my last three good-byes didn't take." Although he lived to see the 1964 convention, ill health prevented him from attending, and his absence was acknowledged in presidential nominee "Barry Goldwater's acceptance speech. In 1962, Hoover had a malignant intestinal tumor removed. Ten months later he had severe gastrointestinal bleeding and seemed terminally ill and frail, but his mind was clear and he maintained a great deal of correspondence. Although the illness would get worse over time, he refused to be hospitalized.["citation needed]

Hoover died following massive "internal bleeding at the age of 90 in his New York City suite at 11:35 a.m. on October 20, 1964,[192] 31 years, seven months, and sixteen days after leaving office. At the time of his death, he had the "longest retirement of any President.[193] Former President "Jimmy Carter surpassed the length of Hoover's retirement on September 7, 2012. At the time of Hoover's death he was the second longest-lived president after "John Adams; both were since surpassed by "Gerald Ford, "Ronald Reagan, "George H. W. Bush, and "Jimmy Carter. He had outlived by 20 years his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, who had died in 1944, and he was the last living member of both the Harding and "Coolidge administrations.

By the time of his death, he had rehabilitated his image.[194] His birthplace in Iowa and an Oregon home where he lived as a child, became National Landmarks during his lifetime. His "Rapidan fishing camp in Virginia, which he had donated to the government in 1933, is now a National Historic Landmark within the "Shenandoah National Park. Hoover and his wife are buried at the "Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in "West Branch, Iowa. Hoover was honored with a "state funeral, the last of three in a span of 12 months, coming as it did just after the deaths of President "John F. Kennedy and General "Douglas MacArthur. Former "Chaplain of the Senate "Frederick Brown Harris officiated. All three had two things in common: the commanding general of the "Military District of Washington during those funerals was Army Major General "Philip C. Wehle and the "riderless horse was "Black Jack, who also served in that role during "Lyndon B. Johnson's funeral.[195][196]


In 1912 Hoover published the first English edition of the medieval mining compendium "De Re Metallica (On the Nature of Metals).[197] It was translated from Latin by himself and his wife, who was a geologist and proficient in Latin. It remains the standard English translation.

Hoover began his magnum opus Freedom Betrayed[198] in 1944 as part of a proposed autobiography. This turned into a significant work critiquing the foreign policy of the United States during the period from the 1930s to 1945. Essentially an attack on the statesmanship of "Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hoover completed this work in his 90th year but it was not published until the historian "George H. Nash took on the task of editing it. Significant themes are his belief that the western democratic powers should have let Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia assail and weaken each other, and opposition to the British guarantee of Poland's independence.[199] Other works include:

Heritage and memorials[edit]

Hoover Presidential Library
A plaque in "Poznań honoring Herbert Hoover

The "Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is located in "West Branch, Iowa next to the "Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The library is one of thirteen presidential libraries run by the "National Archives and Records Administration. The "Hoover-Minthorn House, where Hoover lived from 1885 to 1891, is located in "Newberg, "Oregon.

The "Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House, built in 1919 in "Stanford, California, is now the official residence of the president of "Stanford University, and a "National Historic Landmark. Also located at Stanford is the "Hoover Institution, a think tank and research institution started by Hoover.

Hoover's rustic rural presidential retreat, Rapidan Camp (also known as Camp Hoover) in the "Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, has been restored and opened to the public. The "Hoover Dam is named in his honor, as are numerous "elementary, "middle, and "high schools across the United States.

On December 10, 2008, Hoover's great-granddaughter "Margaret Hoover and "Senate of Puerto Rico President "Kenneth McClintock unveiled a life-sized bronze statue of Hoover at Puerto Rico's Territorial Capitol. The statue is one of seven honoring Presidents who have visited the United States territory during their term of office.

One line in the "All in the Family theme song—an ironic exercise in pre–New Deal nostalgia—says "Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again".

The Belgian city of "Leuven named a square in the city center after Hoover, honoring him for his work as chairman of the "Commission for Relief in Belgium" during World War I. The square is near the Central Library of the Catholic University of Leuven, where a bust of the president can be seen.

The Polish capital of "Warsaw also has a square named after Hoover alongside the Royal Route leading to the Old Town.[200]

"George Burroughs Torrey painted a portrait of him.

The historic townsite of "Gwalia, Western Australia contains the Sons of Gwalia Museum and the Hoover House Bed and Breakfast, the renovated and restored Mining Engineers residence that was the original residence of Herbert Hoover and where he stayed in subsequent visits to the mine during the first decade of the twentieth century.[201]


Brief synopsis of the Hoover Administration

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burner 1996, p. 4.
  2. ^ Burner 1996, p. 6.
  3. ^ Burner 1996, p. 7.
  4. ^ Burner 1996, p. 9.
  5. ^ Burner 1996, p. 10.
  6. ^ Burner 1996, p. 12.
  7. ^ Leuchtenberg 2009, pp. 4-6.
  8. ^ Burner 1996, p. 16.
  9. ^ a b Revsine, David 'Dave', "One-sided numbers dominate Saturday's rivalry games", ESPN, Go, retrieved November 30, 2006 
  10. ^ Leuchtenberg 2009, pp. 6-9.
  11. ^ Big Games: College Football's Greatest Rivalries - Page 222
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Works cited

  • Burner, David (1996) [1979]. Herbert Hoover: The Public Life. Easton Press.  Originally published as Burner, David (1979). Herbert Hoover: The Public Life. Knopf Doubleday. "ISBN "978-0-394-46134-2. 
  • Carcasson, Martin (Spring 1998). "Herbert Hoover and the Presidential Campaign of 1932: The Failure of Apologia". Presidential Studies Quarterly. 28 (2): 349–365. "JSTOR 27551864. 
  • Eichengreen, Barry; Temin, Peter (2000). "The Gold Standard and the Great Depression". Contemporary European History. 9 (2): 183–207. "JSTOR 20081742. 
  • Fausold, Martin L. (1985). The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover. University Press of Kansas. "ISBN "978-0-7006-0259-9. 
  • Ferrell, Robert H. (1957). American Diplomacy in the Great Depression: Hoover–Stimson Foreign Policy, 1929–1933. Yale University Press. 
  • Hart, David M. (1998), "Herbert Hoover's Last Laugh: the Enduring Significance of the 'Associative State' in the United States", Journal of Policy History, 10 (4): 419–444, "doi:10.1017/S0898030600007156 
  • Kaufman, Bruce E. (2012). "Wage Theory, New Deal Labor Policy, and the Great Depression: Were Government and Unions to Blame?". Industrial and Labor Relations Review. 65 (3): 501–532. "JSTOR 24368882. 
  • Leuchtenberg, William E. (2009). Herbert Hoover. Times Books (Henry Holt and Company). "ISBN "978-0-8050-6958-7. 
  • Leuchtenberg, William E. (Summer 2009). "The Wrong Man at the Wrong Time". American Heritage. 59 (2). 
  • McCoy, Donald R. (1967). Calvin Coolidge: The Quiet President. Macmillan. "ISBN "1468017772. 
  • Nash, George H. (1983). The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Engineer 1874-1914. W W Norton. "ISBN "978-0393016345.  Book 1 in The Life of Herbert Hoover Series.
  • O'Brien, Patrick G.; Rosen, Philip T. (1981). "Hoover and the Historians: the Resurrection of a President". The Annals of Iowa. 46 (2): 83–99. 
  • Olson, James S. (October 1972). "Gifford Pinchot and the Politics of Hunger, 1932-1933". Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 96 (4): 508–520. "JSTOR 20090681. 
  • Rappleye (2016). Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency. Simon & Schuster. "ISBN "978-1-4516-4869-0. 
  • Wilson, Joan Hoff (1975). Herbert Hoover, Forgotten Progressive. Little, Brown. "ISBN "978-0-316-94416-8. 

Further reading[edit]


  • Best, Gary Dean. The Politics of American Individualism: Herbert Hoover in Transition, 1918–1921 (1975)
    • Best, Gary Dean. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Keeper of the Torch, 1933-1964. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  • Clements, Kendrick A. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Imperfect Visionary, 1918–1928 (2010).
  • Gelfand, Lawrence E. ed. Herbert Hoover: The Great War and Its Aftermath, 1914–1923 (1979)
  • Hatfield, Mark. ed. Herbert Hoover Reassessed (2002)
  • Hawley, Ellis. Herbert Hoover as Secretary of Commerce: Studies in New Era Thought and Practice (1981).
  • Hawley, Ellis (1989), Herbert Hoover and the Historians .
  • Hoff-Wilson, Joan. Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive. (1975). short biography
  • Jeansonne, Glen. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928–1933. Palgrave Macmillan; 2012.
  • Jeansonne, Glen. Herbert Hoover: A Life (2016), 464pp; comprehensive scholarly biography
  • Lloyd, Craig. Aggressive Introvert: A Study of Herbert Hoover and Public Relations Management, 1912–1932 (1973).
  • "Nash, George H. The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Engineer 1874–1914 (1983); in-depth scholarly study
    • ———— (1988), The Humanitarian, 1914–1917, The Life of Herbert Hoover, 2 .
    • ———— (1996), Master of Emergencies, 1917–1918, The Life of Herbert Hoover, 3 .
  • Nash, Lee, ed. Understanding Herbert Hoover: Ten Perspectives (1987); essays by scholars
  • Smith, Gene. The Shattered Dream: Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression (1970)
  • Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, (1987), biography concentrating on post 1932.
  • Walch, Timothy. ed. Uncommon Americans: The Lives and Legacies of Herbert and Lou Henry Hoover Praeger, 2003.
  • Wert, Hal Elliott. Hoover, The Fishing President: Portrait of the Private Man and his Life Outdoors (2005).

Scholarly studies[edit]

  • Extensive annotated bibliography at the "University of Virginia "Miller Center of Public Affairs
  • Claus Bernet (2009). "Hoover, Herbert". In Bautz, Traugott. Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) (in German). 30. Nordhausen: Bautz. cols. 644–653. "ISBN "978-3-88309-478-6. 
  • Barber, William J. From New Era to New Deal: Herbert Hoover, the Economists, and American Economic Policy, 1921–1933. (1985)
  • Barry, John M. Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America (1998), Hoover played a major role
  • Britten, Thomas A. "Hoover and the Indians: the Case for Continuity in Federal Indian Policy, 1900–1933" Historian 1999 61(3): 518–538. "ISSN 0018-2370
  • Calder, James D. The Origins and Development of Federal Crime Control Policy: Herbert Hoover's Initiatives Praeger, 1993
  • Clements, Kendrick A. Hoover, Conservation, and Consumerism: Engineering the Good Life. University Press of Kansas, 2000
  • DeConde, Alexander. Herbert Hoover's Latin American Policy. (1951)
  • Dodge, Mark M., ed. Herbert Hoover and the Historians. (1989)
  • Doenecke, Justus D. "Anti-Interventionism of Herbert Hoover". Journal of Libertarian Studies, (Summer 1987), 8(2): 311–340
  • Fausold Martin L. and George Mazuzan, eds. The Hoover Presidency: A Reappraisal (1974)
  • Goodman, Mark and Gring, Mark. "The Ideological Fight over Creation of the Federal Radio Commission in 1927" Journalism History 2000 26(3): 117–124
  • Hamilton, David E. From New Day to New Deal: American Farm Policy from Hoover to Roosevelt, 1928–1933. (1991)
  • Hawley, Ellis. "Herbert Hoover, the Commerce Secretariat, and the Vision of an 'Associative State', 1921–1928". Journal of American History, (June 1974) 61(1): 116–140
  • Houck, Davis W. "Rhetoric as Currency: Herbert Hoover and the 1929 Stock Market Crash" Rhetoric & Public Affairs 2000 3(2): 155–181. "ISSN 1094-8392
  • Hutchison, Janet. "Building for Babbitt: the State and the Suburban Home Ideal" Journal of Policy History 1997 9(2): 184–210
  • Lichtman, Allan J. Prejudice and the Old Politics: The Presidential Election of 1928 (1979)
  • Lisio, Donald J. The President and Protest: Hoover, MacArthur, and the Bonus Riot, 2d ed. (1994)
  • Lisio, Donald J. Hoover, Blacks, and Lily-whites: A Study of Southern Strategies (1985)
  • Malin, James C. The United States after the World War. 1930. extensive coverage of Hoover's Commerce Dept. policies
  • Olson, James S. Herbert Hoover and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 1931–1933 (1977)
  • Robinson, Edgar Eugene and Vaughn Davis Bornet. Herbert Hoover: President of the United States. (1976)
  • Romasco, Albert U. The Poverty of Abundance: Hoover, the Nation, the Depression (1965)
  • Schwarz, Jordan A. The Interregnum of Despair: Hoover, Congress, and the Depression. (1970). Hostile to Hoover
  • Sibley, Katherine A.S., ed. A Companion to Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover (2014); 616pp; essays by scholars stressing historiography
  • Stoff, Michael B. "Herbert Hoover: 1929–1933". The American Presidency: The Authoritative Reference. New York, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company (2004), 332–343
  • "Sobel, Robert Herbert Hoover and the Onset of the Great Depression 1929–1930 (1975)
  • Tracey, Kathleen. Herbert Hoover–A Bibliography: His Writings and Addresses. (1977)
  • Wilbur, Ray Lyman, and Arthur Mastick Hyde. The Hoover Policies. (1937). In depth description of his administration by two cabinet members
  • Wueschner, Silvano A. Charting Twentieth-Century Monetary Policy: Herbert Hoover and Benjamin Strong, 1917–1927. Greenwood, 1999

Primary sources[edit]

  • Myers, William Starr; Walter H. Newton, eds. The Hoover Administration; a documented narrative. 1936.
  • Hawley, Ellis, ed. Herbert Hoover: Containing the Public Messages, Speeches, and Statements of the President, 4 vols. (1974–1977)
  • Hoover, Herbert Clark (1934), The Challenge to Liberty .
  • ———————— (1938), Addresses Upon The American Road, 1933–1938 .
  • ———————— (1941), Addresses Upon The American Road, 1940–41 .
  • ————————; and Gibson, Hugh (1942), The Problems of Lasting Peace .
  • ———————— (1949), Addresses Upon The American Road, 1945–48 .
  • ———————— (1952a), Years of adventure, 1874–1920 (PDF), Memoirs, 1, New York .
  • ———————— (1952b), The Cabinet and the Presidency, 1920–1933 (PDF), Memoirs, 2, New York .
  • ———————— (1952c), The Great Depression, 1929–1941 (PDF), Memoirs, 3, New York, archived from the original (PDF) on December 17, 2008 .
  • Miller, Dwight M.; Walch, Timothy, eds. (1998), Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Documentary History, Contributions in American History, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, "ISBN "978-0-313-30608-2 
  • Hoover, Herbert Clark (2011), "Nash, George H., ed., Freedom Betrayed (598), Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, "ISBN "978-0-8179-1234-5 .
  • Mossman, Billy C.; Stark, M. W. (1971). "Chapter XXV, Former President Herbert C. Hoover, State Funeral, October 20–25, 1964". The Last Salute: Civil and Military Funeral, 1921–1969. Washington: Department of the Army. "OCLC 123268063. Retrieved January 7, 2015. 
  • The Crusade Years, 1933–1955: Herbert Hoover's Lost Memoir of the New Deal Era and Its Aftermath ed. by George Nash. (Hoover Institution Press, 2013) details
  • American Engineering Council, Committee on Elimination of Waste in Industry; Waste in Industry Federated American Engineering Societies, 1921

External links[edit]

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