Herbert Clark Hoover * 1929-1933
Herbert C. Hoover (1874-1964)
Term of Office: 1929-1933
In 1928, Herbert Hoover, a Republican, won the presidential election. His vice-presidential running mate was Charles Curtis (1860-1936). They defeated the Democratic Party candidate, Alfred E. Smith (1873-1944), and the Socialist candidate, Norman Thomas (1884-1968).
Hoover won the 1928 election in a landside over the Democrat, Al Smith. Smith was a Catholic and, as indicated by the "A Christian in the White House" button, was attacked by many anti-Catholic voters during the campaign. Hoover strongly denounced these attacks on Smith's religion.
In October 1929, the stock market crashed and the nation entered an economic depression. Although Hoover attempted to initiate several relief programs for farmers, businessmen, and the unemployed, he maintained his insistence for a balanced budget and the view that caring for the hungry and homeless should be primarily a local and charitable responsibility. Rightly or wrongly, he became to be seen by many as part of the problem, and not the solution for the "Great Depression." He was soundly defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932.
Among numerous humanitarian and other achievements early in his career, Hoover remains highly regarded for his work as head of the American Relief Administration which fed millions of starving Europeans and Russians following World War I. In his later years Hoover was appointed by several Presidents of both parties to head various commissions. This included his appointment by Harry Truman to chair what became known as the Hoover Commission (1947-1949), which oversaw a major reorganization of the Federal government. Using his administrative skills, Hoover continued to serve the nation admirably in this capacity until his death in 1964.
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United States, 1896-2008