Scramblin' thru... the U.S. Presidents
"The Great Humanitarian"
"The Great Engineer"
"The Grand Old Man"
Election of 1928
Election of 1932
A Presidential Life in Review
Herbert Hoover, the 31st U.S. President from 1929 to 1933, took office the year the economy plummeted into the Great Depression (1929-1942). Although his predecessors' policies undoubtedly contributed to the crisis, Hoover bore much of the blame in the minds of the American people. As the Depression deepened, Hoover failed to recognize the severity of the situation or use the power of the Federal Government to address it. A mining engineer before entering politics, the Iowa-born President was viewed as insensitive toward the suffering of millions of desperate Americans. As a result, Hoover was soundly defeated in the Election of 1932 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. After leaving office, Hoover emerged as a prominent critic of FDR's "New Deal" and warned about the dangers of giving the Federal Government too much power. When Hoover died in 1964, some historians argued for a more sympathetic appraisal of his Presidency. Source: The History Channel
Click here to learn more about the C-SPAN Survey
Herbert Hoover Fun Facts
Hoover was the first President to be born west of the Mississippi and the only President to be born in Iowa.
During his lifetime, Hoover was given 84 honorary degrees by numerous universities and educational institutions. Additionally, he was awarded 78 medals and given keys to dozens of cities.
Hoover is the only President who has two celestial bodies named after him. "Herberta", an asteroid, was discovered in 1920. "Hooveria", one of numerous minor planets orbiting the sun, was discovered in 1935.
Hoover became an orphan at nine when his mother died in February 1884. (His father had died in December 1880.) Hoover was then raised by relatives in Iowa and Oregon. His experiences lead him to found the American Child Health Association in 1923, an organization dedicated to raising public awareness of child health problems throughout the U.S.
On April 7, 1928, Hoover (who was, at the time, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce under President Coolidge) became the first person to appear on television. He participated in a demonstration transmission that was conducted between Washington, D.C. and New York by Bell Laboratories.
Hoover was the first President to have a telephone on his desk in the Oval Office.
To help Hoover stay fit, White House doctors invented a game called "Hooverball", which was a combination of volleyball and tennis using a weighted medicine ball.
As newlyweds, Hoover and his wife, Lou, lived for almost two years in China while Hoover worked as a mining engineer and executive. In the summer of 1900, they were caught up in the Boxer Rebellion (which was an attempt by Chinese terrorists to kill all foreigners in China) and were besieged for three weeks in the city of Tientsin. During the Hoovers' residence in China, Lou became fairly fluent in Chinese; Herbert less so. In later years, they would occasionally speak Chinese to each other when they didn't want people around them to understand what they were saying.
During their first three years in the White House, the Hoovers dined alone only three times... each time on their wedding anniversary.
There are 53 schools in the U.S., one in Germany, and one in Poland named after Hoover.
Hoover was one of two Presidents who was a Quaker. (Richard Nixon was the other.)
Hoover took office on March 4, 1929 with a display of optimism and the promise of a "New Day". In his inaugural address, he boasted that "in no nation are the fruits of accomplishment more secure" and claimed that "anyone not only can be rich, but ought to be rich." Ironically, on October 29, 1929, the Stock Market crashed, marking the beginning of the Great Depression that dominated the Hoover Presidency and cost him his re-election to FDR.
The Boulder Dam, a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River on the border between Arizona and Nevada, was re-named after Hoover since its construction started during his Presidency. When the name was made official in 1935, it brought a significant amount of controversy. (Man, that whole "Depression" thing really seemed to stick with people...)