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Iowa History Daily: November 6 - Hoover Wins the White House

Iowa History Daily: On November 6, 1928, Iowan Herbert Hoover was elected President of the United States. The first man born west of the Mississippi River to hold America’s highest office, Hoover’s presidency would falter and fail as the Great Depression dominated his time as president.

Born to Jesse and Hulda Hoover, Herbert spent six years of childhood in late-19th century Iowa. Tragedy struck when his blacksmith father suffered a heart-attack in 1880, and again when his mother died of pneumonia in 1883. The orphaned Hoover went west to spend the rest of his youth with his Oregonian aunt and uncle. An inaugural member of Stanford University (as well as a member of the school’s first baseball and football teams), Hoover pursued a degree in geology before finding his way to the mines. Truly starting at the bottom, Hoover worked his way up to become an exceptional mining engineer and businessman.

With over $4 million in the bank by 1900, Hoover lived his Quaker beliefs of public service while serving as the head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium during World War I, as Woodrow Wilson’s U.S. Food Administrator, as head of the American Relief Administration, and as Secretary of Commerce under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

Nominated to run for President in 1928, Hoover rode to the White House on 21 million popular votes and a massive 444-87 electoral majority. However, only a year later the stock market crashed in October of 1929 forever tainting Hoover’s presidential legacy. Viewed as doing too little to offset the Depression, Hoover ultimately left the White House after only a single term. Today, Hoover rests beside his wife Lou Henry (of Waterloo, Iowa) on the grounds of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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