NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Texas State Capitol Architecture

Boy I kind of jumped ahead with that last post talking about Arkansas because I didn't finish relating our adventures in Texas yet!  While in Austin to visit the LBJ Library and Museum of course we had to scoot on over to the Capitol building.

It is a Renaissance Revival beauty!  A lot of folks were outside on the grounds, many of them catching Pokemon on their phones or just lounging around on benches enjoying the fantastic weather.  Capitol Square has been around since 1839 but this is the second Capitol building that has occupied the space.

The current Capitol building broke ground in 1882 and was finished in February of 1888.   It's a three story beauty made of Sunset Red granite with a zinc Goddess of Liberty statue atop the dome.  Every state has their symbol and in Texas it is all about the Lone Star.  We were seeing stars everywhere, even on the doorknobs!

Standing guard in the entry was a guy with a large a rifle in front of a closed door.  I was too intimated to take a picture of him!  The terrazzo floor commemorates 12 battles fought on Texas soil and the South Foyer also contains life sized statues of Stephen F. Austin and San Houston made by Elizabet Ney in 1903.

Elizabet Ney was German born and studied sculpture in Munich and then Berlin, after of course proving that she could study alongside the men without causing distraction.  In 1857 she set out to persuade the famous philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, to sit for a portrait.  Under Schopenhauer's influence, Ney began "to construct for herself a theory of life, a mixture of idealism, materialism and radicalism held in check by an essential purity of mind." In addition to meeting philosophers, she did work for statesmen, scientists, diplomats and artists, as well as two kings. How did she end up in Texas?  In July 1870, the Franco-Prussian War began and a few months later she discovered she was pregnant.  An invitation to come to idyllic America from a friend came at an opportune time and she and her lover fled leaving all their belongings and her work behind.  They remained in Germany for another 25 years!  They lived in Georgia for two years and then Ney traveled alone (yes alone!) around the country before settling on a plantation in Texas.  Of course her doctor lover had to sign the papers though she was the one who ended up running the plantation.

Hey there's a star again!

Outside on the grounds there was an "inverted rotunda" with yet another star in the center.  Drains are incorporated into the design, how cool is that?

The Senate chamber was still decked out for the holidays, but it was the ceiling that I couldn't keep from staring at.  The original skylights admitted too much heat and they along with the decorative ceiling panels were blocked. The 1990s Restoration installed reproduction acid-etched tempered skylights with a Plexiglas barrier as a safety precaution in case of glass breakage.  Those might be the best ceiling lights I've seen anywhere, don't you agree?

After wandering around we were hungry so we went to El Mercado for a simple Tex-Mex lunch.

It was much better than McDonald's for about the same price.  Though both places had sculptures!

More to come about Arkansas, sorry it's trickling out so slow I've been distracted by my non-traveling life now that I'm home!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Little Rock Nine and Segregation Today

Along our way home we stopped in Little Rock for three reasons, and the first one was to visit Central High School.  When Katrina was studying at UW Eau Claire she went on a Civil Rights Pilgrimage that included a variety of stops and one of those was the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site run by the National Park Service.

"No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction
the equal protection of the laws" - Fourteenth Amendment

There are many great items in their gift shop and some stunning artwork on display as well.

If you're not familiar with the story Little Rock's Central High School, now Central High School National Historic Site, was the location of an intense de-segregation battle in 1957  three  years after the momentous Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Katrina and I listened to a podcast in the car "Stuff You Missed in History Class" called The Aftermath of Brown v. Board that shed a lot of light on the subject before we arrived and I highly recommend it or any of the other podcasts they produce.

From the NPS website: Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus defied the court, calling in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent nine African American students, "The Little Rock Nine", from entering the building. Ten days later in a meeting with President Eisenhower, Faubus agreed to use the National Guard to protect the African American teenagers, but on returning to Little Rock, he dismissed the troops, leaving the African American students exposed to an angry white mob. Within hours, the jeering, brick-throwing mob had beaten several reporters and smashed many of the school's windows and doors. By noon, local police were forced to evacuate the nine students.

The battle for civil rights in this country didn't end with Abraham Lincoln, of course.  Since we've been talking about U.S. Presidents so much here's a quick run down on what they did for the cause:

  • July 26, 1948- President Truman signs Executive Order 9981, which states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."
  • Although Eisenhower did not endorse the Brown decision, he had a constitutional responsibility to uphold the Supreme Court’s rulings which he did in the case of the Little Rock Nine though at first reluctantly.   In 1957, he signed the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The law provided new federal protection for voting rights. In most southern states, the great majority of African Americans simply could not vote, despite their constitutional right to do so, because of literacy tests, poll taxes, or other obstacles. Overall though his lack of strong support and caution to "go slow" with desegregation didn't make the impact it could have.
  • President John F. Kennedy of course is the one who was on the front lines during some crucial civil rights battles and finally tried to get meaningful legislation passed by Congress but it did not pass before his death.  As we already talked about in my LBJ post, Lyndon Johnson was the president who finally passed the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968.
  • Here's one I didn't know: Overriding President Reagan's veto, Congress passes the Civil Rights Restoration Act in 1988, which expands the reach of non-discrimination laws within private institutions receiving federal funds. 
  • And another one: After two years of debates, vetoes, and threatened vetoes, President Bush reverses himself and signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991, strengthening existing civil rights laws and providing for damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

Back to our story of the Little Rock Nine: When Governor Faubus did not restore order, President Eisenhower dispatched 101st Airborne Division paratroopers to Little Rock and put the Arkansas National Guard under federal command with soldiers surrounding the school, bayonets fixed.

While on the Civil Rights Pilgrimage Katrina was fortunate enough to have met one of the students, Minnijean Brown who has spent years as an activist promoting minority rights in Canada and the United States.  She was very impressed with her and meeting her has made a lasting impression on her. Under federal protection, the "Little Rock Nine" finished out the school year though they were subject to extreme harassment and Minnijean was the first to be suspended and expelled for standing up to her tormentors.

Want to know what happened to all those brave faces?  Here is a link to a 20 minute video of the surviving eight on a visit to Chicago where they received the 2015 Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

The most shocking fact of the battle for integration in Little Rock to me was that the following year Governor Faubus closed all the high schools, forcing the African American students to take correspondence courses or go to out-of-state schools.  I can't even imagine that!  The school board reopened the schools in the fall of 1959, and despite more violence - for example, the bombing of one student's house - four of the nine students returned, this time protected by local police.

Little Rock Nine sculpture at the State Capitol - our next stop

The issue of segregation is still relevant today, believe it or not, and not just in the south.  Researchers define "isolated schools" as those with 75% or more of the same race or class and if you take a minute to think about how our neighborhoods and school districts are laid out you can see that this is obviously still an issue.  I've been mad for decades about the fact that schools in poverty stricken areas don't get the same opportunities and funding as other schools and Katrina sees it in her work with Girl Scouts when she visits the public schools as well. Personally I am always happy to pay my taxes that support schools (even though we home schooled most of our school years) and wish more attention was paid to quality education for all instead of  iPads for the elite.  Off my soapbox for now, have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

LBJ - Our 36th President

This one is full of lots of history nuggets, and it took me awhile to get around to writing it because I knew it would be research heavy!  Of the 7 libraries I have now visited, I am surprised to say that the LBJ Library and Museum in Austin, Texas was my favorite.

Lyndon Baines Johnson had a long career which began as a teacher and not in politics.  His years in a poverty stricken school left an impression that ended up influencing policy.  In 1931 his political career began when he became a Congressional Aide and he ran and won in a special election in 1937 when a Congressman in his district died. When Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 he was the first Representative from Congress to volunteer for active duty in the U.S. Navy. In 1955 he was elected the Senate Majority leader and that same year suffered a severe heart attack.  He quit smoking, lost weight and learned to delegate responsibilities so he could continue to work for many years to come.

But despite his years of experience it was John F. Kennedy who won the nomination for Democratic Party candidate in 1960.  As Vice President Johnson was assigned to be Head of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, Chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, and representative of the United States on trips abroad as well as serving as President of the Senate.

In the wake of Kennedy's assassination Lyndon Johnson gave a wonderful speech to Congress imploring them to pass Kennedy's Civil Rights Bill.  A topic too complex to get into in this post, of course this legislation had a profound effect on our country and is immensely important even today.

Upon his successful election to president in 1964 LBJ quickly got down to business and proposed the largest reform agenda since President Roosevelt's New Deal. Calling his plan the road to The Great Society,  in 1964 he signed the Economic Opportunity Act to start his fight against poverty.

The goal was to create job opportunities through education and other community services and break the cycle of poverty. Part of that was The Elementary and Secondary Education Act which provided   funding to individual states to distribute to public school districts with a high percentage of low income families. It also included creating a domestic volunteer organization called Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) which many years later was incorporated into President Bill Clinton's Americorps.  I loved this letter from an 11 year old student who wanted to help out too.

In 1965 at the Truman Library in Independence (hey, we've been there!) President Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments of 1965 which created Medicare and Medicaid.  President Truman and his wife Bess were given the first official Medicare cards, calling Truman the true father of Medicare.

I love how we learned about how all these presidents are inter-connected through the years with the work they do!

Another part of his war on poverty that is still in place today is Head Start.  Lady Bird Johnson herself was its champion, and she also led the effort to get the Highway Beautification Act passed.

Katrina and I were truly impressed by LBJ's list of undertakings, here is a sampling of what we discovered:
  • The Wilderness Protection Act and to date Congress has designated more than 100 million acres of federal lands as wilderness.
  • Signed the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act remarking: An unspoiled river is a very rare thing in this Nation today. Their flow and vitality have been harnessed by dams and too often they have been turned into open sewers by communities and by industries. It makes us all very fearful that all rivers will go this way unless somebody acts now to try to balance our river development.
  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned literacy tests and other discriminatory methods of denying suffrage to African Americans.

  • In 1967 appointed Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Marshall is the first African American Supreme Court Justice.
  • Signed the Arts and Humanities Bill which created the National Endowment for the Humanities. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.
  • The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 ended discriminatory quotas based on ethnic origin and focused on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled labor to the United States.  More on immigration in another post!

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited discrimination regarding the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin or sex
  • Signed the Public Broadcasting Act in 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which supports PBS and NPR.
  • Congress tightened pollution controls with stronger Air and Water Quality Acts.
  • Standards were raised for safety in consumer products.
  • The Gun Control Act was signed in 1968.  It is a U.S. federal law that regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners, focusing on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers.
I admire the etched magnesium plates depicting Lyndon B. Johnson over the years with
Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy in the stately Great Hall

Wow, right? Of course much of his domestic accomplishments were overshadowed by the war in Vietnam, and the end of his term in 1968 included the assassination of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.  President Johnson himself was not well and that is one of the major reasons he chose not to run for re-election. When he left office it was with a balanced budget and a 3.3% unemployment rate (so I don't want to hear about how government involvement doesn't lead to jobs, wink wink!).

re-creation of LBJ's oval office

He died at the LBJ Ranch in 1973, but did live to see this museum finished in 1971 and published his memoirs "The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency".  One of the sources he used to write that book was those taped phone calls from the Oval Office.  Much has been made of his taped calls, but every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon with the exception of Harry Truman had some type of recording system in place.

Of special interest to Katrina at this museum was the women's suffrage banner from 1919 belonging to Jane McCallum.  She fought for the 19th amendment and had the distinction of not only winning that fight to vote but she also served as the Secretary of State for Texas.

And, we learned that the Kansas City Chiefs were defeated by the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl in January of 1967.  Obviously these two Wisconsin girls do not come from a football family, right?  One more presidential stop in Arkansas....

"Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact."
                                                                                                     Lyndon Johnson, May 30, 1963

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Benton History Mural

One of our stops on our road trip last week was the town of Benton, Arkansas. I didn't realize it but there was a New Deal mural from the old Post Office located in the Saline County Courthouse there.  I missed it, but I did see a large mural on the side of a building downtown.

The mural’s story of Benton’s history begins with the 1400s when Native Americans inhabited the area and ends in 1900 when the trains were in their heyday and pottery was a thriving industry. Central to this timeline is the Saline River, which brought people to the area and was one reason why they stayed; the river is depicted in the background of the mural.

We had breakfast at Jimmy's Diner, home of the best pancakes I've ever eaten.  But the best part was when I ordered a hot water for tea and the waitress brought me hot tap water in a plastic cup instead of a pot of boiled water for tea.

But the real treat was after breakfast when we saw the cute VW Bug painted pink and sporting eyelashes!  Linking up to Monday Mural.  More Presidential stuff yet to come, lots of research involved!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Three D's - Dubya, Downtown Dallas and Dealey Plaza

Also on our presidential tour was a stop in Dallas to see the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  I have seen 7 National Archive Presidential museums now, and unfortunately this one was hands-down the most expensive and the least impressive.

Parking was $7, and entrance to the museum is $16 for one adult. A large portion of the museum seemed to be dedicated to the "war on terror" and of course the tragedy on 09/11.  The focus was on the events and little of the president's actions seemed to come across.  While the events and the aftermath were a large part of his presidency I would have liked more detail on his specific actions since it was a presidential museum and not a war memorial.

Steel from the World Trade Center

President Bush’s words from his national address given from the Oval Office that evening: “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

A reminder about "No Child Left Behind" wasn't something either of us were particularly fond of  considering how it has transformed the classroom into a standardized testing factory in an effort to hold schools to certain performance standards.  Ugh.  For example, the grade school Katrina attended in 3rd grade taught them the test for a month for almost the whole day, neglecting any learning that might have actually been enriching.  When time came for the test their teacher walked around the room and "helped" them with tough questions.  Another teacher told me that at the end of the day that same helpful teacher was locked in her classroom with all the test booklets for hours.  Katrina was a nervous wreck for those weeks, and had nightmares on how she would perform due to the pressure that was put on them to do well.  We left public school for homeschooling not long afterward, and thankfully Wisconsin was a state that did not require standardized testing for homeschooled students.  Katrina now has a Master's Degree so I think she did okay getting into college and pursuing her education, all without standardized testing until she took the ACT.

Katrina took Sociology of Education at UW Eau Claire where she learned that while the legislation was well intentioned it has fallen short of what it set out to do.  Here's a bit of good news, in December 2015 Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act to replace NCLB. ESSA moved in the opposite direction—it seeks to pare back the federal role in K-12 education and will go in effect for the 2017-2018 school year.  Education is one area I think we have a long way to go as a nation, Katrina tells me that a study that polled high school exchange students revealed that they have less homework and more vigorous material during the day which was an observation I made when we were homeschooling that much time seems wasted during the day only to send busy work home and take time away from family and much needed leisure time for children.

Whew!  I didn't mean to go on at such length!  Another exhibit talked about Hurricane Katrina, which was not a high point of the Bush administration.  From Wikipedia: Within days of Katrina's August 29, 2005 landfall, public debate arose about the local, state and federal governments' role in the preparations for and response to the storm. Criticism was prompted largely by televised images of visibly shaken and frustrated political leaders, and of residents who remained in New Orleans without water, food or shelter, and the deaths of several citizens by thirst, exhaustion, and violence days after the storm itself had passed. The treatment of people who had evacuated to registered facilities such as the Superdome was also criticized.  Worse, apparently Bush did not mention hurricane recovery or administration involvement/shortcomings in his 2006 or 2007 State of the Union addresses.  Want to know more about how New Orleans is faring a decade after the storm, read about it in this New York Times piece.

We did enjoy the Oval Office replica and a nice employee took our picture sitting in front of the fireplace.  At the Clinton museum you were not allowed to bring your own camera into the room at all, but we did shell out the money for the behind the desk shot when we visited that one.  A nearby exhibit dealt with the family and the pets, which we have seen at each museum, and an interactive exhibit called Decision Points Theater gives the opportunity to express how YOU would act in response to major crises which we skipped.  Again, I would have liked to see more detail about Bush's actions like the bills and executive orders he signed but little was displayed in that regard.

One of the themes that keeps coming up at every presidential museum is their efforts on behalf of immigration.  This is a topic that touches me deeply and I plan a separate post on the history of immigration legislation.  We've also been keenly aware of how no matter which president or how many years it has been, certain "problems" seem to recur in our government and our society.  Do we learn from history?  I hope so.

View of Dealey Plaza not far from spot where Zapruder film was shot

Our other presidential related stop while in Dallas was at the Sixth Floor Museum across from Dealey Plaza.  Again, we paid for parking and $16 each to get in to the museum.  If you need more in depth information about the dark events in Dallas in 1963 this could be a worthwhile stop.  It was interesting seeing where the famed assassination took place and getting a feel for the space, imagining the streets filled with 250,000 citizens who came out to see their president.

The former School Book Depository building,
now the Sixth Floor Museum 

The museum is a self-guided audio tour of billboard type displays and a look at the area where Oswald was allegedly situated when he shot JFK.  For us none of the information was new and the audio tour was annoying and turned off within minutes while we wandered around scanning the boards.  The only items of interest for us were as I said the view out the window and also a miniaturized model of the plaza and where the automobiles were placed at the time of the shooting.  For me it seemed to raise more questions than it answered as it seemed the window in question was an unlikely spot considering he would have had a much better shot while the cars were coming toward him than after they had turned the corner and were moving away.  But who knows what happened?  Maybe he had a malfunction with his gun and was delayed in his shot?  

The only pieces of information relating to the investigation that were new to me was that President Kennedy had 400 death threats in the 9 months prior to his trip to Dallas and new information regarding the sound tests performed on the Dictabelt recording from a police officer's motorcycle that was part of the motorcade.  For those results follow this link.

We walked around downtown Dallas while waiting our turn to get into the museum, noting many references to Pegasus.  Apparently it was the symbol of Magnolia Oil which was later folded into Mobil Oil and has a long history in Dallas.

Unique Christmas tree in Pegasus Plaza

I'm sure we missed a lot, but you can't do it all in one day, right?  We did get to try Hypnotic Donuts in one of the local coffee shops and took a quick walk through Neiman Marcus where we were unsure whether or not to be impressed by a Dyson hair dryer.  If you're in the market for a $399 hair dryer you can also get one at Ulta!

We are missing those warm Texas days already, tomorrow we will be home, and tonight we are hiding in our hotel from the  -1F wind chill here in Indiana!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Herbert Hoover - The Good Neighbor

Our visit to the National Archives Herbert Hoover museum in Iowa was our first stop on this trip where we were eager to learn more about our 31st president.  There was a Christmas tree exhibit featuring toy themes that was especially fun.  I like the rock 'em sock 'em robot topped tree best.

The toys on that tree reflected the childhood of my youth, but Hoover's childhood was of a different era.  Born in 1874 he lived in the small town of West Branch, Iowa for the first nine years of his life. His Quaker father, Jessie Clark Hoover, a blacksmith and farm equipment salesman, suffered a heart attack and died when Herbert was six years old. Three years later his mother, Huldah Minthorn Hoover who was a seamstress and recorded Quaker minister, developed pneumonia and also passed away.  This left Herbert, his older brother Theodore, and little sister Mary orphaned and passed around among relatives for a few years, Hoover ended up with his uncle, Dr. John Minthorn, who lived in Oregon. I wonder what kind of toys he played with, if any?  Most likely there was little time for play but I'm going to assume his agile mind found time for books!  He went from being an orphan to becoming a wealthy engineer; his work during World War I led to his being appointed Secretary of Commerce, and he served under both President Harding and President Coolidge.  On the other hand, his two children were born in London to successful parents so they probably had all the latest toys of the day!

(Bear with me here and read this long paragraph through to the end, there is some good meat in it, not just dry facts!)

Herbert wanted to be a mining engineer, and it was at Stanford that he met his wife, Lou Henry.  
Hoover graduated in 1895 over the next two decades he made his fortune as an international mining engineer and financier.  By 1914, however, he yearned for more than wealth and World War I provided him with an opportunity for public service. He aided Americans stranded in Europe when World War I broke out by setting up an emergency center and canteen at the Hotel Savoy with 500 volunteers who helped citizens as diverse as Chief White Feather of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Together with other engineering friends they loaned 1.5 million dollars to stranded travelers to get them home.  Later, he established the Commission for Relief in Belgium to provide food for the civilians trapped in the war zone, putting his career on hold and accepting no salary for the work.  He crossed the North Sea 40 times to persuade the enemies in London and Berlin to permit food to pass through.  He convinced the Belgians that cornmeal was more than cattlefeed and the organization saved 10 million people from starvation.  

Why are we not nominating more Americans like this for public office?  WHY??  Katrina says it's because corporations pay to bankroll candidates through their election funds due to Citizens United and PACs and it is this money that is highly influencing what candidates make it to the big stage due to what they can do for the corporations.  What humanitarians turned politicians are we missing out on due to these policies?

While President-Elect Hoover visited eleven South American countries before his inauguration!

Hoover's wife Lou was a fine horsewoman who also hunted and preserved specimens with the skill of a taxidermist. She developed an enthusiasm for rocks, minerals, and mining, and that led her to become the first female geology major at Stanford.  Herbert graduated before she did and went to work in the gold fields in Australia but as soon as she was done with school they married.  She is incredibly interesting in her own right, traveling around the world with her husband and they were even present during the Boxer Rebellion.  They both learned to speak Chinese and to this day she is the only First Lady to learn an Asian language, not to mention the fact that she spoke 8 languages!

Katrina admires a past Girl Scout promoter

This woman is my new hero, right?  On top of all that she spent many years of her life involved with the Girl Scouts movement, and we were delighted to find an exhibit reflecting that great public service of hers.  She served two terms as the president of the organization the first time while her husband was serving under Presidents Harding and Coolidge and the second time after her husband left the presidency.  Her love of the outdoors continued throughout her lifetime and she was also an avid amateur photographer and had a home movie camera.

There is much to know about this lady, for more on Lou Henry Hoover go to this link.

Here are some of the domestic accomplishments of President Hoover during his presidency:

  • Presided over the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression and initiated government economic recovery programs in the spirit of public-private partnerships that met with limited success
  • Promoted public works efforts such as the Hoover Dam
  • Appointed the conservationist Horace Albright to the National Park Service and placed nearly two million acres of federal land in the national forest reserve, demonstrating his belief in the conservation of national resources.
  • Increased tariffs with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in order to encourage the purchase of American-made goods. (Instead, the Act resulted in contracted international trade and a worsening of the Great Depression)
  • Raised taxes by increasing the top tax bracket from 25% to 63% and increasing corporate taxes
  • Supported the Glass-Steagall Act limiting commercial bank securities activities
  • Advocated strong labor regulation laws, including the enactment of the Bacon-Davis Act requiring a maximum eight-hour day on construction of public buildings and the payment of at least the "prevailing wage" in the locality
  • Expanded civil service coverage of Federal positions
  • Canceled private oil leases on government lands
  • Instructed the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service to pursue gangsters for tax evasion
  • Signed the Norris La Guardia Act to limit judicial intervention in labor disputes
  • Dispersed the "Bonus Army" of WWI veterans who marched on Washington to demand bonus payments in 1932
  • Required air mail carriers to adopt stricter safety measures and improve service
  • In 1929 got Congress to pass the Agricultural Marketing Act, replete with a Federal Farm Board but with no subsidies for farmers like he originally wanted.

For an in depth look at the foreign policy accomplishments of President Hoover see this link.

Hoover was not surprised at the Stock Market crash which precipitated the Depression. Though his concerns and suggestions went unheeded before the crisis his administration worked hard to stimulate the economy.  Unfortunately the Great Depression was more than an economic downturn and all efforts to bounce back met with failure.  It was this, along with the demands of the Bonus Army that led to his declining popularity and led to his defeat when he ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt for re-election.

In the post-World War II years, Hoover remained committed to public service and to commenting on both domestic and international affairs. For the Truman administration, Hoover served as coordinator of the Food Supply for World Famine in 1946 and advised the U.S. government on occupation policies in Germany and Austria. In 1947, a Republican-led Congress named Hoover chairman of the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Government, which became known as the "Hoover Commission."

We learned A LOT at this museum!  I left feeling like I understood how the events of that time worked together and highly recommend a trip to experience it for yourself.