Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The American Presidents: Herbert Hoover

The following is from a work-in-progress called "The American Presidents: a Coloring Book," which will be released on July 4th, 2014 at Hibbleton Gallery, during the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk.


Herbert Hoover (1874 – 1964) was the 31st president of the United States.  Shortly after his election in 1929, Hoover promised, "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land," but within months, the Stock Market crashed, and the world's economy spiraled downward into the Great Depression.  By 1932, unemployment had reached 25 percent in the U.S., businesses defaulted on record numbers of loans, and more than 5,000 banks had failed.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans found themselves homeless and began congregating in the numerous "Hoovervilles" (shanty towns) that sprang up in major cities.  To combat the Depression, Hoover illegally deported around one million Mexican-Americans (The Mexican Repatriation program), and increased taxes (the revenue Act of 1932).   In 1932, when thousands of World War I veterans and their families demonstrated and camped out in Washington ("The Bonus Army"), calling for benefits they had been promised and denied, Hoover sent U.S. Army forces to clear out the camp with military force, killing some and injuring hundreds.  In his re-election campaign trips around the country, Hoover was faced with perhaps the most hostile crowds of any sitting president.  His train and motorcades were routinely pelted with eggs and rotten fruit.   

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