"The question as to who wins in these contests is to me of less importance than that we keep faith...".
When World War I began, Hoover was a consulting engineer in the mining industry, yet six years later his name was already being included in lists of potential presidential nominees. This letter gives us an insight into why. In 1914 he was asked to organize and direct an American Relief Committee to...
When World War I began, Hoover was a consulting engineer in the mining industry, yet six years later his name was already being included in lists of potential presidential nominees. This letter gives us an insight into why. In 1914 he was asked to organize and direct an American Relief Committee to aid U.S. citizens stranded in Europe. This was followed by his appointment as head of the Commission for Relief in Belgium, where his fine work in this highly visible office brought him fame.
When the U.S. entered the war in April of 1917, President Wilson appointed Hoover food administrator, with instructions to increase food production, reduce consumption, eliminate waste, stabilize prices and improve distribution. After the war ended, he went to Europe and established the American Relief Administration to assist in economic restoration and the feeding of millions of undernourished children. Returning to the U.S. in September 1919, with success after success to his credit, Hoover’s friends launched a campaign to secure for him the Republican nomination for president. Here are the principles he intended to bring to the job.
Typed Letter Signed on American Relief Administration letterhead, 1 page 4to, June 22, 1920, to Robert Marden.”This is just a personal note to express in part my gratitude for the generous support which you have given to me. It has indeed been a great honor to have you feel that I am fitted for the great office of President. The question as to who wins in these contests is to me of less importance than that we keep faith in the great issues before us. We shall have years of great trial in the solution of most difficult questions and, although we have not had our own way as to the tools for their solution, we have no less obligation to stand vigorously for the right handling of these issues.”
While he did not get the nomination, Americans were enthusiastic about Hoover’s stands on principle. The new president, Warren G. Harding, made him Secretary of Commerce, a position he continued to hold under Harding’s successor, Calvin Coolidge. As head of the Department of Commerce, Hoover strengthened and expanded its activities, especially relating to federal regulation of the new technologies of radio broadcasting and commercial aviation. When Coolidge withdrew from the 1928 presidential race, the Republicans nominated Hoover on the first ballot. Hoover’s letters seldom contain his political philosophy, so this one is exceptional.
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