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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 11, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Done in by ‘dirty tricks’ *    -V".    *' * Time clears slandered Hoover I lit o**uai iv a p iii > \i4ltlLt. bun., AUg. ii, 1 "A A'l r * V (The following is condensed from an address last Thursday to the Iowa En gmeering Society in West Branch Dr McCabe is chancellor of Coe college and a trustee of the Hoover Pres,den hoi Library Assn.) By Joseph E. McCabe 1I7HEN Abraham Lincoln was VV President he was unbelievably slandered History has vindicated the rail-splitter from Illinois A similar judgment has been developing concern mg Herbert Hoover, the Quaker President born UMI years ago in Iowa. My father, a lifelong and ardent Democrat, took me to hear Franklin Delano Roosevelt speak at old Forbes field in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 19. 1932. It was the height of the Hoover-Roosevelt campaign. Among other things FDR said was: “I propose to analyze the enormous increase in the growth of what you and I call bureaucracy ... A complete realignment of the unprecedented bureaucracy that has assembled in Washington in the past four years." That sounded good to me and I understood my father’s enthusiasm for the candidate. Later, when I became interested in studying history, I discovered that the over-all number of government employes had actually decreased during Hoover’s administration. But facts weren’t bothering Roosevelt that day, or on many other days of the campaign. Three weeks earlier, in Detroit. Roosevelt had said: “We cannot go back to children working in factories.” I later discovered that Hoover had promoted an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting child labor Many states had already adopted it. However, New York, Roosevelt’s home state where he was governor, had not adopted it when he made the above charge which was leveled at Hoover. Falsehood One week earlier, at Indianapolis, Roosevelt had said: "The United States Public Health Service states that over ti million of our publ; school children have not enough to eat, many are fainting at their desks; they are the prey of disease . . . The head of that agency w rote Hoover a letter saying no such statement had ever been made. Furthermore, the president of the American Public Health Assn.., who was not a government official, wrote within a month of Roosevelt's charge: “By and large, the health of the people as measured in sickness and death has never been better despite the depression ” Facts had become the first casualty of the campaign. The slander against the President became even more personal and more vitriolic as the campaign went along Hoover had helped several men buy a ranch in California and as an expression of thanks they named it “Hoover Ranch.” Someone hung a sign under the ranch’s name “No White Help Wanted.' implying that only cheap. Oriental laborers, then numerous in California, would be hired. The sign was photographed and sent around the country. Samuel (lumpers, head of the American Federation of Labor, launched an investigation Two facts emerged: the ranch had never belonged to Hoover, and it had never hired Orientals. The slander had spread, however, and turned up in anti-Hoover material for 20 years One of the sneakiest slanders of the campaign was the charge that Hoover had once been a British citizen, because his name appeared on an English voter list. This was true, his name was there. So was the name of every Mexican, Belgian. Frenchman, or who-have-you who was a householder in England at that time. Since Hoover had been living in London heading the Belgian relief mission, his name had appeared on the voters list, along with householders from around the world, temporarily living in Britain. That fact was conveniently omitted by his detractors No mossback There has grown up in America the myth that Hoover was an economic reactionary, far to the right of McKinley. That picture is completely false. No reputable historian now believes it. Hoover was a poor speaker, wrote interminably long sentences, refused help with his speech writing, and had little of the modern day politician's charisma These things, together with the accidents of history over which he had no control, helped to defeat him But an economic right-winger he was not. Consider the following His opponents called him the friend of Big Business, but hi 1918 he proposed to President Wilson the first excess profits tax in tin* history of the country, in order to get more of business profits into the public treasury He was branded the ally of Wall Street, but no President ever struck such fear into the wheeling and dealing securities salesmen of the 20s as this fearless Quaker He knew the paper fortunes being made in the stin k market would some day collapse He was called the enemy of labor, but iii 1922 he was solidly opposed to federal injunctions against railwaymen who were striking Industrialists screamed when iii the White House he signed the bill outlawing “yellowdog'’ contracts When he first ran for President he was balked bv the American Federation of HERBERT HOOVER Labor, the railway workers, the miners union, and the greater number of unorganized labor There was a firm bond of respect between Hoover and John L. Lewis. How many people know that in 1928 the majority of Republican senators opposed his nomination, and that he was fought in the convention by tin* solid conservative wing of the party? The New York World, a liberal leaning paper, urged his nomination as the Democratic candidate for President, as did some very prominent Democrats. In Michigan that year he drew the largest vote in the Democratic primary. Yet this is the same Hoover who has been maligned and branded as a right wing reactionary. A little knowledge of history explodes that myth. His programs to reform banking practices, to take the water out of Wall Street stocks, and to protect the union rights of labor, all met anguished cries from the vested interests on tin* right Hideaway Like all Presidents before him Hoover felt the misery of a Washington summer. There was no air-conditioning in those days. He wrote: “Washington’s summer heat is known to several millions of people from acute experience Eggs have been fried on the pavements.” At the head of the Rapidan river. Hoover bought land, erected a series of cabins, and furnished them, all out of his own pocket, quaintly noting: “It was exactly a hundred miles from the White House, and we connected it by direct telephone.” The Democratic national committee spread word that the camp had been acquired with public money, a completely false report. At the end of his term of office Hoover gave the whole establishment to the Shenandoah national park. How could he have given it away if it had not been his.’ Perhaps the most scurrilous charge made against Hoover, with the least basis in fact. labeled him as the enemy of war veterans. In fact, the blatant allegation was made that he had ordered army troops to shoot down veterans during Joseph E. McCabe their Bonus March of July, 1932 Several thousand true veterans, and several thousand people who had never seen military serv ice, gathered in Washington to demonstrate in favor of a bonus for their war years Local law enforcement officers could not handle the situation There was a pitched battle between police and demonstrators. Both the chief of police and the commissioner of the District of Columbia wrote to Hoover, appealing to him to use troops to restore order. The President responded to their request. What is not well known is that the army troops that day were under the command of General Douglas MacArthur, and the second in command was a young officer named Colonel Dwight Eisenhower Hoover had given explicit directions that the bonus marchers were not to be driven from their camps, but MacArthur clearly disobeyed his commander-in-chief and forced the veterans out of the District of Columbia. The next time MacArthur disobeyed a President he was met by Harry Truman in the Pacific, and sacked Some figures show who was the friend of the veterans Annual reports of the Veterans Administration show there were 994.(Kill veterans and their dependents receiving government aid during Hoover’s last year in office. Two years after he left the White House tin- number-had dropped to SMU .OOM Still the utter falsehood about Hoover, the Bonus March, and veterans assistance persisted for years The strategy of the political opposition in 1932 was to claim that Hoover was the cause of the country 's economic ills. and to label tin* situation the Hoover Depression It is a well documented fact that the economic situation was in rapid decline in major world centers before it began in the United States, and Indore Hoover took office if Hoover had started the world depression, why did not someone outside this country say so? lf others could have blamed it all on the American President, they surely would have done so Only in America could such a preposterous charge survive, but it will not survive a little knowledge of the facts Average unemployment during the four Hoover years was right around six million During Roosevelt’s first eight years average unemployment was III million Those two facts wen* exactly reversed in the minds of many Americans for years The “big smear” taught them always to believe tin* worst about Hoover The myth survives even to this day that Hoover caused the depression, and that it ceased when he left office. History and facts, however, have been hard on that falsehood Roosevelt’s antipathy toward Hoover went far beyond normal political opposition. The depth and power of his hatred of his predecessor continues to puzzle historians. In all the 12 years he was in the White House, not once^did lie invite Hoover to visit Hoover had served Woodrow Wilson magnificently iii World war I and could have been a tower of strength in World war II Roosevelt did not ask him to take any assignment. Shortly after he took office he had the name Hoover dam changed to Boulder dam. That wasn't slander, but it certainly was small potatoes By long practice such dams bore the names of Presidents. Thus there was a Wilson dam and a Coolidge dam, and the dam on the t (dorado river was named Hoover dam in the document by which congress authorized funds for it Roosevelt’s action. changing it to Boulder dam, went far beyond political considerations History relieves the American conscience at this point for in 1947, under Democratic President Harry Truman, the original-name Hoover dam was restored. False reports had been issued about Hoover’s administration from the presidential platform Blatant lies had been told about him. The “smear-Hoover’’ campaign had enlisted able men. They knew the Hoover farm sign “no white help wanted” had been planted. They knew he had never been a British citizen. They knew “Hoover caused the depression” was one of the chief slanders of the century. They knew unemployment was greater under Roosevelt than it had been under Hoover Years later some of these men made public confession of their false accusations. This poignant note appears in Hoover’s memoirs: “Ever since I left office my personal correspondence has been studded with touching man-to-man apologies from complete strangers, who said they had been misled, had taken part in these campaigns of lies. and wanted me to know they were sorry. Often they asked for a letter of forgiveness to ease their consciences.” V-P praise It is a refreshing fact of American politics that the greatest vindication came during the administration of a Democratic president, Harry Truman FDR’s vice-president for eight years was John Nance Garner. They were inaugurated together in 1933 and 1937. In 1948, Garner wrote: “I never reflected on the personal character or integrity of Herbert Hoover. In many ways he was superbly equipped for the presidency. If he had become President in 1921 or 1937 he might have ranked w itll the great Presidents. Today I think Hoover is the wisest statesman on world affairs in America. He may be on domestic affairs, too ” When Truman wanted the best man hi* could find to head a study of tin* government. he turned to Hoover. The ex-President was past 70 but he accepted the assignment, often working 18 hours a day and exhausting his staff. The report received bi-partisan acclaim More of its recommendations were accepted than from any other in-depth analysis of Washington ever made. Historians rank the Hoover Report as tin* most significant study of our government in the 20th Century. The government study was still being acclaimed when Hoover reached the 75th milestone. By this time he had received 85 honorary degrees. One hundred foreign governments and groups sent felicitations and expressions of gratitude for his help. In this country 2,000 editorials from every state iii the union played on the theme “the great American and humanitarian.” Only a tiny minority could come up with anything critical. Not one questioned Ins integrity. On his 88th birthday, the then junior senator from Montana, Mike Mansfield said; “In the light of history, I believe he was a great President, and I think future historians will bear out that statement ” On Ins 88th birthday there was a massive outpouring of people to welcome him back to his hometown of West Branch, Iowa Truman, of course, was invited. He was then 78 and a close relative was seriously ill To tin* invitation he replied “The only thing that could keep me from coming would be my own death.” At Hoover’s passing Truman said “Briefly put, he was my friend and I was his,” Years before any personal animosity dev eloped between them, or they had become political opponents. Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt had served together iii the administration of Woodrow Wilson During those years EDR wrote: “Herbert Hoover is certainly a wonder and I wish we could make him President of the United States There could not be a better one.” Perhaps we should let Hoover's chiel opponent have the last word It is rapidly becoming the judgment of history . Open Sunday 12 to 5 JC Penney rn 20% off tops Sale $4 Reg. $5. Top things off with more savings here Choose from casual looks in a variety of long and short sleeve styles including mock turtles and crew necks A bright assortment of solids and prints in polyester and polyester /cotton for easy care. Sizes S,M,L. Women's Jeans Everyday is a Denim Day with Pen-neys Front pockets, front closure, I 00% cotton. 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