Skip to main content

Hoover, Herbert: Another View of His Career

He was elected thirty-first President of the United States in a 1928 landslide, but within a few short months he had become a scapegoat in his own land. Even today, Herbert Hoover remains indelibly linked to an economic crisis that put millions of Americans out of work in the 1930s. His 1932 defeat left Hoover’s once-bright reputation in shambles. But Herbert Hoover refused to fade away. In one of history’s most remarkable comebacks, he returned to public service at the end of World War II to help avert global famine and to reorganize the executive branch of government….By the time of his death in October 1964, Hoover had regained much of the luster once attached to his name. The Quaker theologian who eulogized him at his funeral did not exaggerate when he said of Hoover, “The story is a good one and a great one. . . . It is essentially triumphant.”

Continue Reading »

Hoover, Herbert, 31st U.S. President: 1929-1933 

Before serving as America’s 31st President from 1929 to 1933, Herbert Hoover had achieved international success as a mining engineer and worldwide gratitude as “The Great Humanitarian” who fed war-torn Europe during and after World War I. Son of a Quaker blacksmith, Herbert Clark Hoover brought to the Presidency an unparalleled reputation for public service as an engineer, administrator, and humanitarian.

Continue Reading »

That Work-Relief Bill

Article by Lester B. Granger, Executive Director, Los Angeles Chapter National Urban League. “Dismay is the first reaction which thoughtful Negroes will register toward this program-not so much because of what it plans, but because of what it fails to plan”

Continue Reading »

AFSC and the Mountaineer’s Craftsmen Cooperative Association

In 1932, Herbert Hoover asked the AFSC if it would take money left over from the American Relief Administration Children’s Fund and start a feeding program in the mining districts once again. The Service Committee agreed to do this, but it soon became apparent to those carrying out the project that more than just feeding needed to be done. It appeared the mining industry might never fully recover from the economic collapse of the time. Miners were underemployed, if employed at all. Most knew only mining and felt inadequate in attempting any other form of employment. For many reasons miners and their families were reluctant to leave the place where they were born and had lived all their lives.

Continue Reading »

“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” – 1932

In the song a beggar talks back to the system that stole his job. Jay Gorney said in an interview in 1974 “I didn’t want a song to depress people. I wanted to write a song to make people think. It isn’t a hand-me-out song of ‘give me a dime, I’m starving, I’m bitter’, it wasn’t that kind of sentimentality”. The song asks why the men who built the nation – built the railroads, built the skyscrapers – who fought in the war, who tilled the earth, who did what their nation asked of them should, now that the work is done and their labor no longer necessary, find themselves abandoned and in bread lines.

Continue Reading »

Disaster Relief Experiences of the American Red Cross

Everywhere emergency care was promptly and effectively given. At Pittsburgh the Chapter performed an admirable service of caring for sixty thousand refugees – feeding, sheltering, clothing and giving medical and nursing attention at over 150 centers. At Greensboro, North Carolina, one of the many recorded acts of unselfishness and devotion to duty by a Chapter officer was reported when the Chairman of the disaster committee hardly paused at his own tornado-wrecked business to take charge of Red Cross relief at great personal sacrifice. At Gainesville, Georgia, so completely devastated by the storm, the Atlanta and other nearby Chapters virtually took charge of emergency aid. At Wilkes-Barre, as at many other points, the Chapter gave a wonderful service of rescue to thousands from flooded homes without a single casualty – aided by the courageous and skilled men of the U.S. Coast Guard to whom my hat is always off in tribute for an endless procession of service of rescue. And so it went in Chapter after Chapter.

Continue Reading »

Bondy Appointed Director of ARC Disaster Relief 1931

During his period of service, Mr. Bondy has, at different times, represented the Red Cross in liaison with the Veterans’ Bureau, the American Legion, the National Council of Social Work and its constituent agencies, and numerous other organizations. He was Director of Reconstruction in Red Cross relief work following the disastrous flood of 1927, frequently serving as aid to Mr. Herbert Hoover and Vice Chairman Fieser in their joint direction of Mississippi flood relief work. During the past year he directed drouth relief work in the Eastern Area. These experiences, together with his work in connection with numerous lesser relief operations during the past ten years, give him an acquaintance with recent disaster methods and procedures possessed by few Red Cross executives.

Continue Reading »

Economic Security: Traditional Sources

When the English-speaking colonists arrived in the New World they brought with them the ideas and customs they knew in England, including the “Poor Laws.” The first colonial poor laws were fashioned after those of the Poor Law of 1601. They featured local taxation to support the destitute; they discriminated between the “worthy” and the “unworthy” poor; and all relief was a local responsibility. No public institutions for the poor or standardized eligibility criteria would exist for nearly a century. It was up to local town elders to decide who was worthy of support and how that support would be provided. As colonial America grew more complex, diverse and mobile, the localized systems of poor relief were strained. The result was some limited movement to state financing and the creation of almshouses and poorhouses to “contain” the problem. For much of the 18th and 19th centuries most poverty relief was provided in the almshouses and poorhouses. Relief was made as unpleasant as possible in order to “discourage” dependency. Those receiving relief could lose their personal property, the right to vote, the right to move, and in some cases were required to wear a large “P” on their clothing to announce their status.

Continue Reading »

Social Insurance & Social Security Chronology: Part III – 1930s

The following pages present a detailed historical chronology of the development of social insurance, with particular emphasis on Social Security. Items are included in this compilation on the basis of their significance for Social Security generally, their importance as precedents, their value in reflecting trends or issues, or their significance in SSA’s administrative history. The information includes legislative events in Social Security and related programs. Our expectation is that this Chronology can be used as a reference tool and finding aid for important dates and events in Social Security’s long history.

Continue Reading »