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On this day in 1874, 31st president Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa
August 10, 2023
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On this day in 1874, 31st president Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa. His presidency, running from 1929-to 1933, is best-remembered for taking place during the start of the Great Depression. Hoover favored relief at the local and state levels, instead of direct federal involvement. His Depression policies were unpopular, and his presidential election, an overwhelming victory, was reversed by a landslide defeat in 1932.
Though he was unpopular for his response to the Depression, future presidents (both Democrats and Republicans) recognized his organizational skills. Both Truman and Eisenhower appointed him to commissions in the executive branch.
Did you know? Before the presidency, Hoover was a skilled engineer that worked all around the world. He proved himself a leader in sticky situations overseas, protecting children and fortifying hospitals during the Boxer Rebellion in China and evacuating Americans from Europe as World War I spread through the continent.
He also headed up famine relief after the war, organizing shipments of food to millions of people, including Soviet Russians. When questioned if he was helping the Bolsheviks through these efforts, Hoover responded, “Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed!”
Hoover was the first president born west of the Mississippi River.
Herbert Hoover, Underwood & Underwood, 1928