Sunday, November 13, 2011
The cottage that Hoover (1874 to 1964 living to be 90) was born in to Quaker parents is on the grounds and I really enjoyed the fine museum that illustrated a mostly very successful life. Herbert Hoover claimed to be the first student at Stanford graduating in Geology in 1895 it was there that he met his wife Lou who also graduated in Geology. At 24 his company sent him to Western Australia where he found gold deposits he persuaded them to buy for a mil and they mined 60 mil in gold. He and Lou went to China and then back to Australia (when President, Herbert and Lou would converse in Mandarin Chinese when they wanted their conversation to be private). During and after WW I Herbert Hoover did suberb work with humanitarian food efforts and then was Secretary of Commerce under Harding and Coolidge (March, 1921 to August, 1928) where he did much to cut waste in business and industry such that many consider him to be the best ever Sec. of Commerce. The prosperity and feel good era of the 20's won him the Presidency in 1928 and even taking much of the "Solid South" as Al Smith was derided as a Papist and a "Wet" being against Prohibition. His Vice President was Charles Curtis (1860-1936) former Senate Majority Leader from Kansas who was three-eighths Indian, growing up on a Reservation with his maternal grandparents (sort of like Barry) he arose from humble origins to great prominence (only in America). Within 8 months of his Inauguration the Great Depression began and Hoover's efforts (Smoot-Hawley, etc.) to combat it were ineffectual. Everything that Herbert Hoover did in his life was superb until he became President. Herbert and Lou Hoover's graves are way out back and when I went to view them (I always say a few prayers) there was an educated-looking young guy trimming the grass and I ventured to say that it was sort of like the Peter Principle where you advance until you can't do it anymore and he agreed, looking back maybe I shouldn't have been discussing this at their gravesite.