Lou Hoover in China
While living in China on June 17, 1900, the Chinese army joined the Boxer Rebellion and attacked the city of Tientsin. The Hoovers and other foreigners found themselves under siege until June 23.
Lou was fearless, writing her friend, “you should have been here, at the most interesting siege and bombardment of the age.”
-from the Hoover Library
"That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything. Our political work has only begun when we have the ballot. And that work should be carried out exactly as our college work is — as any good work which we undertake is — it must be thoughtful, idealistic, clean, effective."
-Lou Henry Hoover, April 10, 1920
Before she was First Lady, Lou Henry Hoover spoke at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. At the time of her speech, the 19th Amendment had been passed by Congress. On August 18, 1920, the amendment was ratified, guaranteeing American women the right to vote.
-from the Hoover Library
It’s Girl Scout Cookie Day, so in honor of this delicious “holiday,” we’re sharing this photo of First Lady Lou Hoover.
Lou was very involved with the Girls Scouts. She was a troop leader and later a board member. Lou received her investiture pin from Girl Scout Founder Juliette Gordon Low in 1917 when she was installed as the Acting Commissioner of the Washington, DC, Girl Scout Council.
In this photo from the Hoover Library, Lou is speaking from the President’s Study in the White House on a special Girl Scouts program. Lois Kuhn (left) and Peggy Starr were also there to talk about what Girls Scouts had done to help the Woman’s Division of the President’s Emergency Committee (March 23, 1931).
For more on Lou Hoover’s adventurous life: http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/?p=8369
-from the National Archives
Lou Henry Hoover’s Report on the Boxer Rebellion
In this letter, Lou Henry Hoover chides college friend Evelyn Wight Allen for her failure to come to China in time for the Boxer Rebellion in June, 1900. The Hoovers — along with 800 European and American citizens — had suffered through a 45 day siege by 30,000 Boxers who had surrounded Tientsin. After an international relief force drove off the Boxers, Mrs. Hoover found time to write an extraordinary letter in which she proudly compared their ordeal with the experiences of Kimberly and Mafeking, two English settlements that had been surrounded for several months during the recent Boer War in South Africa.
Boxer Rebellion observations by future First Lady, Lou Henry Hoover, 08/08/1900
This photograph of future First Lady Lou Henry Hoover on a burro in California in 1891 is just one of the many reasons she is featured as today’s History Crush.Lou Henry Hoover was a scientist, polyglot, author, Girl Scout supporter, and world traveler. She mixed smarts, practicality, and adventure. Apparently Herbert Hoover was charmed “by her whimsical mind, her blue eyes and a broad grinnish smile.”
Read the full blog post to find out why this Girl Scout supporter is the featured History Crush at the Pieces of History blog.
[Image: Lou Henry posing on a burro at Acton, California, 8/22/1891 (Hoover Presidential Library)]
"The independent girl is a person before whose wrath only the most rash dare stand, and, they, it must be confessed, with much fear and trembling."
Does this line call out to your eternally 14-year old heart? It’s from a handwritten essay by future-First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, written shortly before her 15th birthday. “The Independent Girl,” penned on January 31, 1890, reveals Lou’s own vivacious and independent spirit.
In the conclusion, Lou seems to channel the future that awaits her as the partner of 31st President Herbert Hoover. She proclaims that the independent girl will sooner or later “meet a spirit equally as independent as her own…and with combined strength go forth to meet the world.”
Go forth, girls.
Lou Henry Hoover aids Santa in distributing gifts to needy youngsters at the Central Mission party in the Fox Theater. Her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Herbert Hoover, Jr. stands at her side. Washington D.C., December 24, 1931.
Notice something different? Us too, so we asked an archivist at the Hoover Library about the collage-like look of this image. Turns out it was like a proto-Photoshop: newspapers sometimes blacked out the background of an image so it would stand out better in black and white print.
-from the Hoover Library
Thanks to amooseintexas for asking about Mrs. Herbert Hoover, Jr. Her maiden name was Margaret Eva Watson. She met Herbert Jr. while they were both students at Stanford University, and the couple was married in 1925. They had three children together, and many in the Hoover family have since been named after Margaret.
We used the original description for this photo, which is why her full name did not appear in the post. We appreciate the reminder!