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Did You Know That US President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) Is One Of the Greatest Humanitarians Ever?

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Feb 15 in Society & Culture by Virginia (7,565 points)

I was surprised, because I knew him as the President who ignored the Great Depression!

But in autumn 1921, while he was Secretary of Commerce under President Harding, Hoover saw a newspaper item where author Maxim Gorky was requesting help from the West for a great famine in Russia. Farming was disrupted by the fighting of the Bolshevik Revolution, then there was s drought, then the Bolsheviks came to the farms and requisitioned the grain ALL of it, not even leaving enough for seed in the spring. It was the greatest natural disaster in Europe since the Black Plague pf the Middle Ages.

25,000 people were dying from starvation each week.

By December, Hoover got Congress to allocate $20,000,000 and ships began carrying food to Russia. And by August 1922, American kitchens were feeding 11 million people each day. And it was the first time ever for a country to rescue an adversary. Hoover's program may have saved the fledgling Soviet Union from collapse, even though Hoover was strongly anti-Communist and hoped the democratic, capitalist rescue would inspire Russians to overthrow the new Bolshevik government.

This is a fascinating film, I learned SO much!


3 Answers

Kninjanin Feb 15

I did not know.

Virginia Kninjanin Feb 15

I did not know either, Kninjanin, and I was amazed!

Rooster Feb 15

I'll admit that I don't know much about Hoover, let alone that he did this.

Virginia Rooster Feb 15

Learning about this changed my view of Hoover, Rooster!

TheOtherTink Feb 16

Yes, I did know about his Russian famine relief efforts. Here is a grisly picture of two children that it was too late to save.

image

I think "ignoring" the Great Depression is a bit harsh.  I don't think he understood its magnitude.

I noted in the Wikipedia article you posted that Hoover at first thought it would be a quick recession...and 'ignoring' IS too harsh, I now see also, from your article.

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