Thursday, November 03, 2005

Lou Henry Hoover

Lou Henry Hoover, wife to President Herbert Hoover, was another gutsy woman. This information was found at:

"Born in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1874, the future Lou Henry Hoover learned to love the outdoors from her banker father. Speaking of her parents she wrote, "They would not want me to stay meekly at home." The day after her marriage in February 1899, the bride left for China, the first of an unending series of global journeys that would carry her to the furthest corners of civilization.

Throughout her life, Lou was very much her husband's partner in everything he did, whether pursuing the history of mining, caring for Americans stranded in Europe by World War I, feeding desperate Belgium, or convincing her countrymen to voluntarily reduce their food consumption during the war in order to aid the Allies. When Prohibition became law, the man of the house emptied his cellar of the finest port in California. "I don't have to live with the American people," he told a friend. "But I do have to live with Lou."

Not until Jacqueline Kennedy restored the White House in the 1960s would a First Lady lavish so much time and energy on the old house. Lou turned the second-floor West hall into a gracious room filled with bookcases and palms and transformed the shabby first floor into a showcase for American art and antiques.

When the Great Depression cast a shadow over her husband's presidency, Lou hired secretaries to channel assistance to victims of hard time, after first concealing her own involvement. She also accompanied the president on his unsuccessful 1932 reelection campaign. At the end she still managed a smile for reporters. "See, we are carrying on," she said. And so she was."

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