Hello from the great state of Iowa! I just had to escape the hot, humid Maryland weather so I booked a flight to see my mom and brother in Iowa (and eat taco pizza!). I missed all the crazy rain and flooding near Baltimore this weekend and instead had beautiful 80 degree weather to spend with the family.
Recently Mom and I were discussing our lack of Presidential Library visits. This seemed un-American of us so we made the trip to Iowa’s only President’s hometown, West Branch, Iowa, home of Herbert Hoover.
These days his house would be considered a cute tiny house:
While Herbert Hoover wasn’t the most exciting President he was quite the humanitarian in his day. He spent most his public service life in charge of feeding millions of Europeans after the First and then the Second World War. He was so good at getting food to those who needed it after the First World War that the US government brought him out of retirement to do it again after the Second.
While his Presidency was marred by the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929 (he was sworn into office in 1928), he was quite a forward thinker of the times. (And yes, he recognized that the stock market crash was imminent but could not stop it in time).
My favorite part about Herbert Hoover’s history is his time after college. He moved to Australia first, then China, and ended up traveling to Africa, Europe, and all over the Americas. And this was all before he turned into a politician and public servant. I guess you really can change careers mid-life (engineer to statesman and President!).
The West Branch grounds dedicated to Herbert Hoover were really peaceful and lush. He and his wife were laid to rest on the hill overlooking his childhood home in a simple, beautiful setting.
The Department of the Interior own the lands of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library although the Archives run it. You cannot use your National Park pass here (darn! I actually have one this year). But is only $10 for an adult to get in -discounts available for children/seniors/active military.
It was a fun, educational visit to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and I would definitely recommend seeking out the President nearest you. To catch a glimpse into an era of the United States and the issues of the day, is a special way to learn.
Reader Question: Have you explored the historic sites near your hometown? What is your favorite?