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Herbert Hoover

Birthdate: 10. August 1874
Date of death: 20. October 1964
Other names: Herbert Clark Hoover

Herbert Clark Hoover was an American engineer, businessman and politician who served as the 31st President of the United States from 1929 to 1933 during the Great Depression. A Republican, as Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s he introduced themes of efficiency in the business community and provided government support for standardization, efficiency and international trade. As president from 1929 to 1933, his domestic programs were overshadowed by the onset of the Great Depression. Hoover was defeated in a landslide election in 1932 by Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt. After this loss, Hoover became staunchly conservative, and advocated against Roosevelt's New Deal policies.

A lifelong Quaker, he became a successful mining engineer with a global perspective. He built an international reputation as a humanitarian by leading international relief efforts in Belgium during World War I, 1914-1917. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917 he became "food czar" as head of the U.S. Food Administration with charge of much of the nation's food supply and a massive advertising campaign to help consumers adjust and save. He worked well with President Woodrow Wilson and the cabinet, and gained a large national audience. After the war, he led the American Relief Administration, which provided food to the inhabitants of Central Europe and Eastern Europe. Hoover was popular among progressives as a potential candidate in the 1920 presidential election, but his candidacy quickly petered out. Republican Warren G. Harding won and appointed Hoover as Secretary of Commerce. Hoover was an unusually active and visible cabinet member, becoming known as "Secretary of Commerce and Under-Secretary of all other departments". Hoover won the Republican nomination in 1928, and defeated Democrat Al Smith in a landslide. Hoover avoided the anti-Catholicism that hurt Smith, but in a time of peace and prosperity his success was highly likely.

The Great Depression was the central issue of his presidency, starting with the Wall Street Crash of October 1929. There were occasional upswings but more frequent downswings until the economy verged on disaster in 1931-33, along with that of most of the industrial world. Hoover pursued a variety of policies in an attempt to lift the economy, but opposed direct federal relief efforts until late in his tenure. He asked business and labor leaders to avoid wage cuts and work stoppages, and raised taxes in the hope of balancing the budget. In 1930, he reluctantly approved the Smoot–Hawley Tariff, which sent foreign trade spiraling down. The economy kept falling, and the unemployment rate rose to 25%, with heavy industry, mining, and wheat and cotton farming hit especially hard. In 1932, Hoover signed a major public works bill and established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, which was designed to provide government loans to banks, railroads and big businesses in danger of failing. The downward economic spiral, along with violent dispersal of the Bonus Army, set the stage for Hoover's overwhelming defeat by Roosevelt, who promised a New Deal.

Hoover became a conservative spokesman in opposition to the domestic and foreign policies of Roosevelt. He opposed entry into the Second World War and was not called on to serve in any public role during the war. He had better relations with President Harry S. Truman, and Hoover helped produce a number of reports that changed U.S. occupation policy in Germany. Truman also appointed Hoover to head the Hoover Commission, intended to foster greater efficiency throughout the federal bureaucracy, and Hoover served on a similar commission under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. By the time of his death in 1964, he had rehabilitated his image. Nevertheless, Hoover is generally not ranked highly in historical rankings of presidents of the United States.

„Bureaucracy is ever desirous of spreading its influence and its power. You cannot extend the mastery of the government over the daily working life of a people without at the same time making it the master of the people's souls and thoughts.“

—  Herbert Hoover

Campaign speech in New York (22 October 1928)
Context: Bureaucracy is ever desirous of spreading its influence and its power. You cannot extend the mastery of the government over the daily working life of a people without at the same time making it the master of the people's souls and thoughts. Every expansion of government in business means that government in order to protect itself from the political consequences of its errors and wrongs is driven irresistibly without peace to greater and greater control of the nation's press and platform. Free speech does not live many hours after free industry and free commerce die.

„We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and [sic] we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this Nation.“

—  Herbert Hoover

Speech accepting the Republican Party Presidential nomination, Stanford University (11 August 1928)
Context: One of the oldest and perhaps the noblest of human aspirations has been the abolition of poverty. By poverty I mean the grinding by undernourishment, cold and ignorance and fear of old age of those who have the will to work. We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poorhouse is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and [sic] we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this Nation. There is no guarantee against poverty equal to a job for every man. That is the primary purpose of the economic policies we advocate.

„Some may ask where all this may lead beyond mere material progress. It leads to a release of the energies of men and women from the dull drudgery of life to a wider vision and a higher hope. It leads to the opportunity for greater and greater service, not alone from man in our own land, but from our country to the whole world. It leads to an America, healthy in body, healthy in spirit, unfettered, youthful, eager — with a vision searching beyond the farthest horizons, with an open mind, sympathetic and generous.“

—  Herbert Hoover

Campaign speech in New York (22 October 1928)
Context: My conception of America is a land where men and women may walk in ordered freedom in the independent conduct of their occupations; where they may enjoy the advantages of wealth, not concentrated in the hands of the few but spread through the lives of all; where they build and safeguard their homes, and give to their children the fullest advantages and opportunities of American life; where every man shall be respected in the faith that his conscience and his heart direct him to follow; where a contented and happy people, secure in their liberties, free from poverty and fear, shall have the leisure and impulse to seek a fuller life.
Some may ask where all this may lead beyond mere material progress. It leads to a release of the energies of men and women from the dull drudgery of life to a wider vision and a higher hope. It leads to the opportunity for greater and greater service, not alone from man in our own land, but from our country to the whole world. It leads to an America, healthy in body, healthy in spirit, unfettered, youthful, eager — with a vision searching beyond the farthest horizons, with an open mind, sympathetic and generous.

„Older men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die.“

—  Herbert Hoover

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

„You convey too great a compliment when you say that I have earned the right to the presidential nomination. No man can establish such an obligation upon any part of the American people. My country owes me no debt. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor.“

—  Herbert Hoover

Letter to Senator George H. Moses, chairman of the Republican national convention, upon learning of his nomination for president (14 June 1928); reported in The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover (1952), volume 2, p. 195.
Context: You convey too great a compliment when you say that I have earned the right to the presidential nomination. No man can establish such an obligation upon any part of the American people. My country owes me no debt. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. My whole life has taught me what America means. I am indebted to my country beyond any human power to repay.

„The slogan of progress is changing from the full dinner pail to the full garage. Our people have more to eat, better things to wear, and better homes.“

—  Herbert Hoover

Campaign speech in New York (22 October 1928)
Context: Our people are steadily increasing their spending for higher standards of living. Today there are almost nine automobiles for each ten families, where seven and one-half years ago only enough automobiles were running to average less than four for each ten families. The slogan of progress is changing from the full dinner pail to the full garage. Our people have more to eat, better things to wear, and better homes.

„Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of 'emergency.'“

—  Herbert Hoover

It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And 'emergency' became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains... The invasion of New Deal Collectivism was introduced by this same Trojan horse.

p. 357

„American life is builded, and can alone survive, upon . . . [the] fundamental philosophy announced by the Savior nineteen centuries ago.“

—  Herbert Hoover

“Radio Address to the Nation on Unemployment Relief,” American Presidency Project, October 18, 1931

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

—  Herbert Hoover

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

„Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party.“

—  Herbert Hoover

Quoted in Christian Science Monitor (21 May 1964)

„In its broad aspects, the proper feeding of children revolves around a public recognition of the interdependence of the human animal upon his cattle. The white race cannot survive without dairy products.“

—  Herbert Hoover

Vol. 1, Issue 1, June 1922. http://books.google.com/books?id=KPlIAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=%E2%80%9CIn+its+broad+aspects,+the+proper+feeding+of+children+revolves+around+a+public+recognition+of+the+interdependence+of+the+human+animal+upon+his+cattle.+The+white+race+cannot+survive+without+dairy+products.%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=MBJ6brhswK&sig=XePoKH5MnYp4pf1YwByblt2eu0M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=EnxsUrubK8nLkQeos4HIAQ&ved=0CEcQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9CIn%20its%20broad%20aspects%2C%20the%20proper%20feeding%20of%20children%20revolves%20around%20a%20public%20recognition%20of%20the%20interdependence%20of%20the%20human%20animal%20upon%20his%20cattle.%20The%20white%20race%20cannot%20survive%20without%20dairy%20products.%E2%80%9D&f=false
The Dairy World (1922)

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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