Herbert Hoover
Overview
 
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1929–1933). Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

 in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

, he promoted partnerships between government and business under the rubric "economic modernization". In the presidential election of 1928
United States presidential election, 1928
The United States presidential election of 1928 pitted Republican Herbert Hoover against Democrat Al Smith. The Republicans were identified with the booming economy of the 1920s, whereas Smith, a Roman Catholic, suffered politically from Anti-Catholic prejudice, his anti-prohibitionist stance, and...

, Hoover easily won the Republican nomination
History of the United States Republican Party
The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous...

, despite having no previous elected office experience.
Quotations

While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced that we have now passed the worst and with continuity of effort we shall rapidly recover.

Address to the United States Chamber of Commerce (1 May 1930)

The American people are doing their job today. They should be given a chance to show whether they wish to preserve the principles of individual and local responsibility and mutual self-help before they embark on what I believe to be a disastrous system. I feel sure they will succeed if given the opportunity.

Press statement (3 February 1931)

Let me remind you that credit is the lifeblood of business, the lifeblood of prices and jobs.

Address at Des Moines, Iowa, (4 October 1932)

A good many things go around in the dark besides Santa Claus.

Address to the John Marshall Republican Club, St. Louis, Missouri (16 December 1935)

Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.

Address to the Nebraska Republican Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska (16 January 1936)

Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die. And it is youth who must inherit the tribulation, the sorrow and the triumphs that are the aftermath of war.

Speech in Chicago, Illinois to the 23rd Republican national convention (27 June 1944)

Encyclopedia
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1929–1933). Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

 in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

, he promoted partnerships between government and business under the rubric "economic modernization". In the presidential election of 1928
United States presidential election, 1928
The United States presidential election of 1928 pitted Republican Herbert Hoover against Democrat Al Smith. The Republicans were identified with the booming economy of the 1920s, whereas Smith, a Roman Catholic, suffered politically from Anti-Catholic prejudice, his anti-prohibitionist stance, and...

, Hoover easily won the Republican nomination
History of the United States Republican Party
The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous...

, despite having no previous elected office experience. Hoover is the most recent cabinet secretary to be elected President of the United States, as well as one of only two Presidents (along with William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

) to have been elected without previous electoral experience or high military rank. America was prosperous and optimistic at the time, leading to a landslide victory for Hoover over Democrat Al Smith
Al Smith
Alfred Emanuel Smith. , known in private and public life as Al Smith, was an American statesman who was elected the 42nd Governor of New York three times, and was the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate in 1928...

.

Hoover, a trained engineer, deeply believed in the Efficiency Movement
Efficiency Movement
The Efficiency Movement was a major movement in the United States, Britain and other industrial nations in the early 20th century that sought to identify and eliminate waste in all areas of the economy and society, and to develop and implement best practices. The concept covered mechanical,...

, which held that the government and the economy were riddled with inefficiency and waste, and could be improved by experts who could identify the problems and solve them. When the Wall Street Crash of 1929
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

 struck less than eight months after he took office, Hoover tried to combat the ensuing Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 with volunteer efforts, public works projects such as the Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President...

, tariffs such as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, an increase in the top tax bracket from 25% to 63%, and increases in corporate taxes, none of which produced economic recovery during his term. The consensus among historians is that Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election
United States presidential election, 1932
The United States presidential election of 1932 took place as the effects of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930, the Revenue Act of 1932, and the Great Depression were being felt intensely across the country. President Herbert Hoover's popularity was falling as...

 was caused primarily by failure to end the downward economic spiral. As a result of these factors, Hoover is ranked poorly among former US Presidents.

Family background and early life

Hoover was born on August 10, 1874, in West Branch
West Branch, Iowa
West Branch is a city in Cedar and Johnson counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 2,342 as of July 2009, a 7% growth since the 2000 census...

, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

. He was the first president born west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 and remains the only Iowan President. His father, Jessie Hoover
Jessie Hoover
Jessie Clark Hoover was the father of U.S. president Herbert HooverJessie Hoover was born on September 2, 1846, in Miami County, Ohio, to Eli Hoover and Mary Davis Hoover...

, was a blacksmith
Blacksmith
A blacksmith is a person who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal; that is, by using tools to hammer, bend, and cut...

 and farm implement store owner who was of German (Pfautz, Wehmeyer) and German-Swiss (Huber, Burkhart) descent. Hoover's mother, Hulda Randall (Minthorn) Hoover (1849–1883), was born in Norwich
Norwich, Ontario
The Township of Norwich is a municipality located in Oxford County in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Preferred pronunciation of the town name is 'NOR-witch' , different from the city of Norwich, England, though its origin is more likely Norwich in Upper New York State, the area from which the...

, Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, of English and Irish descent. Both were Quakers
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

.

His father died in 1880, and his mother in 1884, leaving Hoover an orphan at the age of nine. Fellow Quaker Lawrie Tatum
Lawrie Tatum
Lawrie Tatum was a Quaker who was best known as an Indian Agent to the Kiowa and Comanche tribes at Fort Sill agency in Indian Territory....

 was appointed as Hoover's guardian. After a brief stay with one of his grandmothers in Kingsley, Iowa
Kingsley, Iowa
Kingsley is a city in Plymouth County, Iowa, United States. The population was 1,245 at the 2000 census. In the 1880s Herbert Hoover lived in the Kingsley community for a short time, following the deaths of his parents.-Geography:...

, Hoover lived for the next 18 months with his uncle Allen Hoover in West Branch. In November 1885, he went to live in Newberg, Oregon
Newberg, Oregon
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 18,064 people, 6,099 households, and 4,348 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,599.4 people per square mile . There were 6,435 housing units at an average density of 1,282.2 per square mile...

, with his uncle John Minthorn, a frontier physician and businessman whose own son had died the year before. For two and a half years, Hoover attended Friends Pacific Academy (now George Fox University
George Fox University
George Fox University is a Christian university of the liberal arts and sciences, and professional studies located in Newberg, Oregon, United States. Founded as a school for Quakers in 1885, the private school has more than 3,400 students combined between its main campus in Newberg and its centers...

), then subsequently worked as an office assistant in his uncle's real estate office, the Oregon Land Company, in Salem
Salem, Oregon
Salem is the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon, and the county seat of Marion County. It is located in the center of the Willamette Valley alongside the Willamette River, which runs north through the city. The river forms the boundary between Marion and Polk counties, and the city neighborhood...

. Though he did not attend high school, the young Hoover attended night school and learned bookkeeping
Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions. Transactions include sales, purchases, income, receipts and payments by an individual or organization. Bookkeeping is usually performed by a bookkeeper. Bookkeeping should not be confused with accounting. The accounting process is usually...

, typing, and math.

Hoover entered Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

 in 1891, the new California college's first year. None of the first students were required to pay tuition. Hoover claimed to be the first student ever at Stanford, by virtue of having been the first person in the first class to sleep in the dormitory. While at the university, he was the student manager of both the baseball and football teams and was a part of the inaugural Big Game
Big Game (football)
The Big Game is an American college football rivalry game played by the California Golden Bears football team of the University of California, Berkeley and the Stanford Cardinal football team of Stanford University. It is typically played in late November or early December...

 versus rival University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

 (Stanford won). In one game in 1894, as manager of the baseball team, Hoover found the receipts were short. He went after the person who had failed to pay the twenty-five cents, former President Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the United States . Harrison, a grandson of President William Henry Harrison, was born in North Bend, Ohio, and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana at age 21, eventually becoming a prominent politician there...

. Later in life, Hoover called his encounter with Harrison his "first time with greatness". Hoover graduated in 1895 with a degree in geology
Geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

.

Mining engineer

Hoover went to Australia in 1897 as an employee of Bewick, Moreing & Co., a London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

-based mining company. He served as a geologist and mining engineer while searching the Western Australian goldfields for investments. After being appointed as mine manager at the age of 23, he led a major program of expansion for the Sons of Gwalia
Sons of Gwalia
Sons of Gwalia was a Western Australian mining company which mined gold, tantalum, spodumene, lithium and tin.Sons of Gwalia was Australia's third-largest gold producer and also controlled more than half the world's production of tantalum, before entering administration in August 2004 following a...

 gold mine
Gwalia Gold Mine
The Gwalia Gold Mine is located at Gwalia, a few kilometres south of Leonora, Western Australia. It was originally established by Welsh miners in the late 19th century and Herbert Hoover, the later President of the United States, served as the mine manager in its early days from May to November...

 at Gwalia, Western Australia
Gwalia, Western Australia
Gwalia is a former gold-mining town located 233 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie and 828 kilometres east of Perth in Western Australia's Great Victoria Desert. Today, Gwalia is essentially a ghost town, having been largely deserted since the main source of employment, the Sons of Gwalia...

, and brought in many Italian immigrants to cut costs and counter the union militancy
Australian labour movement
The Australian labour movement has its origins in the early 19th century and includes both trade unions and political activity. At its broadest, the movement can be defined as encompassing the industrial wing, the unions in Australia, and the political wing, the Australian Labor Party and minor...

 of the Australian miners. He believed "the rivalry between the Italians and the other men was of no small benefit." He also described Italians as "fully 20 per cent superior" to other miners.

Hoover worked at gold mines in Big Bell
Big Bell, Western Australia
Big Bell is a derelict town in Western Australia near the town of Cue, established in 1936, and was home to the Big Bell Gold Mine.Mining ceased in 2003 and the plant was dismantled and transported to the Westonia minesite in 2007....

, Cue
Cue, Western Australia
- Further reading:* 'Along the Cue railway. Inspection of line with suggested improvements, visit to Georgina Siding'. West Australian, 11 June 1898, p. 5-External links:* *...

, Leonora
Leonora, Western Australia
Leonora is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located northeast of the state capital, Perth, and north of the city of Kalgoorlie. At the 2006 census, Leonora had a population of 401, about a third of whom are of Aboriginal descent. The area is extremely arid, with a...

, Menzies
Menzies, Western Australia
Menzies is a town located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, east-northeast of the state capital, Perth, and north-northwest of the city of Kalgoorlie...

 and Coolgardie
Coolgardie, Western Australia
Coolgardie is a small town in the Australian state of Western Australia, east of the state capital, Perth. It has a population of approximately 800 people....

.

Hoover married his Stanford sweetheart, Lou Henry
Lou Henry Hoover
Lou Henry Hoover was the wife of President of the United States Herbert Hoover and First Lady of the United States, 1929-1933. Mrs. Hoover was president of the Girl Scouts of the USA for two terms, 1922-1925 and 1935-1937....

, in 1899. The Hoovers had two sons, Herbert Clark Jr. (1903–1969) and Allan Henry (1907–1993). They went to China, where Hoover worked for Bewick, Moreing & Co. as China's leading engineer. Hoover and his wife learned Mandarin Chinese while he worked in China and used it during his tenure at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 when they wanted to foil eavesdroppers. The Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

 trapped the Hoovers in Tianjin
Tianjin
' is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. It is governed as a direct-controlled municipality, one of four such designations, and is, thus, under direct administration of the central government...

 in June 1900. For almost a month, the settlement was under heavy fire. Hoover himself guided U.S. Marines around Tianjin during the battle
Battle of Tientsin
The Battle of Tientsin, or the Relief of Tientsin, occurred on July 13–14, 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion in Northern China. A multinational military force, representing the Eight-Nation Alliance, came to the rescue of a besieged population of foreign nationals within the city of Tientsin by...

, using his extensive knowledge of the local terrain.

Hoover was made a partner in Bewick, Moreing & Co. in 1901 and assumed responsibility for various Australian operations. In August–September 1905, Hoover came up with a technological innovation. When visiting the mines at Broken Hill, New South Wales
Broken Hill, New South Wales
-Geology:Broken Hill's massive orebody, which formed about 1,800 million years ago, has proved to be among the world's largest silver-lead-zinc mineral deposits. The orebody is shaped like a boomerang plunging into the earth at its ends and outcropping in the centre. The protruding tip of the...

, he noticed considerable zinc
Zinc
Zinc , or spelter , is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element in group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar size and its only common oxidation state is +2...

 in the Broken Hill lead-silver ore, which could not be recovered and was lost as tailings
Tailings
Tailings, also called mine dumps, slimes, tails, leach residue, or slickens, are the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction of an ore...

. Hoover devised a practical and profitable method to use the then-new froth flotation
Froth flotation
Froth flotation is a process for selectively separating hydrophobic materials from hydrophilic. This is used in several processing industries...

 process to treat these tailings and recover the zinc. With William Baillieu
William Baillieu
William Lawrence Baillieu was an Australian financier and politician. He was a successful businessman, having developed significant business interests from his relatively humble beginnings...

 and others, he founded the Zinc Corporation
Consolidated Zinc
Consolidated Zinc was an Australian mining company from 1905 to 1962. The company's initial operations focused on extracting zinc from mine tailings of the Broken Hill Ore Deposit at Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia...

 (later, following various mergers, a part of Rio Tinto Group
Rio Tinto Group
The Rio Tinto Group is a diversified, British-Australian, multinational mining and resources group with headquarters in London and Melbourne. The company was founded in 1873, when a multinational consortium of investors purchased a mine complex on the Rio Tinto river, in Huelva, Spain from the...

).

In 1908, he became an independent mining consultant, traveling worldwide until the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1914. His lectures at Columbia
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 and Stanford universities were published in 1909 as Principles of Mining, which became a standard textbook. Hoover and his wife also published their English translation of the 1556 mining classic De re metallica
De re metallica
De re metallica is a book cataloguing the state of the art of mining, refining, and smelting metals, published in 1556. The author was Georg Bauer, whose pen name was the Latinized Georgius Agricola...

in 1912. This translation from the Latin of Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 author Georgius Agricola is still the most important scholarly version and provides its historical context. It is still in print.

Humanitarian

When World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 began in August 1914, Hoover helped organize the return of 120,000 Americans from Europe: tourists, students, executives, etc. Hoover led five hundred volunteers in the distribution of food, clothing, steamship tickets, and cash. "I did not realize it at the moment, but on August 3, 1914, my career was over forever. I was on the slippery road of public life." Hoover liked to say that difference between dictatorship and democracy was simple: dictators organize from the top down, democracies from the bottom up.
Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 faced a food crisis after being invaded by Germany. Hoover undertook an unprecedented relief effort with the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB). As chairman of the CRB, Hoover worked with the leader of the Belgian Comite National de Secours et Alimentation (CN), Emile Francqui
Emile Francqui
Emile Francqui was a Belgian soldier, diplomat and business man. Being an orphan, he was sent to the military school when he was 15 years old...

, to feed the entire nation for the duration of the war. The CRB obtained and imported millions and millions of metric tons of foodstuffs for the CN to distribute, and watched over the CN to make sure the German army didn't appropriate the food. The CRB became a veritable independent republic of relief, with its own flag, navy, factories, mills, and railroads. Private donations and government grants supplied an $11-million-a-month budget.

For the next two years, Hoover worked 14-hour days from London, administering the distribution of over two and one-half million tons of food to nine million war victims. In an early form of shuttle diplomacy
Shuttle diplomacy
In diplomacy and international relations, shuttle diplomacy is the action of an outside party in serving as an intermediary between principals in a dispute, without direct principal-to-principal contact...

, he crossed the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 forty times to meet with German authorities and persuade them to allow food shipments, becoming an international hero. The Belgian city of Leuven
Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

 named a prominent square Hooverplein after him.
After the United States entered the war in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 appointed Hoover head of the U.S. Food Administration. Hoover believed "food will win the war", and beginning on September 29, this slogan was introduced and put into frequent use. Hoover established set days to encourage people to avoid eating particular foods to save them for soldiers' rations: meatless Mondays, wheatless Wednesdays, and "when in doubt, eat potatoes." This program helped reduce consumption of foodstuffs needed overseas and avoided rationing at home. It was dubbed "Hooverizing" by government publicists, in spite of Hoover's continual orders that publicity should not mention him by name.

After the war, as a member of the Supreme Economic Council
Supreme Economic Council
The Supreme Economic Council was established at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 to advise the conference on economic measures to be taken pending the negotiation of peace...

 and head of the American Relief Administration
American Relief Administration
American Relief Administration was an American relief mission to Europe and later Soviet Russia after World War I. Herbert Hoover, future president of the United States, was the program director....

, Hoover organized shipments of food for millions of starving people in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

. He used a newly formed Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee
American Friends Service Committee
The American Friends Service Committee is a Religious Society of Friends affiliated organization which works for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world...

, to carry out much of the logistical work in Europe.

Hoover provided aid to the defeated German nation after the war, as well as relief to famine-stricken Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

-controlled areas of Russia in 1921, despite the opposition of Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Henry Cabot Lodge
Henry Cabot Lodge
Henry Cabot "Slim" Lodge was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. He had the role of Senate Majority leader. He is best known for his positions on Meek policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles...

 and other Republicans. When asked if he was not thus helping Bolshevism, Hoover retorted, "Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!" At war's end, the New York Times named Hoover one of the "Ten Most Important Living Americans". In July 1922, Soviet author Maxim Gorky
Maxim Gorky
Alexei Maximovich Peshkov , primarily known as Maxim Gorky , was a Russian and Soviet author, a founder of the Socialist Realism literary method and a political activist.-Early years:...

 wrote to Hoover:
Hoover confronted a world of political possibilities when he returned home in 1919. Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 leaders looked on him as a potential candidate for President, and President Wilson privately preferred Hoover as his successor. "There could not be a finer one," asserted Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, then a rising star from New York. Hoover briefly considered becoming a Democrat, but he believed that 1920 would be a Republican year. Also, Hoover confessed that he could not run for a party whose only member in his boyhood home had been the town drunk.

Hoover realized that he was in a unique position to collect information about the Great War and its aftermath. In 1919, he established the Hoover War Collection at Stanford University. He donated all the files of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, the U.S. Food Administration, and the American Relief Administration, and pledged $50,000 as an endowment. Scholars were sent to Europe to collect pamphlets, society publications, government documents, newspapers, posters, proclamations, and other ephemeral materials related to the war and the revolutions that followed it. The collection was later renamed the Hoover War Library and is now known as the Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

.

Secretary of Commerce

Hoover rejected Democratic overtures in 1920. He had been a registered Republican before the war, though in 1912 he had supported Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

's "Bull Moose" Progressive Party
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

. Now he declared himself a Republican and a candidate for the Presidency.

He placed his name on the ballot in the California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 state primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

, where he came close to beating popular Senator Hiram Johnson
Hiram Johnson
Hiram Warren Johnson was a leading American progressive and later isolationist politician from California; he served as the 23rd Governor from 1911 to 1917, and as a United States Senator from 1917 to 1945.-Early life:...

. But having lost in his home state, Hoover was not considered a serious contender at the convention. Even when it deadlocked for several ballots between Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 Governor Frank Lowden and General Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood was a physician who served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Military Governor of Cuba and Governor General of the Philippines. Early in his military career, he received the Medal of Honor. Wood also holds officer service #2 in the Regular Army...

, few delegates seriously considered Hoover as a compromise choice. Although he had personal misgivings about the capability of the nominee, Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

, Hoover publicly endorsed him and made two speeches for Harding.

After being elected, Harding rewarded Hoover for his support, offering to appoint him either Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

 or Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

. Hoover ultimately chose Commerce. Commerce had existed for just eight years, since the division of the earlier Department of Commerce and Labor
United States Department of Commerce and Labor
The United States Department of Commerce and Labor was a short-lived Cabinet department of the United States government, which was concerned with Business.It was created on February 14, 1903...

. Commerce was considered a minor Cabinet post, with limited and somewhat vaguely defined responsibilities.

Hoover aimed to change that, envisioning the Commerce Department as the hub of the nation's growth and stability. He demanded from Harding, and received, authority to help coordinate economic affairs throughout the government. He created many sub-departments and committees, overseeing and regulating everything from manufacturing statistics, the census, and radio to air travel. In some instances, he "seized" control of responsibilities from other Cabinet departments when he deemed that they were not carrying out their responsibilities well. Hoover became one of the most visible men in the country, often overshadowing Presidents Harding and Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

. Washington wags were soon referring to Hoover as "the Secretary of Commerce... and Under-Secretary of Everything Else!"

As secretary and later as President, Hoover revolutionized the relations between business and government. Rejecting the adversarial stance of Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, and Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, he sought to make the Commerce Department a powerful service organization, empowered to forge cooperative voluntary partnerships between government and business. This philosophy is often called "associationalism
Associationalism
Associationalism is a political project where "human welfare and liberty are both best served when as many of the affairs of a society as possible are managed by voluntary and democratically self-governing associations." Associationalism "gives priority to freedom in its scale of values, but it...

".

Many of Hoover's efforts as Commerce Secretary centered on the elimination of waste and the increase of efficiency in business and industry. This included reducing labor losses from trade disputes and seasonal fluctuations, reducing industrial losses from accident and injury, and reducing the amount of crude oil spilled during extraction and shipping. One major achievement was to promote progressive ideals in the areas of the standardization of products and designs. He energetically promoted international trade by opening offices overseas that gave advice and practical help to businessmen. Hoover was especially eager to promote Hollywood
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

 films overseas.

His "Own Your Own Home" campaign was a collaboration to promote ownership of single-family dwellings, with groups such as the Better Houses in America movement, the Architects' Small House Service Bureau, and the Home Modernizing Bureau. He worked with bankers and the savings and loan industry to promote the new long-term home mortgage, which dramatically stimulated home construction.
It has been suggested that Herbert Hoover was the best Secretary of Commerce in United States history. Hoover was the last President to have held a full cabinet position.

Radio conferences

Hoover's radio conferences played a key role in the early organization, development and regulation of radio broadcasting. Prior to the radio act of 1927, the Secretary of Commerce was unable to deny radio licensing or modify wave lengths. With help from supporters Senator Dill and Representative White, Hoover brought the issue of radio control to the senate floor. Hoover fought for more censorship rights to battle the proliferation of licensed stations. (which in 1927, stood at 732 stations) Hoover, with the help of Dill and White, promoted the Dill-White Bill which eventually would become the Radio Act of 1927. This act allowed the government to intervene and abolish radio stations that were deemed "non-useful" to the public. Hoover's attempts at regulating radio were not supported by all congressmen and he received much opposition from the senate and radio stations as well. However, Hoover's contributions to regulate radio in its infancy heavily influenced the modern radio system.

Hoover contributed to major projects for navigation, irrigation of dry lands, electrical power, and flood control. As the new air transport industry developed, Hoover held a conference on aviation to promote codes and regulations. He became president of the American Child Health Organization, and he raised private funds to promote health education in schools and communities.

Although he continued to consider Harding ill-suited to be President, the two men nevertheless became friends. Hoover accompanied Harding on his final trip out West in 1923. It was Hoover who called for a specialist to tend to the ailing Chief Executive, and it was also Hoover who contacted the White House to inform them of the President's death. The Commerce Secretary headed the group of dignitaries accompanying Harding's body back to the capital.

By the end of Hoover's service as Secretary, he had raised the status of the Department of Commerce. This was reflected in its modern headquarters built during the Roosevelt Administration in the 1930s in the Federal Triangle
Federal Triangle
The Federal Triangle is a triangular area in Washington, D.C. formed by 15th Street NW, Constitution Avenue NW, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and E Street NW. Federal Triangle is occupied by 10 large city and federal office buildings, all of which are part of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic...

 in Washington, D.C.

Traffic conferences

As Commerce Secretary, Hoover also hosted two national conferences on street traffic, in 1924 and 1926 (a third convened in 1930, during Hoover's presidency). Collectively the meetings were called the National Conference on Street and Highway Safety. Hoover's chief objective was to address the growing casualty toll of traffic accidents, but the scope grew and soon embraced motor vehicle standards, rules of the road, and urban traffic control. He left the invited interest groups to negotiate agreements among themselves, which were then presented for adoption by states and localities. Because automotive trade associations were the best organized, many of the positions taken by the conferences reflected their interests. The conferences issued a model Uniform Vehicle Code for adoption by the states, and a Model Municipal Traffic Ordinance for adoption by cities. Both were widely influential, promoting greater uniformity between jurisdictions and tending to promote the automobile's priority in city streets.

Mississippi flood

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States.-Events:The flood began when heavy rains pounded the central basin of the Mississippi in the summer of 1926. By September, the Mississippi's tributaries in Kansas and Iowa were swollen to...

 broke the banks and levee
Levee
A levee, levée, dike , embankment, floodbank or stopbank is an elongated naturally occurring ridge or artificially constructed fill or wall, which regulates water levels...

s of the lower Mississippi River in early 1927, resulting in flooding of millions of acres and leaving one and a half million people displaced from their homes. Although such a disaster did not fall under the duties of the Commerce Department, the governors of six states along the Mississippi specifically asked for Herbert Hoover in the emergency. President Calvin Coolidge sent Hoover to mobilize state and local authorities, militia, army engineers, the Coast Guard, and the American Red Cross
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross , also known as the American National Red Cross, is a volunteer-led, humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States. It is the designated U.S...

.

With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization and private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The preeminent institution established by the six-generation Rockefeller family, it was founded by John D. Rockefeller , along with his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr...

, Hoover set up health units to work in the flooded regions for a year. These workers stamped out malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, pellagra
Pellagra
Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency disease most commonly caused by a chronic lack of niacin in the diet. It can be caused by decreased intake of niacin or tryptophan, and possibly by excessive intake of leucine. It may also result from alterations in protein metabolism in disorders such as carcinoid...

, and typhoid fever
Typhoid fever
Typhoid fever, also known as Typhoid, is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella enterica, serovar Typhi...

 from many areas. His work during the flood brought Herbert Hoover to the front page of newspapers almost everywhere, and he gained new accolades as a humanitarian. The great victory of his relief work, he stressed, was not that the government rushed in and provided all assistance; it was that much of the assistance available was provided by private citizens and organizations in response to his appeals. "I suppose I could have called in the Army to help," he said, "but why should I, when I only had to call upon Main Street."

The treatment of African Americans during the disaster endangered Hoover's reputation as a humanitarian. Local officials brutalized blacks and prevented them from leaving relief camps, aid meant for African-American sharecroppers was often given to the landowners instead, and many times black males were conscripted by locals into forced labor, sometimes at gun point. Knowing the potential ramifications on his presidential aspirations if such knowledge became public, Hoover struck a deal with Robert Moton
Robert Russa Moton
Robert Russa Moton was an African American educator and author. He served as an administrator at Hampton Institute and was named principal of Tuskegee Institute in 1915 after the death of Dr. Booker T. Washington, a position he held for 20 years until retirement in 1935.-Youth, education,...

, the prominent African-American successor to Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington
Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and political leader. He was the dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915...

 as president of the Tuskegee Institute. In exchange for keeping the suffering of African Americans out of the public eye, Hoover promised unprecedented influence for African Americans if he was elected president. Moton agreed, and consistent with the accommodationist philosophy of Washington, worked actively to suppress information about mistreatment of blacks from being revealed to the media. Following election, Hoover broke his promises. This led to an African-American backlash in the 1932 election that shifted allegiance from the Republican party to the Democrats.

Southern strategy

To gain Republican votes in Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 states, Hoover pioneered an electoral tactic later known as the "Southern Strategy
Southern strategy
In American politics, the Southern strategy refers to the Republican Party strategy of winning elections in Southern states by exploiting anti-African American racism and fears of lawlessness among Southern white voters and appealing to fears of growing federal power in social and economic matters...

". Hoover's appeal to white voters yielded substantial results, including Republican victories in Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, and Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. It marked the first time a Republican candidate for president carried Texas. This outraged the black leadership, which largely broke from the Republican Party, and began seeking candidates who supported civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 within the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

.

Republican primaries

When Calvin Coolidge declined to run for a second full term of office in 1927, Herbert Hoover became the leading Republican
History of the United States Republican Party
The United States Republican Party is the second oldest currently existing political party in the United States after its great rival, the Democratic Party. It emerged in 1854 to combat the Kansas Nebraska Act which threatened to extend slavery into the territories, and to promote more vigorous...

 candidate for the 1928 election, despite the fact Coolidge was lukewarm on Hoover, often deriding his ambitious and popular Commerce Secretary as "Wonder Boy". His only real challenger was Frank Lowden
Frank Orren Lowden
Frank Orren Lowden was a Republican Party politician from Illinois, who served as the 25th Governor of Illinois and as a United States Representatives from Illinois...

. Hoover received much favorable press coverage in the months leading up to the convention. Lowden's campaign manager complained the newspapers were full of "nothing but advertisements for Herbert Hoover and Fletcher's Castoria
Castoria
Fletcher's Castoria, now known as Fletcher's Laxative, is an oral syrup containing a stimulant laxative and ingredients to soothe the stomach.-Pharmacology:*Active laxative ingredient: senna, 33.3 mg/ml...

". Hoover’s reputation, experience, and popularity coalesced to give him the nomination on the first ballot, with Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President of the United States...

 named as his running mate.

General election

Hoover campaigned for efficiency and prosperity against Democratic candidate Alfred E. Smith. Smith was the target of anti-Catholicism
Anti-Catholicism
Anti-Catholicism is a generic term for discrimination, hostility or prejudice directed against Catholicism, and especially against the Catholic Church, its clergy or its adherents...

 from some Protestant communities, much to Hoover's advantage. Both Hoover and Smith positioned themselves as 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
Volstead Act
The National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, was the enabling legislation for the Eighteenth Amendment which established prohibition in the United States...

. Smith was a "wet" who called for its repeal, whereas Hoover gave limited support for Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, calling it an "experiment noble in purpose", with "experiment" suggesting it was not permanent. Prohibition was an issue used by Hoover's supporters to attack the Democratic candidate Al Smith, a wet who opposed prohibition. Hoover gained the support of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) and the Anti-Saloon League, but both were long past their prime.

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% of the vote. Hoover managed to crack the so-called "Solid South", winning such traditionally Democratic states as Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 and Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

. As advertising executive Bruce Barton put it, "Americans knew that although they might have more fun with Smith, they would make more money with Hoover."

Unlike many previous first ladies, when Hoover's wife, Lou Henry Hoover
Lou Henry Hoover
Lou Henry Hoover was the wife of President of the United States Herbert Hoover and First Lady of the United States, 1929-1933. Mrs. Hoover was president of the Girl Scouts of the USA for two terms, 1922-1925 and 1935-1937....

, came to the White House, she had already carved out a reputation of her own, having graduated from Stanford as the only woman in her class with a degree in geology. Although she never practiced her profession formally, she typified the new woman of the post–World War I era: intelligent, robust, and aware of multifarious female possibilities.

On poverty, Hoover promised: "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land." Within months, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 occurred, and the nation's economy spiraled downward into what became known as the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

.

Presidency 1929–1933

Hoover began his presidency on an optimistic note, saying during his inauguration speech:

Hoover then held a press conference on his first day in office, promising a "new phase of press relations". He told 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. He changed his press policies after the 1929 stock market crash, screening reporters and greatly reducing his availability.

Hoover invented his own sport
Hooverball
Hooverball is a medicine ball game invented by President Herbert Hoover's personal physician to help keep then-President Hoover fit. The Hoover Presidential Library Association and the city of West Branch, Iowa, co-host a national championship each year....

 to keep fit while in the White House, a combination of volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 and tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

, which he played every morning.

Policies

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. A self-described progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 and reformer
Reform movement
A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of society, rather than rapid or fundamental changes...

, Hoover saw the presidency as a vehicle for improving the conditions of all Americans by encouraging public-private cooperation—what he termed "volunterism". Hoover saw volunterism as preferable to governmental coercion or intervention which he saw as opposed to the American ideals of individualism and self-reliance. Long before he had entered politics, he had denounced laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

thinking.

Hoover expanded civil service
Civil service
The term civil service has two distinct meanings:* A branch of governmental service in which individuals are employed on the basis of professional merit as proven by competitive examinations....

 coverage of Federal positions, canceled private oil leases on government lands, and by instructing the Justice Department
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 and the Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 to pursue gangsters for tax evasion, he enabled the prosecution of Al Capone
Al Capone
Alphonse Gabriel "Al" Capone was an American gangster who led a Prohibition-era crime syndicate. The Chicago Outfit, which subsequently became known as the "Capones", was dedicated to smuggling and bootlegging liquor, and other illegal activities such as prostitution, in Chicago from the early...

. He appointed a commission that set aside 3 million acres (12,000 km²) of national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

s and 2.3 million acres (9,000 km²) of national forests; advocated tax reduction for low-income Americans (not enacted); closed certain tax loopholes for the wealthy; doubled the number of veterans' hospital facilities; negotiated a treaty on St. Lawrence Seaway (which failed in the U.S. Senate); wrote a Children's Charter that advocated protection of every child regardless of race or gender; created an antitrust division in the Justice Department
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

; required air mail carriers to adopt stricter safety measures and improve service; proposed federal loans for urban slum clearances (not enacted); organized the Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is a federal law enforcement agency subdivision of the United States Department of Justice and is responsible for the administration of the federal prison system. The system also handles prisoners who committed acts considered felonies under the District of Columbia's...

; reorganized the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the US Department of the Interior. It is responsible for the administration and management of of land held in trust by the United States for Native Americans in the United States, Native American...

; instituted prison reform; proposed a federal Department of Education
United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government...

 (not enacted); advocated $50-per-month pensions for Americans over 65 (not enacted); chaired White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 conferences on child health, protection, homebuilding and home-ownership; began construction of the Boulder Dam (later renamed Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President...

); and signed the Norris – La Guardia Act that limited judicial intervention in labor disputes.

On November 19, 1928, Hoover embarked on a seven-week goodwill tour
Goodwill tour
A goodwill tour is a term used to indicate a tour by someone or something famous to a series of places, with the purpose of expressing benevolent interest or concern for a group of people or a region, improving or maintaining a relationship between parties, and exhibiting the item or person to...

 of several Latin American nations to outline his economic and trade policies to other nations in the Western Hemisphere
Western Hemisphere
The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

.

Foreign relations

Following the release in 1930 of the Clark Memorandum
Clark Memorandum
The Clark Memorandum on the Monroe Doctrine or Clark Memorandum, written on December 17, 1928 by Calvin Coolidge’s undersecretary of state J. Reuben Clark, concerned the United States' use of military force to intervene in Latin American nations...

, Hoover began formulating what later became Roosevelt's Good Neighbor policy
Good Neighbor policy
The Good Neighbor policy was the foreign policy of the administration of United States President Franklin Roosevelt toward the countries of Latin America. Its main principle was that of non-intervention and non-interference in the domestic affairs of Latin America...

. He began withdrawing American troops from Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 and Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

; he also proposed an arms embargo on Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 and a one-third reduction of the world's naval power, which was called the Hoover Plan. The Roosevelt Corollary
Roosevelt Corollary
-Background:In late 1902, Britain, Germany, and Italy implemented a naval blockade of several months against Venezuela because of President Cipriano Castro's refusal to pay foreign debts and damages suffered by European citizens in a recent Venezuelan civil war. The incident was called the...

 ceased being part of U.S. foreign policy. In response to the Japanese invasion of Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, he and Secretary of State Henry Stimson outlined the Hoover–Stimson Doctrine
Stimson Doctrine
The Stimson Doctrine is a policy of the United States federal government, enunciated in a note of January 7, 1932, to Japan and China, of non-recognition of international territorial changes that were executed by force. The doctrine was an application of the principle of ex injuria jus non oritur...

 that said the United States would not recognize territories gained by force.

During his presidency, Hoover mediated between Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 to solve a conflict on the sovereignty of Arica
Arica, Chile
Arica is a commune and a port city with a population of 185,269 in the Arica Province of northern Chile's Arica and Parinacota Region, located only south of the border with Peru. The city is the capital of both the Arica Province and the Arica and Parinacota Region...

 and Tacna
Tacna
- Rail :Tacna is served by a cross-border standard gauge railway to Arica, Chile.It is also the location of the National Railway Museum of Peru.-Air:Tacna is served by the Crnl. FAP...

, that in 1883 by the Treaty of Ancón
Treaty of Ancón
The Treaty of Ancón was signed by Chile and Peru on 20 October 1883, in the Ancón District near Lima. It was intended to settle the two nations' remaining territorial differences at the conclusion of their involvement in the War of the Pacific and to stabilise post-bellum relations between...

 had been awarded to Chile for ten years, to be followed by a plebiscite that had never happened. By the Tacna–Arica compromise at the Treaty of Lima
Treaty of Lima
The Treaty of Lima solved the dispute between Peru and Chile regarding the status of the Chilean administered territories of Tacna and Arica. According to the Treaty, the Tacna-Arica Territory was divided between both countries; Tacna being awarded to Peru and with Chile retaining sovereignty over...

 in 1929, Chile kept Arica, and Peru regained Tacna.

Civil rights

Hoover seldom mentioned civil rights while he was President. Hoover believed that African-Americans and other races could improve themselves with education and wanted the races assimilated into white culture. Hoover attempted to appoint John J. Parker
John J. Parker
John Johnston Parker was a U.S. judge who failed confirmation to the Supreme Court by one vote. He was also the U.S. alternate judge at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals and later served on the United Nations' International Law Commission.John J. Parker was born in Monroe, North Carolina,...

 to the Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

 in 1930 to replace Edward Sanford. The NAACP claimed that Parker made many court decisions against African-Americans and fought the nomination. The NAACP was successful in gaining Senator Borah's support and the nomination was defeated in the Senate.

First Lady Lou Hoover
Lou Henry Hoover
Lou Henry Hoover was the wife of President of the United States Herbert Hoover and First Lady of the United States, 1929-1933. Mrs. Hoover was president of the Girl Scouts of the USA for two terms, 1922-1925 and 1935-1937....

 defied custom and invited an African-American Republican, Oscar DePriest, a member in the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

, to dinner at the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington
Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and political leader. He was the dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915...

 was the last previous African-American to have dined at the White House, with Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 in 1901.

Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President of the United States...

, the nation's first Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 Vice President, was from the Kaw tribe in Kansas. 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
Indian Citizenship Act of 1924
The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, also known as the Snyder Act, was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder of New York and granted full U.S. citizenship to America's indigenous peoples, called "Indians" in this Act...

.

Great Depression

From before his entry to the presidency, he was a proponent of the concept that public-private cooperation was the way to achieve high long-term growth. Hoover feared that too much intervention or coercion by the government would destroy individuality and self-reliance, which he considered to be important American values. Both his ideals and the economy were put to the test with the onset of the Great Depression. At the outset of the Depression, Hoover claims in his memoirs that he rejected Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon's suggested "leave-it-alone" approach, and called many business leaders to Washington to urge them not to lay off workers or cut wages. Lee Ohanian, from UCLA, has argued that Hoover adopted pro-labor policies after the 1929 stock market crash that "accounted for close to two-thirds of the drop in the nation's gross domestic product over the two years that followed, causing what might otherwise have been a bad recession to slip into the Great Depression". This argument is at odds with the Keynesian view of the causes of the Depression, most recently by Brad DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong
James Bradford DeLong commonly known as Brad DeLong, is a professor of Economics and chair of the Political Economy major at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration under Lawrence...

 of U.C. Berkeley.

Calls for greater government assistance increased as the U.S. economy continued to decline. Hoover rejected direct federal relief payments to individuals, as he believed that a dole would be addictive, and reduce the incentive to work. He was also a firm believer in balanced budgets, and was unwilling to run a budget deficit to fund welfare programs. However, Hoover did pursue many policies in an attempt to pull the country out of depression. In 1929, Hoover authorized the Mexican Repatriation
Mexican Repatriation
The Mexican Repatriation refers to a mass migration that took place between 1929 and 1939, when as many as 500,000 people of Mexican descent were forced or pressured to leave the US. The event, carried out by American authorities, took place without due process. Some 35,000 were deported, amongst...

 program to combat rampant unemployment, reduce the burden on municipal aid services, and remove people seen as usurpers of American jobs. The program was largely a forced migration
Forced migration
Forced migration refers to the coerced movement of a person or persons away from their home or home region...

 of approximately 500,000 Mexicans and Mexican Americans to Mexico, and continued until 1937. In June 1930, over the objection of many economists, Congress approved and Hoover 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 now spread through much of the world, and other nations increased tariffs on American-made goods in retaliation, reducing international trade, and worsening the Depression.

In 1931, Hoover issued the Hoover Moratorium
Hoover Moratorium
The Hoover Moratorium was a public statement issued by U.S. President Herbert Hoover on June 20, 1931, which he hoped would ease the coming international economic crisis, as well as provide time for recovery. Hoover's proposition was to put a one-year moratorium on payments of World War I and other...

, calling for a one-year halt in reparation
World War I reparations
World War I reparations refers to the payments and transfers of property and equipment that Germany was forced to make under the Treaty of Versailles following its defeat during World War I...

 payments by Germany to France and in the payment of Allied war debts to the United States. The plan was met with much opposition, especially from France, who saw significant losses to Germany during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The Moratorium did little to ease economic declines. As the moratorium neared its expiration the following year, an attempt to find a permanent solution was made at the Lausanne Conference of 1932
Lausanne Conference of 1932
The Lausanne Conference was a 1932 meeting of representatives from Great Britain, Germany, and France that resulted in an agreement to suspend World War I reparations payments imposed on the defeated countries by the Treaty of Versailles...

. A working compromise was never established, and by the start of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, reparations payments had stopped completely. Hoover in 1931 urged the major banks in the country to form a consortium known as the National Credit Corporation (NCC). The NCC was an example of Hoover's belief in volunteerism as a mechanism in aiding the economy. Hoover encouraged NCC member banks to provide loans to smaller banks to prevent them from collapsing. The banks within the NCC were often reluctant to provide loans, usually requiring banks to provide their largest assets as collateral. It quickly became apparent that the NCC would be incapable of fixing the problems it was designed to solve, and it was replaced by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was an independent agency of the United States government, established and chartered by the US Congress in 1932, Act of January 22, 1932, c. 8, 47 Stat. 5, during the administration of President Herbert Hoover. It was modeled after the War Finance Corporation...

.

By 1932, the Great Depression had spread across the globe. In the U.S., unemployment had reached 24.9%, a drought persisted in the central United States particulalry Oklahoma and Texas, businesses and families defaulted on record numbers of loans, and more than 5,000 banks had failed. Tens-of-thousands of Americans found themselves homeless and began congregating in the numerous Hooverville
Hooverville
A 'Hooverville' was the popular name for shanty towns built by homeless people during the Great Depression. They were named after the President of the United States at the time, Herbert Hoover, because he allegedly let the nation slide into depression...

s (also known as shanty town
Shanty town
A shanty town is a slum settlement of impoverished people who live in improvised dwellings made from scrap materials: often plywood, corrugated metal and sheets of plastic...

s or tent cities
Tent City
A tent city is a temporary housing facility made using tents. Informal tent cities may be set up without authorization by homeless people or protesters. As well, state governments or military organizations set up tent cities to house refugees, evacuees, or soldiers...

) that began to appear across the country. Hoover's stance on the economy had been based largely on voluntarism
Voluntarism (action)
Voluntarism is sometimes used to mean the use of, or reliance on voluntary action to maintain an institution, carry out a policy, or achieve an end. In this context the word voluntary action means action based on free will, which in turn means action which is performed free from certain constraints...

. That is, expecting churches and social institutions to aid the poor. However, faced with a tide of poverty, Hoover and the Congress approved the Federal Home Loan Bank Act
Federal Home Loan Bank Act
The Federal Home Loan Bank Act, , is a United States federal law passed under President Herbert Hoover in order to lower the cost of home ownership.It established the Federal Home Loan Bank Board to charter and supervise federal savings and loan institutions...

, to spur new home construction and reduce foreclosures. The plan seemed to work, as foreclosures dropped, but it was seen as too little, too late.

Prior to the start of the Great Depression, Hoover's first Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, had proposed and seen enacted, numerous tax cuts, which cut the top income tax rate from 73% to 24% (under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge). When combined with the sharp decline in incomes during the early depression, the result was a serious deficit in the federal budget. Congress, desperate to increase federal revenue, enacted the Revenue Act of 1932
Revenue Act of 1932
The Revenue Act of 1932 raised United States tax rates across the board, with the rate on top incomes rising from 25 percent to 63 percent...

, which was the largest peacetime tax increase in history. The Act increased taxes across the board, so that top earners were taxed at 63% on their net income. The 1932 Act also increased the tax on the net income of corporations from 12% to 13.75%.

The final attempt of the Hoover Administration to rescue the economy occurred in 1932 with the passage of the Emergency Relief and Construction Act
Emergency Relief and Construction Act
The Emergency Relief and Construction Act , was the United States's first major-relief legislation, enabled under Herbert Hoover and later adopted and expanded by Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of his New Deal....

, which authorized funds for public works programs and the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was an independent agency of the United States government, established and chartered by the US Congress in 1932, Act of January 22, 1932, c. 8, 47 Stat. 5, during the administration of President Herbert Hoover. It was modeled after the War Finance Corporation...

 (RFC). The RFC's initial goal was to provide government-secured loans to financial institutions, railroads and farmers. The RFC had minimal impact at the time, but was adopted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 and greatly expanded as part of his New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

.

Economy

To pay for these and other government programs and to make up for revenue lost due to the Depression, Hoover agreed to roll back previous tax cuts his Administration had effected on upper incomes. In one of the largest tax increases in American history, the Revenue Act of 1932
Revenue Act of 1932
The Revenue Act of 1932 raised United States tax rates across the board, with the rate on top incomes rising from 25 percent to 63 percent...

 raised income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 on the highest incomes from 25% to 63%. The estate tax was doubled and corporate tax
Corporate tax
Many countries impose corporate tax or company tax on the income or capital of some types of legal entities. A similar tax may be imposed at state or lower levels. The taxes may also be referred to as income tax or capital tax. Entities treated as partnerships are generally not taxed at the...

es were raised by almost 15%. Also, a "check tax" was included that placed a 2-cent tax (over 30 cents in today's dollars) 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." Hoover also encouraged Congress to investigate the New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at 13.39 trillion as of Dec 2010...

, and this pressure resulted in various reforms.

For this reason, years later libertarians argued that Hoover's economics were statist
Statism
Statism is a term usually describing a political philosophy, whether of the right or the left, that emphasises the role of the state in politics or supports the use of the state to achieve economic, military or social goals...

. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 blasted the Republican incumbent for spending and taxing too much, increasing national debt, raising tariffs and blocking trade, as well as placing millions on the dole of the government. Roosevelt attacked Hoover for "reckless and extravagant" spending, of thinking "that we ought to center control of everything in Washington as rapidly as possible." Roosevelt's running mate, John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner, IV , was the 32nd Vice President of the United States and the 44th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives .- Early life and family :...

, accused the Republican of "leading the country down the path of socialism".

Ironically, these policies pale beside the more drastic steps taken under Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's administration later as part of the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

. Hoover's opponents charge that his policies came too little, and too late, and did not work. Even as he asked Congress for legislation, he reiterated his view that while people must not suffer from hunger and cold, caring for them must be primarily a local and voluntary responsibility.

Even so, New Dealer Rexford Tugwell
Rexford Tugwell
Rexford Guy Tugwell was an agricultural economist who became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's first "Brain Trust," a group of Columbia academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to Roosevelt's 1932 election as President...

 later remarked that although no one would say so at the time, "practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started."

Bonus Army

Thousands of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 veterans and their families demonstrated and camped out in Washington, D.C., during June 1932, calling for immediate payment of a bonus that had been promised by the World War Adjusted Compensation Act
World War Adjusted Compensation Act
The World War Adjusted Compensation Act, or Bonus Act, was a United States federal law passed on May 19, 1924, that granted a benefit to veterans of American military service in World War I.-Provisions:...

 in 1924 for payment in 1945. Although offered money by Congress to return home, some members of the "Bonus army
Bonus Army
The Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C., in the spring and summer of 1932 to demand immediate cash-payment redemption of their service certificates...

" 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
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 and helped by lower ranking officers Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 and George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 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 to not 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 campaign

Although Hoover had come to detest the presidency, he agreed to run again in 1932, not only as a matter of pride, but also because he feared that no other likely Republican candidate would deal with the depression without resorting to what Hoover considered dangerously radical measures.

Hoover was nominated by the Republicans for a second term. He had originally planned to make only one or two major speeches, and to leave the rest of the campaigning to proxies, but when polls showed the entire Republican ticket facing a resounding defeat at the polls, Hoover agreed to an expanded schedule of public addresses. In his nine major radio addresses Hoover primarily defended his administration and his philosophy. The apologetic approach did not allow Hoover to refute Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 nominee Franklin Roosevelt's charge that he was personally responsible for the depression.

In his campaigns around the country, Hoover was faced with perhaps the most hostile crowds any sitting president had ever faced. 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
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 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. He lost the election by a huge margin, winning only six out of 48 states.

Hoover suffered a large defeat at the election, obtaining 39.7% of the popular vote to Roosevelt's 57.4%. Hoover's popular vote was reduced by 26% from his result in the 1928 election. In the electoral college he carried only Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, Delaware
Delaware
Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

, and four other Northeast states to lose 59–472. The Democrats also extended their control over the U.S. House and gained control of the U.S. Senate.

After the election, Hoover requested that Roosevelt retain the Gold standard
Gold standard
The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed mass of gold. There are distinct kinds of gold standard...

 as the basis of the US currency, and in effect, continue many of the Hoover Administration's economic policies. Roosevelt refused.

Administration and cabinet

OFFICE NAME TERM
President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

Herbert Hoover 1929–1933
Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President of the United States...

1929–1933
Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

Henry L. Stimson
Henry L. Stimson
Henry Lewis Stimson was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican Party politician and spokesman on foreign policy. He twice served as Secretary of War 1911–1913 under Republican William Howard Taft and 1940–1945, under Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the latter role he was a leading hawk...

1929–1933
Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

Andrew Mellon 1929–1932
  Ogden L. Mills
Ogden L. Mills
Ogden Livingston Mills was an American businessman and politician.-Biography:The son of Ogden Mills and Ruth T. Livingston, he had twin sisters Beatrice Mills and Gladys Livingston Mills. Odgen L. Mills was the grandson of Darius O...

1932–1933
Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

James W. Good 1929
  Patrick J. Hurley
Patrick J. Hurley
Patrick Jay Hurley was an American soldier, statesman, and diplomat....

1929–1933
Attorney General William D. Mitchell
William D. Mitchell
William DeWitt Mitchell was appointed to the position of U.S. Solicitor General by Calvin Coolidge on June 4, 1925, which he held until he was appointed to the position of U.S. Attorney General for the entirety of Herbert Hoover's Presidency.Born in Winona, Minnesota to William B...

1929–1933
Postmaster General Walter F. Brown
Walter Folger Brown
Walter Folger Brown was Postmaster General of the United States from 1929 through 1933 under Herbert Hoover. He was best known for his involvement in the Air Mail scandal...

1929–1933
Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

Charles F. Adams
Charles Francis Adams III
Charles Francis Adams III was the United States Secretary of the Navy under President Herbert Hoover and a well-known yachtsman.-Life:...

1929–1933
Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

Ray L. Wilbur 1929–1933
Secretary of Agriculture
United States Secretary of Agriculture
The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the United States Department of Agriculture. The current secretary is Tom Vilsack, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on 20 January 2009. The position carries similar responsibilities to those of agriculture ministers in other...

Arthur M. Hyde
Arthur M. Hyde
Arthur Mastick Hyde was an American Republican politician who served as the 35th Governor of Missouri and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.-Biography:...

1929–1933
Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

Robert P. Lamont
Robert P. Lamont
Robert Patterson Lamont was United States Secretary of Commerce March 5, 1929 to August 7, 1932 during the administration of Herbert Hoover. He was commerce secretary during difficult times for commerce, as a result of the Great Depression.Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1867, educated at the...

1929–1932
  Roy D. Chapin
Roy D. Chapin
Roy Dikeman Chapin was an American industrialist and automaker. He also served as the United States Secretary of Commerce from August 8, 1932, to March 3, 1933, in the last months of the administration of President Herbert Hoover.Chapin was born in 1880 in Lansing, Michigan, and attended the...

1932–1933
Secretary of Labor
United States Secretary of Labor
The United States Secretary of Labor is the head of the Department of Labor who exercises control over the department and enforces and suggests laws involving unions, the workplace, and all other issues involving any form of business-person controversies....

James J. Davis
James J. Davis
James John Davis was an American steel worker and Republican Party politician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served as U.S. Secretary of Labor and represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate...

1929–1930
  William N. Doak
William N. Doak
William Nuckles Doak was an American labor leader who served as United States Secretary of Labor from December 9, 1930, to March 4, 1933, under Herbert Hoover....

1930–1933


Supreme Court appointments

Hoover appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

:
  • Charles Evans Hughes
    Charles Evans Hughes
    Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican politician from New York. He served as the 36th Governor of New York , Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States , United States Secretary of State , a judge on the Court of International Justice , and...

     (Chief Justice
    Chief Justice of the United States
    The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

    ): 1930
  • Owen Josephus Roberts
    Owen Josephus Roberts
    Owen Josephus Roberts was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court for fifteen years. He also led the fact-finding commission that investigated the attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time of World War II, he was the only Republican appointed Judge on the Supreme Court of the United...

    : 1930
  • Benjamin Nathan Cardozo
    Benjamin N. Cardozo
    Benjamin Nathan Cardozo was a well-known American lawyer and associate Supreme Court Justice. Cardozo is remembered for his significant influence on the development of American common law in the 20th century, in addition to his modesty, philosophy, and vivid prose style...

    : 1932


Hoover broke party lines to appoint the Democrat Cardozo. He explained that he "was one of the ancient believers that the Supreme Court should have a strong minority of the opposition's party and that all appointments should be made from experienced jurists. When the vacancy came... [Hoover] canvassed all the possible Democratic jurists and immediately concluded that Justice Cardozo was the right man and appointed him."

Post-presidency

Hoover departed from Washington in March 1933 with some bitterness, disappointed both that he had been repudiated by the voters and unappreciated for his best efforts. The Hoovers went first to New York City, where they stayed for a while in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
The Waldorf-Astoria is a luxury hotel in New York. It has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York City. The first, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, was on the Fifth Avenue site of the Empire State Building. The present building at 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan is a...

. Later that spring, the Hoovers returned to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 to live at their home in Palo Alto. Hoover enjoyed the return to the men's clubs he had long been involved with, including the Bohemian Club
Bohemian Club
The Bohemian Club is a private men's club in San Francisco, California, United States.Its clubhouse is located at 624 Taylor Street in San Francisco...

, the Pacific-Union Club
Pacific-Union Club
The Pacific-Union Club is a private social club located at 1000 California Street in San Francisco, California, at the top of Nob Hill. It was founded in 1889 as a merger of two earlier clubs: the Pacific Club and the Union Club ....

, and the University Club in San Francisco.

Herbert Hoover liked to get behind the wheel of his car, accompanied only by his wife, or a friend (former Presidents did not get Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 protection until the 1960s), and drive for hundreds or thousands of miles 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.

Although many of his friends and supporters called upon Hoover to speak out against Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

's (FDR) "New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

" and to assume his place as the voice of the "loyal opposition", he refused to do so for many years after leaving the White House, and he largely kept himself out of the public spotlight until late in 1934. However, that did not stop rumors from springing up about him, often fanned by Democratic politicians who found the former President to be a convenient scapegoat
Scapegoat
Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame. Scapegoating may be conducted by individuals against individuals , individuals against groups , groups against individuals , and groups against groups Scapegoating is the practice of singling out any...

. One rumor had it that he had attempted to flee the country in a yacht with $5 million in gold, another that the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

 had arrested him and placed him in protective custody "for his own safety."

The relationship between Hoover and Roosevelt was one of the most severely strained in Presidential history. Hoover had little good to say about his successor. FDR, in turn, supposedly engaged in various petty official acts aimed at his predecessor, ranging from dropping him from the White House birthday greetings message list to having Hoover's name struck from the Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President...

 along the Colorado River
Colorado River
The Colorado River , is a river in the Southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The watershed of the Colorado River covers in parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states...

 border, which would officially be known only as Boulder Dam for many years to come.
In 1936
United States presidential election, 1936
The United States presidential election of 1936 was the most lopsided presidential election in the history of the United States in terms of electoral votes. In terms of the popular vote, it was the third biggest victory since the election of 1820, which was not seriously contested.The election took...

, Hoover entertained hopes of receiving the Republican presidential nomination again, and thus facing Roosevelt in a rematch. However, although he retained strong support among some delegates, there was never much hope of his being selected. He publicly endorsed the nominee, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

 Governor Alf Landon
Alf Landon
Alfred Mossman "Alf" Landon was an American Republican politician, who served as the 26th Governor of Kansas from 1933–1937. He was best known for being the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States, defeated in a landslide by Franklin D...

, although privately he worried that Landon was too willing to accept the New Deal policies. But Hoover might as well have been the nominee, since the Democrats virtually ignored Landon, and they ran against the former President himself, constantly attacking him in speeches and warning that a Landon victory would put Hoover back in the White House as the secret power "behind the throne". Roosevelt won 46 of the 48 states, burying Landon in the Electoral College, and the Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 in Congress in another landslide.

Although Hoover's reputation was at its low point, circumstances began to rehabilitate his name and restore him to prominence. Roosevelt overreached on his Supreme Court packing
Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937
The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, frequently called the court-packing plan, was a legislative initiative proposed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt's purpose was to obtain favorable rulings regarding New Deal legislation that...

 plan, and a further financial recession in 1937 and 1938 tarnished his image of invincibility.

By 1940, Hoover was again being spoken of as the possible nominee of the party. Although he trailed in the polls behind Thomas Dewey
Thomas Dewey
Thomas Edmund Dewey was the 47th Governor of New York . In 1944 and 1948, he was the Republican candidate for President, but lost both times. He led the liberal faction of the Republican Party, in which he fought conservative Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft...

, Arthur Vandenberg, and his own former protege, Robert A. Taft, he still had considerable first-ballot delegate strength, and it was believed that if the convention deadlocked between the leading candidates, the party might turn to him as its compromise. However, the convention nominated the utility company president Wendell Willkie
Wendell Willkie
Wendell Lewis Willkie was a corporate lawyer in the United States and a dark horse who became the Republican Party nominee for the president in 1940. A member of the liberal wing of the GOP, he crusaded against those domestic policies of the New Deal that he thought were inefficient and...

, who had supported Roosevelt in 1932 but turned against him after the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority
Tennessee Valley Authority
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter in May 1933 to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected...

 forced him to sell his company. Hoover dutifully supported Willkie, although he despaired that the nominee endorsed a platform that, to Hoover, was little more than the New Deal in all but name.

The road to war and World War II

Hoover visited 10 European countries in March 1938, the month of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

's Anschluss
Anschluss
The Anschluss , also known as the ', was the occupation and annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany in 1938....

of Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, and stated "I do not believe a widespread war is at all probably in the near future. There is a general realization everywhere ... that civilization as we know it cannot survive another great war." When World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 began in Europe in 1939, Hoover joined with the majority of Americans to declare for neutrality from the conflict. Like many, he initially believed that the European Allies would be able to contain Germany, and that Imperial Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 would not attack American interests in the Pacific.

Unlike Roosevelt's administration, Hoover was a vocal supporter of providing relief to countries in Nazi-occupied Europe. He was instrumental in creating the Commission for Polish Relief
Commission for Polish Relief
The Commission for Polish Relief , also known unofficially as Comporel or Hoover Commission, was initiated in late 1939 by former US President Herbert Hoover, following the German and Soviet occupation of Poland...

 and Finnish Relief Fund.

When the Germans overran France and then had Britain held in a stalemate, many Americans saw Britain as on the verge of collapse. Nonetheless, Hoover declared that it would be folly for the United States to declare war on Germany and to rush to save the United Kingdom. Rather, he held, it was far wiser for this nation to devote itself to building up its own defenses, and to wash its hands of the mess in Europe. He called for a "Fortress America" concept, in which the United States, protected on the East and on the West by vast oceans patrolled by its Navy and its Air Corps (the USAAF), could adequately repel any attack on the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

. Hoover publicly opposed Roosevelt's peacetime draft of men
Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War...

, the Lend-Lease Program
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...

, and the "shoot on sight" command that FDR gave the U.S. Navy should it cross paths with any German U-boats in the shipping lanes between the United States and the UK, viewing them all as threats to America's official neutrality.

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:
When the United States entered the war following the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

, Hoover swept aside all feelings of neutrality and called for total victory. He offered himself to the government in any capacity necessary, but the Roosevelt Administration did not call upon him to serve.

Post–World War II

Because of Hoover's previous experience with Germany at the end of World War I, in 1946 President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 selected the former president to tour Germany to ascertain the food status of the occupied nation. Hoover toured what was to become West Germany in Hermann Göring
Hermann Göring
Hermann Wilhelm Göring, was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party. He was a veteran of World War I as an ace fighter pilot, and a recipient of the coveted Pour le Mérite, also known as "The Blue Max"...

's old train coach and produced a number of reports
The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria
The President's Economic Mission to Germany and Austria was a series of reports commissioned by US President Harry S. Truman and written by former US President Herbert Hoover....

 critical of U.S. occupation policy. The economy of Germany had "sunk to the lowest level in a hundred years." He stated in one report:
As the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 approached and deepened, Hoover expressed reservations about some of the activities of the American Friends Service Committee
American Friends Service Committee
The American Friends Service Committee is a Religious Society of Friends affiliated organization which works for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world...

, which he previously had strongly supported.

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 3.5 million children aged six through 18. A total of 40,000 tons of American food was provided during the Hooverspeisung (Hoover meals).

In 1947, President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 appointed Hoover to a commission
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

, which elected him chairman, to reorganize the executive departments. This became known as the Hoover Commission
Hoover Commission
The Hoover Commission, officially named the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, was a body appointed by President Harry S. Truman in 1947 to recommend administrative changes in the Federal Government of the United States...

. He was appointed chairman of a similar commission by President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 in 1953. Both found numerous inefficiencies and ways to reduce waste, but Hoover was disappointed that the government did not enact most of the recommendations that the commissions had made.

In 1949, the New York State Governor Thomas E. Dewey offered Hoover a seat in the U.S. Senate, to fulfill an unexpired term, but Hoover declined it.

Following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Hoover became friends with President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

. Hoover joked that they were for many years the sole members of the "trade union" of former Presidents (since Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

 and Roosevelt were dead already).

Throughout the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, Hoover, always an opponent of Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, became even more outspokenly anti-Communist. However, he vehemently opposed American involvement in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, saying that "'To commit the sparse ground forces of the non-communist nations into a land war against this communist land mass [in Asia] would be a war without victory, a war without a successful political terminal . . . that would be the graveyard of millions of American boys and the exhaustion of the United States."

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
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, 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.

In 1960, he appeared at his final Republican National Convention. Since the 1948 convention, he had been feted as the guest of "farewell" ceremonies (the unspoken assumption being that the aging former President might not survive until the next 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. The Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

 acknowledged Hoover's absence in his acceptance speech.

Hoover died following massive internal bleeding at the age of 90 in New York City at 11:35 am on October 20, 1964, 31 years and seven months after leaving office. To date, he has the longest retirement of any President. Former President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 will surpass the length of Hoover's retirement on August 21, 2012. At the time of his death he was the second longest-lived president after John Adams
John Adams
John Adams was an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States...

; both were since surpassed by Gerald Ford
Gerald Ford
Gerald Rudolph "Jerry" Ford, Jr. was the 38th President of the United States, serving from 1974 to 1977, and the 40th Vice President of the United States serving from 1973 to 1974...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

. He had outlived by 20 years his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, who had died in 1944, and he was the last living member of the Coolidge administration. He also outlived both Franklin
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 and Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international...

 who died in 1945 and 1962, respectively. By the time of his death, he had rehabilitated his image. His birthplace in Iowa, as well as a home he lived in as a child in Oregon, became National Landmarks during his lifetime. His Rapidan fishing camp
Rapidan Camp
Rapidan Camp in Shenandoah National Park in Madison County, Virginia, was built by U.S. President Herbert Hoover and his wife Lou Henry Hoover, and served as their rustic retreat throughout Hoover's administration from 1929 to 1933...

 in Virginia, which he had donated to the government in 1933, is now a National Historic Landmark within the Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east...

. Hoover and his wife are buried at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is the Presidential library of Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States. 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...

 in West Branch, Iowa
West Branch, Iowa
West Branch is a city in Cedar and Johnson counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 2,342 as of July 2009, a 7% growth since the 2000 census...

. Hoover was honored with a state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

, the last of three in a span of 12 months, coming as it did just after the deaths of President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

, former Chaplain of the Senate Frederick Brown Harris
Frederick Brown Harris
Frederick Brown Harris , a Methodist clergyman has the distinction of the longest service record as Chaplain of the Senate , in a term of service interrupted by the chaplaincy of Peter Marshall.- Early life :...

 officiated. All three have two things in common: the commanding general of the Military District of Washington during those funerals was Army Major General Philip C. Wehle
Philip C. Wehle
Philip Campbell Wehle was a Major General in the U.S. Army and the Commanding General of the Military District of Washington from 1962 to 1965....

 and the riderless horse
Riderless horse
A riderless horse or caparisoned horse is a single horse, without a rider, and with boots reversed in the stirrups, which sometimes accompanies a funeral procession...

 was Black Jack, who also served in that role during Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

's funeral.

Heritage and memorials

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is located in West Branch, Iowa
West Branch, Iowa
West Branch is a city in Cedar and Johnson counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 2,342 as of July 2009, a 7% growth since the 2000 census...

 next to the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. The library is one of twelve presidential libraries run by the National Archives and Records Administration
National Archives and Records Administration
The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent agency of the United States government charged with preserving and documenting government and historical records and with increasing public access to those documents, which comprise the National Archives...

. The Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House
Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House
The Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House, located on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA, is the former house of Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States, and his wife Lou Henry Hoover, who designed it...

, built in 1919 in Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto, California
Palo Alto is a California charter city located in the northwest corner of Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, United States. The city shares its borders with East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Stanford, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. It is...

, is now the official residence of the president of Stanford University
Stanford University
The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

, and a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

. Hoover's rustic rural presidential retreat, Rapidan Camp (also known as Camp Hoover) in the Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east...

, Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, has recently been restored and opened to the public. The Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President...

 was also named in his honor, as are five Herbert Hoover High Schools.

On December 10, 2008, Hoover's great-granddaughter Margaret Hoover
Margaret Hoover
Margaret Claire Hoover is an American political commentator, political strategist, and blogger. She is a great-granddaughter of former President Herbert Hoover...

 and Senate of Puerto Rico
Senate of Puerto Rico
The Senate of Puerto Rico is the upper house of the Legislative Assembly of Puerto Rico, the territorial legislature of Puerto Rico. The Senate is composed of 27 senators, representing eight constituent senatorial districts across the commonwealth, with two senators elected per district; an...

 President Kenneth McClintock
Kenneth McClintock
Kenneth D. McClintock-Hernández is the current Secretary of State of Puerto Rico. Mr. McClintock served as co-chair of Hillary Clinton presidential campaign's National Hispanic Leadership Council in 2008, co-chaired Clinton's successful Puerto Rico primary campaign that year and served as the...

 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
All in the Family
All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, a new show, Archie Bunker's Place, picked up where All in the Family had ended...

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
Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

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

The Polish capital of Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 also has a square named after Hoover alongside the Royal Route leading to the Old Town.

George Burroughs Torrey
George Burroughs Torrey
George Burroughs Torrey was an American painter, best known for his portraits. He has been called the "painter of presidents", because he painted portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, and Herbert Hoover.- Biography :...

 painted a portrait of him.

Media

Biographies

  • Best, Gary Dean. The Politics of American Individualism: Herbert Hoover in Transition, 1918–1921 (1975)
  • Bornet, Vaughn Davis, An Uncommon President. In: Herbert Hoover Reassessed. (1981), pp. 71–88.
  • Burner, David. Herbert Hoover: A Public Life. (1979). one-volume scholarly biography.
  • Clements, Kendrick A. The Life of Herbert Hoover: Imperfect Visionary, 1918–1928 (2010), 507pp scholarly biography. ISBN 978-0-230-10308-5
  • 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). A major reinterpretation.
  • Hawley, Ellis. Herbert Hoover and the Historians (1989).
  • Hoff-Wilson, Joan. Herbert Hoover: Forgotten Progressive. (1975). short biography
  • Leuchtenburg, William E. Herbert Hoover. (2009). American Presidents Series
  • 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), the definitive scholarly biography.
    • The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Humanitarian, 1914–1917 (1988), vol. 2.
    • The Life of Herbert Hoover: Master of Emergencies, 1917–1918 (1996), vol. 3
  • Nash, Lee, ed. Understanding Herbert Hoover: Ten Perspectives (1987).
  • Smith, Gene. The Shattered Dream: Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression (1970).
  • Smith, Richard Norton. An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, (1987) full-length scholarly biography.
  • 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). ISBN 0-8117-0099-2.

Scholarly studies

  • Extensive annotated bibliography at the University of Virginia
    University of Virginia
    The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

     Miller Center of Public Affairs
    Miller Center of Public Affairs
    The Miller Center of Public Affairs is a non-partisan research institute that is part of the University of Virginia.Founded in 1975, the Miller Center is a leading public policy institution that serves as a national meeting place where engaged citizens, scholars, students, media representatives and...

    .
  • 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.
  • Carcasson, Martin. "Herbert Hoover and the Presidential Campaign of 1932: the Failure of Apologia" Presidential Studies Quarterly 1998 28(2): 349–365.
  • 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. The Presidency of Herbert C. Hoover. (1985) standard scholarly overview.
  • Fausold Martin L. and George Mazuzan, eds. The Hoover Presidency: A Reappraisal (1974).
  • Ferrell, Robert H. American Diplomacy in the Great Depression: Hoover–Stimson Foreign Policy, 1929–1933. (1957).
  • 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).
  • Hart, David M. "Herbert Hoover's Last Laugh: the Enduring Significance of the 'Associative State' in the United States". Journal of Policy History 1998 10(4): 419–444.
  • 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.
  • 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
    Robert Sobel
    Robert Sobel was an American professor of history at Hofstra University, and a well-known and prolific writer of business histories.- Biography :...

     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

  • Myers, William Starr and 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 and Lou Henry Hoover, trans., De Re Metallica, by Agricola, G., London: The Mining Magazine, 1912
  • Hoover, Herbert C. The Challenge to Liberty, 1934
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Addresses Upon The American Road, 1933–1938, 1938
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Addresses Upon The American Road, 1940–41, (1941)
  • Hoover, Herbert C. The Problems of Lasting Peace, with Hugh Gibson, 1942
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Addresses Upon The American Road, 1945–48, (1949)
  • Hoover, Herbert C. Memoirs. New York, 1951–52. 3 vol; v. 1. Years of adventure, 1874–1920; v. 2. The Cabinet and the Presidency, 1920–1933; v. 3. The Great Depression, 1929–1941.
  • Dwight M. Miller and Timothy Walch, eds; Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Documentary History. Greenwood Press. 1998.

External links


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