How much time do you spend in a museum? Dan and I spent two hours inside the Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum. This was after we spent the morning exploring the National Historic Site.
We wound through the museum in the chronological order of Herbert Hoover’s life. Perhaps it is natural as the amount one reads (at least for me) is inversely proportional to how long one has been in the museum.
Now, it was a fascinating place, and I learned so much. I just started to get tired as we made our way through the rooms related to his presidency and the years after. After all, we had been Herbert Hoovering for five plus hours.
Here, in a nutshell or in other words, Betty’s cliff notes, are the overview points we learned about Herbert Hoover.
- Herbert Hoover was born in 1874. The values of simplicity, honesty, equality, peace and service to others, instilled in him by his Quaker family would remain with him the rest of his life.
- When Herbert was six, his father died. Just three years after that, his mother, Hulda, died. Eventually, he was sent to live with his uncle who ran a school. This let to Herbert Hoover attending Stanford University.
- In college, Herbert Hoover studied geology and met his wife, Lou Henry. She was the only female geology student at the college.
- After college, Herbert was an extremely successful geologist working overseas. This led to him being financially independent for the rest of his life.
- Herbert Hoover became a humanitarian and was well known for his efforts to help those suffering from the effects of WWI.
- Herbert Hoover, still dedicated to public service, became the Secretary of Commerce. He was highly successful in this role.
- His humanitarian efforts and his success as the Secretary of Commerce led to Herbert Hoover being elected as the President of the United States.
- Seven months after being sworn into office as President, the stock market crashed.
- Herbert Hoover served as a one term president. He was not reelected as many placed the blame for the Great Depression on him.
On one wall, near the museum’s entrance, is a mural depicting the chapters in Herbert Hoover’s life. I took pictures of the entire mural and broke it into sections to generally correspond with the points above.
Here are a few more pictures I’d like to share:
Helping War Victims
The Statue of Isis, Egyptian goddess of life, symbolized Herbert Hoover’s humanitarian efforts. Belgians gave Hoover the bronze statue to thank him for his help in staving off famine in their country in World War I. Hoover, a wealthy mining engineer, had given up his career to organize, without pay, a war relief organization. He persuaded German invaders and British blockaders to allow shipments of food that fed millions of people in Belgium and northern France. After the war Hoover directed relief efforts across Europe. He devoted the rest of his life to public service.Herbert Hoover National Historic Site
Herbert Hoover’s wife died in 1944. After she died, Herbert Hoover donated their home in Palo Alto, California to Stanford University. The Hoovers also had a second home, an apartment in the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Herbert Hoover moved to that apartment and lived there 20 more years.
For our last stop, we visited the grave site of Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou. It is outdoors, with a simple design, reflecting the values of simplicity and humility Herbert lived his entire life. As a side note, there are no statues of Herbert Hoover on the grounds.
If you stand at the flagpole and look out over the grounds, in the distance you can see Herbert Hoover’s birthplace cottage, thus symbolizing his journey life from start to finish.