Herbert Hoover was born in 1874 in Iowa. He had croup as a young boy and was thought to have died. His uncle managed to resuscitate him, though. Both his parents died before he was 10, which left him and his sisters as orphans. He moved to Oregon to live with his uncle but didn’t go to high school. He managed to make up for that by taking Night School, though.
Herbert Hoover worked as an assistant in his uncle’s real estate office, and entered Stanford in 1891, and was the first person to spend time in their dorm. He also claims to be their first student. He got a degree in Geology and started Mining and Australia and China from 1897 to 1908. He didn’t do the mining work, but most of the time just picked out where they would mine and assign roles, he was the mining executive. By 1908, he made it as an independent mining consultant, and by 1914, he made a fortune estimated at around 4 million dollars. Then, he started Humanitarian and Political efforts instead.
Herbert joined the Republicans and tried running for president in 1920 which didn’t work out. He did get the position of secretary of commerce by President Harding. He became president later and encouraged the Native Americans to work towards self-sufficiency. He also had a Native American vice president. Most of his moves were widely approved, but he was really only remembered for the Great Depression that began in his presidency. In that time, many banks lent out more money than they could afford and did not keep enough cash on hand. The optimism of the roaring 20’s meant that this was no problem for the banks, but it helped a negative chain reaction when that optimism ended.
At that time the stock market rose, and many investors made a lot of money in it, which led to more spending and even higher returns. But in 1929, the market reached a peak, then plummeted downwards, reacting to the nervousness among the investors. Then Black Tuesday, which was on October 29, 1929, and the decade of speculative trades and over lending came to a halt. This turned into the doubt and fear of the 1930’s. Many people tried to pull what money they had out of banks, and because the bank didn’t own that much money, a series of bank runs happened. 3000 banks across the country had to declare that they were bankrupt. Therefore, many people suffered from extreme poverty. This was the only decade where the US did not experience economic growth and had lasting effects on Americans of that generation. Unemployment was at less than 3 million in 1929, which jumped to 12.5 million by 1932. Pay cuts happened, and businesses were no longer interested in taking on any additional expenses or risks. But even so, the worst part of the depression still meant that 75% of the workforce remained employed.
Vagrancy numbers shot up, and there was what was called the dust bowl. Three severe droughts and sun storms happened and crippled the agricultural heart of the Midwest US. That meant that many farmers had to pack and move, and so famine was present. This also contributed to the length and severity of the Great Depression. Hoover’s legacy isn’t that great. The Hoover dam did begin during his presidency, but it was called the boulder dam for many years instead. He insisted that the economy would recover on its own, which was the right course to take, but it meant that they had to wait longer for the recovery.
The Great Depression was a horrible time to live in, and it provided a very big change compared to the Roaring 20’s.