TwHP Lessons

Herbert Hoover:
Iowa Farm Boy and
World Humanitarian

[Cover photo] Hoover Birthplace
(Herbert Hoover National Historic Site)

Although some people remember Herbert Hoover as the man who was President during the early years of the Great Depression, others may know him as a complex public servant, the "Great Humanitarian" whose career spanned a remarkable seven decades. A graduate of Stanford University, Hoover became a successful mining engineer before organizing relief programs for the starving victims of World War I.

As Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Harding and Coolidge, he helped to create safer highways and aircraft, better health care for children, and the standardization of commercial products. And, in 1927, he mustered a fleet of 600 boats and 60 airplanes to rescue 325,000 Americans who were left homeless during the catastrophic Mississippi River flood.

Following World War II, President Truman chose him to help the hungry people of Europe once again, and he spent his "retirement" years as an amazingly prolific author, speaker, and government adviser. Continuing his life-long desire to help needy children, he also served as chairman of the Boys' Clubs of America, helping to open 500 new chapters throuhgout the United States.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Iowa and surrounding states

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. Herbert Hoover's Family Background
 2. Hoover Remembers His Childhood, 1874-1884
 3. Cedar County Clerk Records
 4. Feeding the Children

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Hoover birthplace
 2. Downtown West Branch, Iowa, 1908
 3. World War I food posters
 4. Political cartoons

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Recreating a Personal Childhood
 2. Hoover and U.S. History
 3. Citizenship and the Local Community

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Herbert Hoover National
Historic Site

This lesson is based on the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.




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