Lou Henry Hoover bigraphy, stories - First Lady of the United States

Lou Henry Hoover : biography

March 29, 1874 - January 7, 1944

Lou Henry Hoover (March 29, 1874 – January 7, 1944) was the wife of President of the United States Herbert Hoover and served as First Lady from 1929 to 1933.

Marrying her engineer husband in 1899, she traveled widely with him, including to Shanghai, China, and became a cultivated scholar and linguist. A proficient Chinese speaker, she is the only First Lady to have spoken an Asian language. She oversaw construction of the presidential retreat at Rapidan Camp in Madison County, Virginia. She was the first First Lady to make regular, nationwide radio broadcasts to the American public.

Private life

The Hoovers had two sons:

  • Herbert Charles Hoover, Jr. (1903–1969) - engineer, diplomat. Born in London, by age two, he had been around the world twice with his globetrotting parents. He graduated from Stanford University in 1925 and began working as an aircraft engineer. He taught briefly, from 1928 to 1929, at Harvard Business School. Eventually he turned to geophysical engineering, founding the United Geophysical Company in 1935 to develop new electronic instruments to discover oil. He served as mediator during the 1953-1954 oil dispute between Britain and Iran. He was appointed Under Secretary of State for Middle Eastern affairs 1954-1957 by President Eisenhower. He died in Pasadena, California.
  • Allan Henry Hoover (1907–1993) - mining engineer. Born in London, he graduated in economics from Stanford University in 1929 and earned a master's degree from the Harvard Business School in 1931. He went into banking and operated a ranch in California for a time, but eventually he, too, became a mining engineer. A private man, he shunned publicity throughout his career. He died in Portola Valley, California.

Mrs. Hoover died of a heart attack in New York City on January 7, 1944. She predeceased her husband by 20 years, and was originally buried in Palo Alto, California. Following her husband's death in 1964, she was reinterred next to the president at West Branch, Iowa.

Notes

Activities

Girl Scouts

She served as the national president of the Girl Scouts of the USA from 1922 to 1925 while Hoover served in the cabinet of Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. She served as president again after leaving the White House, from 1935 to 1937.

Camp Lou Henry Hoover in Middleville, New Jersey, is named for her and run by the Heart of New Jersey Council of the Girl Scouts. Lou Henry Hoover Elementary School in Whittier was built in 1938 and was named in her honor. In 2005 Lou Henry Elementary School was opened in her honor in Waterloo, Iowa. One of the brick dorms known now as "The Classics" at San Jose State University is named "Hoover Hall" in her honor. She funded the construction of the first Girl Scout house in Palo Alto, California. The oldest Girl Scout house in continuous use, it was called Lou Henry Hoover Girl Scout House.

Stanford University

The Lou Henry and Herbert Hoover House in Palo Alto's foothills is now the official residence of the President of Stanford University. It is located near the campus's Hoover Tower, home of the Hoover Institution, and is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Marriage and travels

When Herbert Hoover graduated in June 1895, they had decided to delay wedding plans while she continued her education and he pursued his engineering career in Australia. In 1898, the year she graduated from Stanford, Hoover cabled a marriage proposal, which she promptly accepted by return wire.

Both Hoover and Lou Henry were 24 years old when they married on February 10, 1899, at the home of the bride's parents in Monterey, California. Although raised an Episcopalian, Miss Henry decided to become a Quaker.Gummere, pp. 6, 520-521, 571; Hart, pp. 129-133; Hill, pp. 829-832; Hynes, pp. 2-10: The Quaker heritage of Lou Henry is extensive: beginning with William Woolman (1632-1692); passing to his son, John Woolman (1655-1718), and his wife, Elizabeth Borton (1664-1718); passing to their daughter, Elizabeth Woolman (1685-1755), aunt of Quaker preacher John Woolman, and her husband, Robert Hunt (died 1716); passing to their son, Robert Hunt (1709-1764), and his wife, Abigail Wood (1715-1747); passing to their son, Robert Hunt (1745-1805), and his wife, Abigail Pancoast (1743-1827); and finally passing to their daughter, Abigail Hunt (1781-1843), and her husband, William Henry (1777-1862), a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. But because there was no Quaker Meeting in Monterey, they were married in a civil ceremony performed by Father Ramon Mestres, a Roman Catholic priest of the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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