Herbert Clark Hoover was born on August 10, 1874, the son of Jesse Hoover, a blacksmith, and Hulda Minthorn Hoover, a seamstress and recorded minister in the Society of Friends (Quakers). Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa, where he enjoyed fishing in the local creek and working in his father’s blacksmith shop.
He lived in Iowa only for the first decade of his life. Orphaned at the age of nine, he began an odyssey that would make him a multi-millionaire, international humanitarian, secretary of commerce, and 31st president of the United States.
-from the Hoover Library
The 1952 Republican National Convention was held at the Chicago Amphitheater from July 7-11. It was the first political convention broadcast live by television with special studio facilities provided for all the major networks.
In addition to being the first live telecast, the GOP convention was the debut event for a new device still used by politicians today, the “TelePrompTer. “ Former president, Herbert Hoover, was the first person to use this device at the RNC on July 8, 1952.
-from the Hoover Library
July 3, 1930: The Veterans Administration is Created
On this day in 1930, Congress passed a bill that created the Veterans Administration. Congress authorized the president to “consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans” in an executive order. The bill known as Executive Order 5398 was later signed into law by President Herbert Hoover on July 21, 1930. Since its creation, the VA has been responsible for providing federal benefits to veterans and their dependents.
Visit the National Salute to Veterans site to explore ways to support today’s veterans.
Photo: President Herbert Hoover, General Hines and staff, following the signing of Executive Order creating the Veterans Administration July 21, 1930 (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs).
Two Parties, Two Presidents, One Friendship
During Truman’s Presidency, Herbert Hoover offered his services to help with post–World War II humanitarian efforts. Despite being Presidents from opposing parties, the two forged a working relationship that eventually grew into friendship.
At the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum dedication in 1957, Herbert Hoover delivered remarks and stood next to Truman.
Five years later, on Hoover’s 88th birthday, the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum was dedicated. Once again, the two former Presidents, now good friends, stood side by side.
Former Presidents Harry S. Truman and Herbert Hoover move through the crowds of people attending the dedication of the new Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. 8/10/62.
The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum dedication. Truman stands fourth from the left, and Herbert Hoover stands third from the left. 7/6/57.
-from the Truman and Hoover Libraries
My Tuesdays are meatless,
My Wednesdays are wheatless,
I’m getting more eatless each day.
My home — it is heatless,
My bed — it is sheetless,
They’re sent to the Y.M.C.A.
The bar rooms are treatless,
The coffee is sweetless,
To-day I grow poorer and wiser.
My stockings are feetless,
My trousers are seatless,
My God! How I do have the kaiser.
This humorous poem about the United States Food Administration is found in the papers of Ben Allen who served as Chief of the Education Division and who worked many times over the years with his friend Herbert Hoover.
-from the Hoover Library
“This temple of our history will appropriately be one of the most beautiful buildings in America, an expression of the American soul.”
— Herbert Hoover, February 20, 1933, at the laying of the cornerstone of the National Archives Building. (Photo: 64-NA-136)
“‘Here, Laura and Mary,’ Pa said, and he gave them each a little round package out of his pocket.
They took off the paper wrappings, and each had a little, hard, brown cake, with beautifully crinkled edges.
'Bite it,' said Pa, and his blue eyes twinkled.
Each bit off one little crinkle, and it was sweet. It crumbled in their mouths. It was better even than their Christmas candy.
'Maple sugar,' said Pa.”
-Laura Ingalls Wilder. Little House in the Big Woods. Chapter 7, The Sugar Snow.
Laura Ingalls Wilder was born on this day, February 7, 1867.
The Hoover Presidential Library holds the papers of Rose Wilder Lane, the only child of Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder. Lane was the first biographer of Herbert Hoover which led to a friendship with the 31st president that lasted more than 40 years.
Learn more about Laura and Rose at the Hoover Library.
Happy birthday Laura Ingalls Wilder!
Letter from Helen Keller to Herbert Hoover Regarding His Donation to the American Foundation for Overseas Blind, 12/18/1958
Helen Keller wrote letters to eight U.S. Presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt through Lyndon B. Johnson. You can find more Presidential records featuring Helen Keller here.