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Herbert Hoover
41st President of the United States
31st under the US Constitution
 

 

 Herbert Hoover analyzes 5 periods in the development of the history of the Depression - Transmittal Letter

Following a conversation with Senator Simeon Fess on 2/20/33, Herbert Hoover wrote Fess to record his analysis of key events and developments during the first five periods of Depression. Hoover's letter was written during the darkest days of his administration. The banking crisis of 1933 was entering its worst phase and Hoover was trying to reach an understanding with Roosevelt that would prevent a total collapse of the nation's banking system. Hoover also wrote a short letter to transmit his four page analysis in which he cautioned Fess that his letter "should not be communicated to anyone in the present time as it would only increase the conflagration." - Courtesy of: National Archives and Records Administration

 

HERBERT CLARK HOOVER was born on August 1, 1874 in West Branch, Iowa, the second of three children of devote Quakers. His father, Jesse Clark Hoover was the village blacksmith, and his mother was Huldah Randall Minthorn. When young Hoover was only six years old, his father died of typhoid fever and less than three years later, his mother died of pneumonia. In 1884, the children moved to Newberg, Oregon to live with their mother’s brother, Henry John Minthorn, a country doctor who had a strong interest in education. In Newberg, Hoover worked on a farm and he attended a Quaker academy that his uncle helped direct.

In 1888, young Hoover worked as an office boy in a land settlement office in nearby Salem and he studied mathematics attending night school. His professor of mathematics, Joseph Swain, helped him gain admittance to the new Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto, California. A coincidental meeting with an engineer in Salem resulted in his resolve to study engineering, and he was admitted in 1891 to Stanford’s first class. He worked his way through college, typing, doing laundry and working as a secretary for a geology professor. During his senior year, he met a young geology student from Iowa, Lou Henry, who would later become his wife. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering in May 1895.

After graduation, Hoover worked in gold mining in California and Colorado. He then joined the staff of a leading mining engineer in San Francisco, who recommended him to the London mining firm of Bewick, Moreing and Company, in 1897. Hoover introduced California mining methods to the company’s Western Australia operations. While in Australia, Hoover suggested the company purchase an extremely productive gold mine, and he was rewarded with a substantial increase in salary. He turned to the administrative side of the business, working with the government and bargaining with labor. A year later, the company offered him a position as chief engineer of the Chinese Engineering and Mining Company. Hoover accepted, but returned to Monterey, California, where on February 10, 1899, he married Lou Henry. They would eventually have two sons: Herbert Clark Hoover (1903 – 1969) and Allan Henry Hoover (1907 – 1993).

The couple arrived in Peking in March 1899. During the Boxer Rebellion in June and July of 1900, the Hoovers risked their lives transporting food and medical supplies to the besieged foreigners, walled up in the city. Later that year, they returned to London, where Hoover was given a one-fifth interest in Bewick, Moreing and Company, which had mines in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Nevada. They had gold, silver, tin, copper, coal and lead mines, and they also owned a turquoise mine in Egypt. Hoover became a well-known consulting engineer and by 1914 he was managing director or chief consulting engineer in a score of mining companies. By the age of 34, he had acquired worldwide recognition in his profession, as well as interests and chairmanships in a number of mining companies. He organized a firm of consulting engineers that also had worldwide interests and his travels did not stop. He published books on metals and mining engineering and gave lectures at Stanford and Columbia universities.

When World War I began, Hoover was asked to organize and direct an American Relief Committee, aiding stranded and penniless Americans in Europe. Hoover became a public figure and was appointed as head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, bringing him world fame. When the United States entered the War in April 1917, President Wilson appointed Hoover the U.S. food administrator, working to increase food production, reduce consumption, eliminate waste, stabilize prices and improve distribution. After the War ended, Hoover returned to Europe and established the American Relief Administration, to assist in the economic restoration and the feeding millions of diseased and undernourished children.

Returning to the United States in September 1919, Hoover’s friends launched a campaign to give him the nomination for president. He did not get the nomination, but the new Republican President, Warren G. Harding, offered Hoover the position as Secretary of Commerce, which he accepted and continued to hold under Harding’s successor, Coolidge. As head of the Department of Commerce, Hoover strengthened and expanded its activities, especially into federal regulation of the new technologies of radio broadcasting and commercial aviation.

When President Calvin Coolidge withdrew from the 1928 presidential race, the Republican Party nomination was wide open. At the June convention, Hoover was nominated on the first ballot, and named Charles Curtis, the U.S. Senator from Kansas, as candidate for vice president. Aided by the country’s prosperity, plus anti-Catholic sentiment against Democrat Al Smith, Hoover swept to victory. Hoover carried every Northern state except Massachusetts and Rhode Island with 444 electoral votes to Smith’s 87 and 21,437,277 popular votes to Smith’s 15,007,698.

The country was extraordinarily prosperous when Hoover began his administration, with large Republican majorities in Congress. Early in his administration he attacked the problem of low agriculture prices due to an increase in productivity and the amount of land being farmed. In April 1929, he called a special session of Congress and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929 was enacted, establishing the first large-scale government program to aid the farmer in peacetime.

Seven months into his Presidency, On October 29, 1929, “Black Tuesday”, the stock market crash plunged thousands of businesses and individuals into bankruptcy, ushering in the most extended economic downturn in American history, the Great Depression. At first Hoover felt the financial catastrophe was simply panic and that the economy was sound and would soon return to normal. However, public confidence was not restored and he was forced to propose direct action by the government to defeat the depression. Hoover cut taxes, increased public works and created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to make government loans. But he drew the line at direct loans to individuals, even though more than 12 million Americans were unemployed. Shanty towns of homeless families became known as “Hoovervilles”, and the Democrats regained their majority in the Congressional elections of 1930.

Hoover was defeated before he even ran for reelection, as the Democrats had blamed the Republicans and the president for the depression. Running against Franklin D. Roosevelt, Governor of New York, the Republicans were branded the “Party of hard times”. Roosevelt won the election in November 1932 with 472 electoral votes to Hoover’s 59. The popular vote for Roosevelt was 22,829,501 and Hoover received 15,760,684.

Hoover settled in his Palo Alto, California home after retiring from the presidency. He donated his 20,000 volume Hoover Library on War, Revolution and Peace to Stanford University. He remained active in politics, figuring prominently in the 1940 Republican National Convention. He served in Europe at President Truman’s request after World War II, recommending ways to avert a postwar famine and again in 1947 when he was named chairman of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, which is commonly called the Hoover Commission. He maintained throughout his old age an impressive schedule of writing and public speaking. He wrote The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson (1958) when he was 83, the first book ever written by one president about another whom he had served.

Hoover died on October 20, 1964, at the age of 90. He had survived beyond his term of office longer than any president ever had.

        

 


 

Presidents of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of The United States

Peyton Randolph
September 5, 1774 to October 22, 1774 
and May 20 to May 24, 1775

Henry Middleton
October 22, 1774 to October 26, 1774

John Hancock
October 27, 1775 to July 1, 1776

 

Presidents of the Continental Congress
United States of America

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July 2, 1776 to  October 29, 1777

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November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778

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1st President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
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in Congress Assembled
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John Hanson
3rd President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782

Elias Boudinot
4th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 4, 1782 to November 3, 1783

Thomas Mifflin
5th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
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Richard Henry Lee
6th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
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7th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
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Nathaniel Gorham
8th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
June 1786 - November 13, 1786

Arthur St. Clair
9th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
February 2, 1787 to October 29, 1787

Cyrus Griffin
10th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
January 22, 1788 to March 4, 1789


Presidents of the United States
under the
United States Constitution

 

George Washington (F)

John Adams (F)

Thomas Jefferson (D-R)

James Madison (D-R)

James Monroe (D-R)

John Quincy Adams (D-R)

Andrew Jackson (D)

Martin Van Buren (D)

William H. Harrison (W)

John Tyler (W)

James K. Polk (D)

David Atchison (D)*

Zachary Taylor (W)

Millard Fillmore (W)

Franklin Pierce (D)

James Buchanan (D)

Abraham Lincoln (R)

Jefferson Davis (D)**

Andrew Johnson (R)

Ulysses S. Grant (R)

Rutherford B. Hayes (R)

James A. Garfield (R)

Chester Arthur (R)

Grover Cleveland (D)

Benjamin Harrison (R)

Grover Cleveland (D)

William McKinley (R)

Theodore Roosevelt (R)

William H. Taft (R)

Wilson  Woodrow (D)

Warren G. Harding (R)

Calvin Coolidge (R)

Herbert C. Hoover (R)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)

Harry S. Truman (D)

Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

John F. Kennedy (D)

Lyndon B. Johnson (D)

Richard M. Nixon (R)

 Gerald R. Ford (R)

James Earl Carter, Jr. (D)

Ronald Wilson Reagan (R)

George H. W. Bush (R)

William Jefferson Clinton (D)

George W. Bush (R)


 

*President for One Day

**President Confederate States of America

   

Current Order of Presidential Succession

The Vice President
Speaker of the House
President pro tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Attorney General
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

   

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Presidential Libraries

 

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

McKinley Memorial Library

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum - has research collections containing papers of Herbert Hoover and other 20th century leaders.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum - Repository of the records of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt, managed by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library - preserves and makes available for research the papers, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia of Dwight and Mamie D. Eisenhower

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library

Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum

Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation

Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum

Jimmy Carter Library

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library - 40th President: 1981-1989.

George Bush Presidential Library
 

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Herbert Hoover
41st President of the United States
31st under the US Constitution
 


 

HERBERT CLARK HOOVER was born on August 1, 1874 in West Branch, Iowa, the second of three children of devote Quakers. His father, Jesse Clark Hoover was the village blacksmith, and his mother was Huldah Randall Minthorn. When young Hoover was only six years old, his father died of typhoid fever and less than three years later, his mother died of pneumonia. In 1884, the children moved to Newberg, Oregon to live with their mother’s brother, Henry John Minthorn, a country doctor who had a strong interest in education. In Newberg, Hoover worked on a farm and he attended a Quaker academy that his uncle helped direct.

In 1888, young Hoover worked as an office boy in a land settlement office in nearby Salem and he studied mathematics attending night school. His professor of mathematics, Joseph Swain, helped him gain admittance to the new Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto, California. A coincidental meeting with an engineer in Salem resulted in his resolve to study engineering, and he was admitted in 1891 to Stanford’s first class. He worked his way through college, typing, doing laundry and working as a secretary for a geology professor. During his senior year, he met a young geology student from Iowa, Lou Henry, who would later become his wife. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering in May 1895.

After graduation, Hoover worked in gold mining in California and Colorado. He then joined the staff of a leading mining engineer in San Francisco, who recommended him to the London mining firm of Bewick, Moreing and Company, in 1897. Hoover introduced California mining methods to the company’s Western Australia operations. While in Australia, Hoover suggested the company purchase an extremely productive gold mine, and he was rewarded with a substantial increase in salary. He turned to the administrative side of the business, working with the government and bargaining with labor. A year later, the company offered him a position as chief engineer of the Chinese Engineering and Mining Company. Hoover accepted, but returned to Monterey, California, where on February 10, 1899, he married Lou Henry. They would eventually have two sons: Herbert Clark Hoover (1903 – 1969) and Allan Henry Hoover (1907 – 1993).

The couple arrived in Peking in March 1899. During the Boxer Rebellion in June and July of 1900, the Hoovers risked their lives transporting food and medical supplies to the besieged foreigners, walled up in the city. Later that year, they returned to London, where Hoover was given a one-fifth interest in Bewick, Moreing and Company, which had mines in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Nevada. They had gold, silver, tin, copper, coal and lead mines, and they also owned a turquoise mine in Egypt. Hoover became a well-known consulting engineer and by 1914 he was managing director or chief consulting engineer in a score of mining companies. By the age of 34, he had acquired worldwide recognition in his profession, as well as interests and chairmanships in a number of mining companies. He organized a firm of consulting engineers that also had worldwide interests and his travels did not stop. He published books on metals and mining engineering and gave lectures at Stanford and Columbia universities.

When World War I began, Hoover was asked to organize and direct an American Relief Committee, aiding stranded and penniless Americans in Europe. Hoover became a public figure and was appointed as head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, bringing him world fame. When the United States entered the War in April 1917, President Wilson appointed Hoover the U.S. food administrator, working to increase food production, reduce consumption, eliminate waste, stabilize prices and improve distribution. After the War ended, Hoover returned to Europe and established the American Relief Administration, to assist in the economic restoration and the feeding millions of diseased and undernourished children.

Returning to the United States in September 1919, Hoover’s friends launched a campaign to give him the nomination for president. He did not get the nomination, but the new Republican President, Warren G. Harding, offered Hoover the position as Secretary of Commerce, which he accepted and continued to hold under Harding’s successor, Coolidge. As head of the Department of Commerce, Hoover strengthened and expanded its activities, especially into federal regulation of the new technologies of radio broadcasting and commercial aviation.

When President Calvin Coolidge withdrew from the 1928 presidential race, the Republican Party nomination was wide open. At the June convention, Hoover was nominated on the first ballot, and named Charles Curtis, the U.S. Senator from Kansas, as candidate for vice president. Aided by the country’s prosperity, plus anti-Catholic sentiment against Democrat Al Smith, Hoover swept to victory. Hoover carried every Northern state except Massachusetts and Rhode Island with 444 electoral votes to Smith’s 87 and 21,437,277 popular votes to Smith’s 15,007,698.

The country was extraordinarily prosperous when Hoover began his administration, with large Republican majorities in Congress. Early in his administration he attacked the problem of low agriculture prices due to an increase in productivity and the amount of land being farmed. In April 1929, he called a special session of Congress and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929 was enacted, establishing the first large-scale government program to aid the farmer in peacetime.

Seven months into his Presidency, On October 29, 1929, “Black Tuesday”, the stock market crash plunged thousands of businesses and individuals into bankruptcy, ushering in the most extended economic downturn in American history, the Great Depression. At first Hoover felt the financial catastrophe was simply panic and that the economy was sound and would soon return to normal. However, public confidence was not restored and he was forced to propose direct action by the government to defeat the depression. Hoover cut taxes, increased public works and created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to make government loans. But he drew the line at direct loans to individuals, even though more than 12 million Americans were unemployed. Shanty towns of homeless families became known as “Hoovervilles”, and the Democrats regained their majority in the Congressional elections of 1930.

Hoover was defeated before he even ran for reelection, as the Democrats had blamed the Republicans and the president for the depression. Running against Franklin D. Roosevelt, Governor of New York, the Republicans were branded the “Party of hard times”. Roosevelt won the election in November 1932 with 472 electoral votes to Hoover’s 59. The popular vote for Roosevelt was 22,829,501 and Hoover received 15,760,684.

Hoover settled in his Palo Alto, California home after retiring from the presidency. He donated his 20,000 volume Hoover Library on War, Revolution and Peace to Stanford University. He remained active in politics, figuring prominently in the 1940 Republican National Convention. He served in Europe at President Truman’s request after World War II, recommending ways to avert a postwar famine and again in 1947 when he was named chairman of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, which is commonly called the Hoover Commission. He maintained throughout his old age an impressive schedule of writing and public speaking. He wrote The Ordeal of Woodrow Wilson (1958) when he was 83, the first book ever written by one president about another whom he had served.

Hoover died on October 20, 1964, at the age of 90. He had survived beyond his term of office longer than any president ever had.

        

 


 

Presidents of the Continental Congress
United Colonies of The United States

Peyton Randolph
September 5, 1774 to October 22, 1774 
and May 20 to May 24, 1775

Henry Middleton
October 22, 1774 to October 26, 1774

John Hancock
October 27, 1775 to July 1, 1776

 

Presidents of the Continental Congress
United States of America

John Hancock
July 2, 1776 to  October 29, 1777

Henry Laurens
November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778

John Jay
December 10, 1778 to September 28, 1779

Samuel Huntington
September 28, 1779 to February 28, 1781


Presidents of the United States
in Congress Assembled

Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781

Thomas McKean
2nd President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
July 10, 1781 to November 5, 1781

John Hanson
3rd President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782

Elias Boudinot
4th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 4, 1782 to November 3, 1783

Thomas Mifflin
5th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784

Richard Henry Lee
6th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 30, 1784 to November 23, 1785

John Hancock
7th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786

Nathaniel Gorham
8th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
June 1786 - November 13, 1786

Arthur St. Clair
9th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
February 2, 1787 to October 29, 1787

Cyrus Griffin
10th President of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
January 22, 1788 to March 4, 1789


Presidents of the United States
under the
United States Constitution

 

George Washington (F)

John Adams (F)

Thomas Jefferson (D-R)

James Madison (D-R)

James Monroe (D-R)

John Quincy Adams (D-R)

Andrew Jackson (D)

Martin Van Buren (D)

William H. Harrison (W)

John Tyler (W)

James K. Polk (D)

David Atchison (D)*

Zachary Taylor (W)

Millard Fillmore (W)

Franklin Pierce (D)

James Buchanan (D)

Abraham Lincoln (R)

Jefferson Davis (D)**

Andrew Johnson (R)

Ulysses S. Grant (R)

Rutherford B. Hayes (R)

James A. Garfield (R)

Chester Arthur (R)

Grover Cleveland (D)

Benjamin Harrison (R)

Grover Cleveland (D)

William McKinley (R)

Theodore Roosevelt (R)

William H. Taft (R)

Wilson  Woodrow (D)

Warren G. Harding (R)

Calvin Coolidge (R)

Herbert C. Hoover (R)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)

Harry S. Truman (D)

Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)

John F. Kennedy (D)

Lyndon B. Johnson (D)

Richard M. Nixon (R)

 Gerald R. Ford (R)

James Earl Carter, Jr. (D)

Ronald Wilson Reagan (R)

George H. W. Bush (R)

William Jefferson Clinton (D)

George W. Bush (R)


 

*President for One Day

**President Confederate States of America

   

Current Order of Presidential Succession

The Vice President
Speaker of the House
President pro tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Attorney General
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs

   

Research Links

Virtualology is not affiliated with the authors of these links nor responsible for its content.

 

Presidential Libraries

 

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

McKinley Memorial Library

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum - has research collections containing papers of Herbert Hoover and other 20th century leaders.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum - Repository of the records of President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor Roosevelt, managed by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Harry S. Truman Library & Museum

Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library - preserves and makes available for research the papers, audiovisual materials, and memorabilia of Dwight and Mamie D. Eisenhower

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library

Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum

Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation

Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum

Jimmy Carter Library

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library - 40th President: 1981-1989.

George Bush Presidential Library
 


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