tv Herbert Hoover and Dwight Eisenhower CSPAN September 16, 2017 12:30pm-1:31pm EDT
>> our staff recently traveled to new hampshire to learn about its rich history. learn more at c-span.org. >> you're watching american history tv on c-span3. next, the uneasy relationship up next on the presidency, timothy walch talks about the uneasy relationship between herbert hoover and dwight d. eisenhower. mr. walsh is a former director of the herbert hoover
presidential library and museum. >> it's a great pleasure to introduce the last speaker. timothy walch served in various capacities with the national archives and records administration of which this institution is part of that large organization. until his retirement in 2011, beginning as a program analyst with the national historical publications and records commission, tim served as budget and a list, codirector of the modern archives institute, chief of publication development before landing in west branch as the assistant director of the herbert hoover presidential library and museum. and finally, director of the same organization from 1993-2011. dr. walch edited more than 2200 books, including the correspondence between hoover and eisenhower, as well as numerous articles, essays, book reviews, encyclopedia entries, and newspaper articles.
he represents the finest attributes of those who served public history. when i was appointed director of the herbert hoover residential presidential library and museum after his retirement, i knew i was taking over an organization that tim had built into a top research center. i am grateful for all of his good work in advancing our understanding of herbert hoover and history generally. he is a humanitarian and a that his talk today is -- his "the humanitarian and the general: the uneasy partnership between herbert hoover and dwight d. eisenhower." [applause] mr. walch: thank you, tom. you are very generous. my remarks this afternoon and
are there any better words to hear then final speaker? [laughter] my remarks this afternoon are based on a book that i did called her hoover and dwight d. -- herbert hoover and dwight d. eisenhower, a documentary history. there is a flyer on the table in the lobby if you are adjusted in dutch interested -- if you are interested in the book itself. they are not sold here for a variety of reasons. it's a third and a trilogy that i did along with my friend and colleague, dwight miller, who is here. on hoover's extraordinary relationship with frequent franklin roosevelt, harry truman, and dwight d. eisenhower. it is an extraordinary life and as we have learned today, hoover's relationship with these men and any others make it a life worth remembering. we are talking about hoover and eisenhower, the great humanitarian and supreme allied commander. these two sons of the heartland found ample opportunity to work together in common cause in the
years after world war ii and they discussed everything from the contentious fight for the 1952 republican presidential nomination, to the second hoover commission to reorganize the executive branch. not surprisingly, they had much in common and both hoover and eisenhower were born into religious families on the midwestern frontier. they were both self-made and the first numbers of their families to graduate from college. both men had distinguished careers before elected resident. -- elected to the presidency. most important, they both shared a common conservative political philosophy and work critics of the bloated excesses of the new deal. it may come as a surprise that these two men were never close. it was not for lack of effort, at least on ike's part. as president come eisenhower made a deliberate effort to hoover's-
friendship, but the older man seemed suspicious of his motives. perhaps it was the politics of the presidency. they had been on opposite sides of the 1952 republican national convention and hoover could never quite come to trust ike after the convention. hoover saw value in working with the president, was always polite, but their relationship was formal at best. they were colleagues but not friends. it will surprise some of you that hoover's collaboration with eisenhower was not as personal as his partnership with harry truman. as we heard from lisa ocean, hoover and truman had one of the oldest and productive partnerships in u.s. history. hoover was a man in his 80's when he took assignment from
ike. he could have rebuffed these assignments by citing age or health, but that was not hoover's way. it is important to look at the partnership in the context of hoover's long post presidency. although it has become common for recent presidents to take active roles in public life after they leave office, it was unusual for presidents before herbert hoover to follow such a path. hoover never articulated a job description for the role of former president, but he defined the model that his successors used to present day. as such, hoover found himself as a leader of the republican opposition to frequent the roosevelt and later as -- franklin d roosevelt and later as an ally for dwight d. eisenhower. even at the age of 88, hoover declined an tly
invitation from john f. kennedy to serve as chairman of the peace corps. he no longer had the energy to do the job properly. what event precipitated all of these presidential partnerships? to a significant extent, it was fdr's sudden death in april 1945 that defined his personal relationships with all of these men. had it not been for several of these accidents of history, it is not likely hoover and truman would have crossed paths and forged their most unusual partnership. hoover and the truman were about as politically different as can be imagined. yet, had more in common than either men had known. they were the first to residents -- two presidents born west of the mississippi and were profoundly shaped by world war i and its aftermath. they were meant of modest means and experienced tragedy at an early age. both men lived in the shadow of
franklin roosevelt and needed each other to escape that shadow. truman faced a formidable republican opposition in congress and saw value in an alliance with hoover. hoover saw vindication in a return to government service. even if it was under a democratic resident of it -- democratic president. together, hoover and truman reorganized the executive branch. hoover and truman remained friends even after truman left office in 1953. an argument could be made their friendship deepened when they became equals as the nations to -- as then's two nation's two only living former presidents. they formed an informal former president club and saw each other time to time in new york and florida. the conversation was casual, the admiration was genuine. they attended the dedication of one another's presidential libraries and exchanged books.
as we heard from lisa, that wonderful letter from hoover to truman, yours has been a friendship which has reached deeper into my life than you know. truman was so impressed, he had that letter framed and displayed on the credenza defined his desk -- behind his desk at the truman library and the folks at the truman library will tell you he to orregularly point show that letter to visitors. hoover's relationship with eisenhower was significant from truman. ike was no stranger to hoover. hoover's first medication with -- firstmunication communication with eisenhower was in in the days after world war ii. it is likely the two men were first introduced by general douglas macarthur went he was
chief of staff during the hoover administration. eisenhower was macarthur's aide at the time and was often charged with the response ability for preparing reports for two indications for the president. it is logical to assume eisenhower had had conversations with the commander-in-chief between 9049-1933 that 1943.9 and the first document read evidence of to medication between the two men comes at the end of world war ii when hoover wrote to eisenhower about the matter close to hoover's heart. he had been an active collector of archival documentation on war , revolution and peace since the years after the first world war. he believed knowledge would help prevent nations from repeatedly making the same mistakes. to further research on these issues, hoover opened a special war library at stanford
university. established in 1919, the library eventually grew into the hoover institution with its own distinctive tower in the middle of the stanford campus. with the end of the second world war, hoover smoothed away to travel in europe together vital documents. he knew eisenhower's cooperation was essential to this effort and he issued a request for help in 1945 and a flurry of committee -- communications came the following year. food relief in europe was a concern and hoover took to the leading role as the chairman of the president's famine emergency committee, with eisenhower taking a supportive role as the supreme allied commander in europe. hoover briefed eisenhower on
civilian food needs and eisenhower briefed his staff on hoover's work. a third issue of common interest was politics. hoover was interested in the upcoming election of 1948 and eisenhower was rumored to be a candidate. what he run as a republican for ? esident ech those thoughts are in the book. a final issue was the reorganization of the executive branch. so-called first hoover commission, a task he took on for harry truman. hoover was pleased to have eisenhower as a consultant in the reorganization of the war department and its transition into the department of defense. eisenhower was honored to work with the president on a vital issue. as the 1940's came to an end, hoover was busy addressing the potential postwar famine in europe and the organization of the executive branch.
not surprisingly, he had scant contact with eisenhower between 1949 and the middle of 1952 and the documentary evidence is found only in context between third parties or mutual friends. there were few efforts to get together, particularly during the times when both men were in new york. eisenhower invited hoover to serve as an honorary chair to raise funds for the universities engineering program. -- university's engineering program. parenthetically, hoover declined because he was raising money for the engineering of grams at -- engineeringt programs at stanford university. the most substantive communication between hoover and eisenhower came as the cold war heated up in 1951. ike was nato commander and was clearly committed to a leadership role for the united states in sustaining the fragile
democracies of western europe hoover could not convince his future president that america should retreat to a focus primarily on national interests. foreign policy was the friction point between the two men and there was no question where hoover stood. on december 20, 1950, hoover delivered a forceful call to the united states to concentrate on the preservation of the western hemisphere with great britain as our outpost in the atlantic and japan and the philippines in the pacific. hoover was calling for america to adopt a modified isolationist foreign policy similar to the one he had advanced during his own administration. in this campaign, hoover was not alone. many republicans were in agreement with the former president. ike would have none of this talk of america as gibraltar. even if it was coming from a
former president. in letters to his friends, eisenhower was openly critical of hoover. in hindsight, this was no surprise. it would be illogical for him to repudiate the crusade he had led in europe from 1948-1955. most revealing was a diary entry written by eisenhower in 1951. "one of the men i most admire is herbert hoover, but i am forced to believe he is getting senile. got knows i would like to get out of europe and i would like to see the united states able to sit at home and ignore the rest of the world. what a pleasing prospect until you look at the open consequences." hoover turned his attention to the republican nominee for president and the campaign to
roll back the excesses of the new deal. he had seen for campaigns come and go since his devastating loss to fdr. hoover hoped to be the nominee himself in 1936 and in 1940. he was only moderately supportive of thomas dewey in 1944 and 1948. as 1952 approached, hoover and many associates began to marshall their resources in support of the presidential aspirations of their friend and colleague, senator robert taft of ohio. known as mr. republican, taft had led the republicans against truman and believed he earned a shot at the residential press ring. ass ring.ential breast
1952 should be his year. just as important to hoover, taft had been one of the young hoover men who worked with him on relief in belgium from 1914-1919. and the rest of europe after the war. such loyalty deserved his support. colleagues had other ideas and eisenhower was the man who led forces against hitler's eisenhower was at the center of those plans. it was dewey and eisenhower on one side and hoover and taft at the other. an internal struggle for the soul of the republican party. the first six months of 1952 were a time when the two camps focused on the coming campaign. although they were not political opponents, hoover and eisenhower were not allies. they barely communicated during those critical months before the presidential campaign began in earnest. instead of direct to medication,
-- direct communication, they made comment through surrogates. the republican national convention would be held in july and it was evident to hoover that taft was in trouble. if he was to stop the juggernaut for eisenhower. primary contests in a number of states were better and it appeared a credential committee would have to resolve the dispute. hoover was not pleased and they would be argued in public. it was his hope that an agreement could be worked out before the convention. hoover hoped taft would prevail in any such negotiation. paramount for hoover was the negotiations be done in private and at the highest level. in an effort to facilitate the process, hoover contacted cabot lodge, who was eisenhower's campaign manager.
he approached the manner delicately in a telegram, asking them to consider resolving the differences in private. much to his surprise, hoover was rebuffed on june 26 in a blunt letter from lodge that accuse hoover and taft of being undemocratic. that hoover was upset was an understatement. what an insult. one might mark the coolheaded tort eisenhower from this letter from lodge. hoover would not allow large to have the last -- lodge to have the last word and they would squabble over mail. lodge had his way and the disputes were resolved by the rnc delegate committee.
it was a foregone conclusion that ike would get the nomination, but did he have enough votes to get a victory on the first ballot? hoover delivered an address to the convention on july 8. the former president believed this would be his last convention speech, so he poured his soul into the message. he spoke of his struggle for republican values and he was pleased by the adulation and admiration he received from his fellow republicans. he hoped to god would give them the strength and courage to continue their fight for freedom. he was met with thundering applause as he left the podium. although he was grateful for the response to his speech, he was bitter in the aftermath of the convention. his enmity toward the eisenhower camp was evident in the documents. after the convention, he drafted a brief memoir for the record and he surmised he would have no role in the coming election campaign. eisenhower won the nomination but had a way to go to win over hoover. there is no question the former
president believed he had been insulted by the eisenhower forces during the preconvention negotiations. with the campaign about to begin in earnest, it was unclear what role hoover could have in the fall. the press popped the question, who would hoover support in the general election? "being a republican, i should vote for the republican ticket . to say that this endorsement of eisenhower was tepid is an understatement. perhaps hoover was throwing an insult at ike. whatever the subtext, it was clear to eisenhower that he would have work to do to get hoover on board in the general election campaign. during august and september,
eisenhower made several efforts to contact the former president, to no avail. for various reasons and hoover's unwillingness to work through intermediaries, the two men did not talk until october 9. hoover prepared a memorandum that summarized ike's action as -- message as a call to action. the principal purpose of the call was to ask hoover to address the nation on the republican ticket, a task the former president accepted. on the evening of october 18, via both radio and television, herbert hoover spoke to the american people. he touched on a range of issues, misrepresentation, implement -- employment relief, children, housing, and more. hoover never got to the point. encouraging his followers to get out and vote for eisenhower and nixon. hoover did not mention the republican ticket until the last paragraph of his speech. was this residual hostility?
we will never know. the speech was his principal contribution to the campaign and he was pleased with the effort. he received a congratulatory telegram from ike which confirmed his belief. hoover took on one other task on behalf of the republican ticket, to convince douglas macarthur to openly support eisenhower and to end the macarthur write-in campaigns. .very vote would count i a republican was back in the white house. eisenhower's victories come up first in winning the nomination and the election, were bittersweet. hoover was pleased a republican was in the white house but disappointed it was not taft. the vestiges of the 1952 campaign cast a lingering
measure of entity to the new president that would never disappear in spite of eisenhower's efforts to curry favor. yet, hoover was an optimistic man. he knew a republican would be in the white house and that gave him a certain measure of medication. -- vindication. he was back in washington after 20 years of exile. no doubt, he was pleased with the public response to his october 18 speech. request for printed copies of the speech poured into the waldorf towers in new york. it was likely hoover believed he exhibited to the victory and ike that contributed to the -- that the eisenhowerto victory and ike did not dissuade the former president in that belief. he also felt vindicated as he sat on the inaugural podium on january 20, 1953. there he was with his friend, harry truman, and his new colleague, the incoming dwight d. eisenhower. the shadow of franklin d
roosevelt had passed. hoover was looking forward, restless to be in on new projects and with this new president. the acrimony and friction of the campaign was over. the new president was attentive and a second hoover commission was in the offering. although he did not say as much, it is logical to assume herbert hoover was optimistic he would play a role in the eisenhower and ministration. -- eisenhower administration. that was the way the partnership began. with hoover expecting offers of collaboration and consultation from ike and eisenhower showing modest initiative in reaching out to the former president. hoover was not inclined to make the first move with eisenhower anymore than he was with truman. of course, hoover did keep the white house informed of his contacts with the white house, particularly as they related to the organization of the
executive branch. these early communications were not-so-subtle hints hoover wanted to be back at work dismantling the new deal. initially, eisenhower did not disappoint the former president. the legislation establishing the new commission was passed by the congress and signed into law after eisenhower took office. as is with the practice with the first commission, the legislation called for the president and the leaders to appoint members to the second hoover commission. hoover had been appointed to the first commission by house republicans. this time, his appointment came from the white house. although ike did not have the power to appoint hoover as chairman, it was clear they expected hoover would be in charge. that the former president had high expectations is without question.
hoover had succeeded in soliciting substantial cooperation from truman in response to recommendations from the first commission. truman was a partisan democrat. hoover can only speculate how much more he could get done with a republican president. hoover was not one to wait around until he received paperwork establishing the commission. available documents indicated hoover took every opportunity to offer advice to congress on matters relating to reorganization. in each case, he copied the president. as he waited for further instructions, hoover offered his support to ike on matters related to food relief in europe, a second subject of interest. on july 13, hoover got the request from eisenhower to begin formal work on a second hoover commission. the former president was back in business and had high expectations for substantial change.
over the next two years, hoover and his commissioners turned out brief but cogent recommendations on a wide range of aspects of the executive branch. each report was well-received by congress and the administration. hearings were held, legislation was proposed, and the pace of change was excruciatingly slow. but hoover and eisenhower were not on the same page with this reorganization although eisenhower publicly supported hoover, he had deep concerns about what should be done. ike's diary entry reveals the skepticism about the need to a second hoover commission.
it seemed that they would get in the way of other administrative initiatives. congress was formidable and interested -- eisenhower accepted the inevitable. that acceptance being noted, eisenhower's lack of enthusiasm for the commission compromised the pace and legislation darkened hoover's move. hoover begin to reorganize the executive branch for the second time in january 1954. often skeptical of the efficiencies of government, the former president was pleased with the recommendations from the first hoover communications that had been adopted in the truman years. the president expected with a republican congress, there would be no women to the number of changes that could be adopted in the coming two years. hoover was unaware the president was skeptical of the commission. he was unaware the ministration was giving thoughts to expanding the former president's portfolio to include an investigation to the central intelligence agency. after serious consideration, eisenhower chose not to give
more work to a man approaching his 80th day. -- birthday. it may have been best because hoover became distracted by an invitation he received from the chancellor of the federal republic of germany. hoover worked hard to feed that nation after world war ii . concerned about such a highly visible visit, he consulted the white house before accepting. the former president must have been pleased with the attention , because he received as he approached his birthday in 1954. he received an invitation to go camping and fishing with eisenhower prior to attract the -- the trip the two took to the iowa state fair. it was quite a summer for a man who had seen many spectacular summers. hoover devoted much of 1955 to his work on the commission and
its eventual recommendation of . it there was little communication with the president during those months, but that does not mean the president was not aware of hoover or his value to the administration. a new year meant new challenges for both men. the president suffered a heart attack and the nation was wondering about his long-term health. was eisenhower capable of handling a second term? was there a way to reduce some of the burdens of the presidency? hoover had an idea. the establishment of an administrative vice president to help the president. he proposed the idea in an appearance on meet the press in december, 1955. many of the duties he described are now what the chief of staff now does at the white house.
intrigued by the idea, john f. kennedy invited hoover to testify on the proposal. hoover was cautious and sounded out sherman adams at the white house on the illustrations administration's support for the idea. he came away with the firm belief he had bikes support and -- ike's support, and this was reaffirmed by additional data from white house staffers. hoover prepared his testimony before kennedy's committee thinking everyone agreed with america of the idea. -- with the merit of the idea. but com there was a double , cross afoot. that's the way hoover put it. adams sent kennedy a letter that question the need for such an office and implicitly rejected hoover's ideas. he had been blindsided and he then scheduled a meeting with the president to clarify the issue. there is no documents that quite
explains what they said to one another. hoover did not allow that meant matter to distract him from lobbying the president to actively support more commission recommendation. in a letter on april 22, response from eisenhower set the tone and the agenda for modest progress. ike would do what he could, but not take story measures to go -- take extraordinary measures to go beyond political reality. perhaps eisenhower was preoccupied with the upcoming presidential election in 1956. it had been more than half a century since a republican president had been elected to a second term and ike wanted to ensure he ended that long drought. hoover believed his commission recommendations would help secure victory on election day. although eisenhower did not dispute this claim, he did not advance the commissions recommendation through the congress as part of his
reelection campaign. hoover did not push the matter. he was uncertain if he had any role in the campaign and he was unwilling to attend or speak at the convention without a personal invitation from the president. ike followed suit and hoover was asked to participate. he did speak. his remarks were politely received the delegates. that's by the delegates. hoover took the same tone in a brief speech on october 29, a few days before the election. hoover used the cbs television network for these remarks. the former president hedged his bets and released the text of his remarks to the radio stations and print media. eisenhower's reelection pleased hoover and he was gratified to have played a small part in the campaign. hoover received an invitation to the inauguration and he planned to attend. as the year came to an end, both
hoover and eisenhower were caught up in a cold war crisis in hungary. the world was a dangerous place and both men knew well the president was often called on to respond when it dictated a measured response. hoover and eisenhower turned their attention to other issues. for hoover, this meant an increased effort to pressure the president to do more to implement the recommendations of the hoover commission. the dilemmas facing them work , the fact half the recommendations required congressional action. passage was probable as long as i stay focused -- ike stay ed focused on the matter at
hand. perhaps more evocative, hoover went so far as to prepare draft remarks for hoover to deliver to congress and the nation about the reorganization of the executive branch. hoover was exceedingly respectful of eisenhower's authority and took pains to make it clear he was merely trying to be helpful. but hoover was on commission to -- on a mission to achieve passage and he knew eisenhower was the key to the victory. to his credit, eisenhower remained attentive to hoover's recommendations and always followed up to medications with communications with hoover with a response. indicative of ike's commitment to the hoover recommendations is sherman adams.to although memo was neutral, the message was clear. ike wanted to see more action. that he appreciated hoover is evident in the citation he presented to hoover on february 4. after referring to the work on the commission as a "crowning
achievement," he concluded with these works. "through your effort, america will be a stronger country. you have added strength to the free world." hoover was referred to in the citation as a statesman and a citizen, but not as a former president. that most likely suited herbert hoover, who wanted to be measured his public service, not by his political office. but hoover wanted results. perhaps it was his agent or the -- age or the fact ike was a republican, but he expected the administration to show sustained enthusiasm for the work of his commission. hoover gave his blessing and the establishment of the citizens committee for the hoover report, led by business executive clarence francis. there was no disputing the committee got significant
results. the committee, which operated 1958, theuntil administration and implement two thirds of the recommendation. which by many measures would be considered a great success, except when compared to the first hoover commission. the past 72%. passed 72%. that point stuck in mr. hoover's craw. that was the first stage as far as hoover was concerned. throughout eisenhower's second term from 1957-1961, hoover continued to remind the president of things yet to be accomplished. the two presidents nonetheless saw the commissions legacy very
differently. after issuing a number of executive orders, ike was satisfied he had fulfilled his promise to hoover to carry forward the commissions recommendation. hoover was grateful for these efforts, but saw much more could and should be done through legislative action. the former president wanted the white house to lobby capitol hill in concert with the committee. with hoover, it was always more that could be done. eisenhower may well have been frustrated with hoover's persistent efforts to achieve legislative change. ike was defensive in his response to clarence francis. although eisenhower noted the fine work that had been done, he promised the administration would continue to put into effect imitations not yet that recommendations -- and to
affect recommendations -- into effect recommendations not yet undertaken and will apply day by day many of the principles featured in the commissions work. hoover never complained about the slow progress, but he was less than satisfied. it was rumored he groused about hike in a conversation with harry truman. when he complained to hoover about eisenhower not taking his advice, hoover said, hairy, he rry, he doesn't listen to me, either. ike was attentive to hoover. hoover could be easily disaffected. he seemed to be looking for evidence of ike's lack of zeal to roll back the new deal. with the end of the second hoover commission, his attention
shifted to belgium. in two rather poignant jesters, gestures, eisenhower won favor with hoover. the first was a request from eisenhower to hoover that hoover represent the u.s. at the opening of the world's fair in brussels in 1958. hoover would visit the fair as the formal united states representative and deliver a speech on the fourth of july. at age 84, he must have known this would be his last trip to the country so close to his heart. the second gesture was to extend a formal invitation to visit the united states, a formal state visit to the king of belgium. a formal state visit was a high honor and it was the very first state visit from belgium to the united states. the idea originated with hoover and eisenhower was pleased to oblige the former president.
president. that hoover was grateful was without question and the gratitude was evident in the invitation to belgium. ike knew hoover was a hero to the belgian people and his visit would be a wonderful opportunity to look back over 50 years. it was only fitting hoover's return would be an official visit as a u.s. representative and he should travel on the president's own plane, the columbine. hoover was pleased and grateful. he was also pleased and honored that the president honored the belgian people by inviting their king for a state visit. such evidence were stooges
prestigious affairs, marking a special relationship between two nations. he had the state department extend this invitation. hoover was pleased to attend the state dinner at the white house on may 11, 1959 and by 1960 with the administration in its last few reasons for them to communicate. in retrospect, they cobbled together a productive partnership even though they were never friends. both men devoted the early 1960's to polishing their legacies. they were preoccupied with funding, constructing, and opening their respective presidential libraries. the dwight d eisenhower library opened in abilene, kansas on may 1, 1962. the hoover library was dedicated that august in west branch.
it is the only time in the history of the presidential library system that two libraries were dedicated in the same year. it's interesting to note neither president attended the opening of the others library. they exchanged pleasantries, but the entire year of 19 q1 passed past without an exchange. hoover and knowledge but declined ike invitation to attend the ceremony at abilene. they exchanged birthday and holiday greetings. as contact diminished, hoover turned his attention to the incoming president, john f. kennedy. the senator was no stranger to hoover, who followed the man's life and career for 20 years. hoover was friends with joseph p kennedy, the father of the incoming president. hoover sent kennedy a note shortly after the election in
november offering his assistance to the new administration. the new president took hoover up on his offer. when he was planning a new food for peace initiative, kennedy sent an assistant named george mcgovern to visit hoover at the waldorf towers. the former president and future presidential nominee spent the afternoon discussing options for an effective program. hoover's ideas were valued in the kennedy white house and he continued to release statements in support of the policy and sent letters to the white house seeking to influence legislation. that hoover's support was important to the kennedy administration was evident in the fact that the former president comments were leaked to the press by the white house. when legislation bogged down in congress in april, the white house asked hoover to appear on a cbs news program discussing the initiative. hoover declined, stating his views were well-known. but the white house wanted to remind the public that hoover was on board on may 10. carl levin, the u.s. senator
from michigan, called the waldorf and asked if president kennedy could use hoover's february endorsement in a speech before a nonpartisan trade group. hoover agreed, providing his endorsement was linked with truman and eisenhower and the white house agreed. hoover's physical decline in 96 1964 was the inevitable result of old age. he received occasional communications from truman and eisenhower and lyndon b. johnson. it was clear to all that the chief was slowing down. to be sure he continued to put in full days at the waldorf, but travel was infrequent. he declined an invitation to appear at the rnc in san francisco that year and he
suffered bouts of health issues and slipped into a coma. he passed away october 20 and was buried here october 29. the final document in the hoover-eisenhower partnership came in a result in a visit from eisenhower to this library in 1965. almost a year after hoover's death, eisenhower was the guest of honor at the dedication of a postage stamp commemorating herbert hoover. he made no formal remarks. but, he did offer a few comments to the press. this is what he said as reported in the iowa city press citizen. "i wish to pay my special tribute to herbert hoover. i am always proud to honor those who have been recognized by their fellow men as great men, as great americans, as great humans. among these, herbert hoover stands in the first score.
his great human qualities are known throughout the world. so long as the english language is spoken, so long as there is a nation we will remember herbert hoover with the greatest gratitude." so, what are we to make of the partnership between hoover and eisenhower? the available documents show frustration, collaboration, and eventual closure and life in public service. that hoover had high hopes for his work is without question. that he was disappointed with the pace of progress was also evident. perhaps he had to hike and exit an expectation for the eisenhower years. we will never know. what is not in doubt is that through his multiple attributions to both the truman and eisenhower administrations, hoover made a subsantiv difference in the
power in washington. thank you very much. [applause] >> so says the final speaker. a lot of you have questions and , as you know, i am a serial talker. questions? >> i would like to ask you a question about herbert hoover's older son, who he appointed to a senior position in the state department. i think he was an acting secretary of state. can you explain if you know how that came about? mr. walch: one of hoover's measures of friendship or points of discussion with ambassador
joseph p kennedy was the respective careers of their two sons, john f. kennedy and herbert hoover, he was called herbert junior but i think he was herbert charles hoover. he was undersecretary of state starting in the second eisenhower term and was acting secretary of state when john foster dulles suffered a heart attack. more specifically, he was acting secretary of state during the suez crisis. he played a critical role and i think there was added discussion of appointing herbert hoover jr. as secretary of state when dulles retired after the first term. but they chose christian her, another hoover man.
another person who had served in the famine relief years. that hee's no question played a critical role in the administration. >> could you talk little bit about how hoover and eisenhower dealt with joe mccarthy? mr. walch: as far as i know, there was not a lot of discussion -- the topic never came up between the two of them discussing that as an issue. there is no documents that represent any direct communication on political issues. there is no question that joe mccarthy was a burr under eisenhower's saddle. the whole question of how to deal with it and how to ask congress to deal with it -- what is most interesting is the fact that in the effort to discipline
joe mccarthy and to challenge him and oppose what he was doing, we give little credit to margaret chase smith, an extraordinary woman. it was a difficult time for the republican party to deal with someone who was off the rails. i think eisenhower avoided the issue. the question of loyalty -- it is clear that you have mccarthy attacking the army and other eisenhower departments, but as far as what i know of the issue, and i knowkept mum of no comments by herbert hoover on joe mccarthy. they may be there, but you have to tease it out somewhere in the collections behind these walls. i invite you all. that's what i used to say in my days as director. "good topic, young man. get back there and do some
research." [laughter] >> i wondered if there was anything to comment on about hoover's relationship with richard nixon. was nixon a go-between between taft, hoover people, and eisenhower-dewey people? mr. walch: there was a tendency on nixon's part to send glowing letters of admiration and appreciation and polite acknowledgment to herbert hoover. there was no evidence of any kind of warmth or collaboration per se and it was more in the manner of fan letters than there was in terms of colleagues. they certainly didn't see nixon as an equal or the up-and-coming power within the republican party. in an odd sort of way, i think he had more affection for john f. kennedy then richard nixon and as i was saying to someone last night in the contested election of 1960, which was so close and in the weeks between the election results and the question of whether there should
be a recount, hoover was in florida at key largo and he was there -- john f. kennedy was there as well, as was richard nixon. they got the two together to talk about the issues. in some ways, herbert hoover negotiated between kennedy and nixon. nixon chose not to pursue a recount. he thought it would be deleterious to the nation, specifically in illinois and texas. in some ways, herbert hoover judged people based on not just what they said or their political affiliation and party, but whether they were kindred spirits in their police and what had they accomplished. fs and what had they accomplished. i had always been interested in that relationship between herbert hoover and the kennedy
family as much as i was between herbert hoover and harry s truman. it is counter intuitive to think they had much in common. it is hard for us to imagine any former president of opposite political persuasions would have real affection. you do occasionally see it. the relationship between jimmy carter and gerald ford was extraordinary. we saw it in the early days between john adams and thomas jefferson. it does happen. with it, there would be more collaborations if people put their political differences aside and let's work on the causes we both share. in the back. >> my question has to do with the women. i think there was some evidence
that hoover reached out to eleanor roosevelt before the hoover's moved out of the white house. i was wondering if there was any response from eleanor roosevelt, anytime she reached out to hoover in your knowledge. mr. walch: one of the interesting challenges or dilemmas -- the relationship , the fractured relationship between herbert hoover and franklin d roosevelt. and how they responded to one another. it was always through third parties, comments they would make about one another. even when you have a life-changing event. for example, when the president's mother, who lived at the white house, passed away, hoover did not send his condolences to the president, he sent his condolences to eleanor roosevelt. i'm not quite sure if there is a subtext there. it's also true that when president roosevelt said herbert
-- percent -- sent herbert hoover a telegram of condolence on the passing of lou henry hoover, he responded to eleanor roosevelt. he did occasionally use eleanor roosevelt as his go-between and there was an money is war -- anip after the acrimonious relationship after the war where eleanor went more vocal and set out on her own political and pains and careers. she wrote a newspaper column called "my day", in which she was openly critical on positions taken by herbert hoover. he did not take kindly to those remarks. there was more friction after pregnant roosevelt passed away -- after franklin roosevelt there wasy than before that time. i don't know about the time before eleanor and herbert
hoover. there was an effort on the roosevelt's part in the years after world war i and in the 1920's to have them curry favor with the hoover's. i think they saw the hoover's were an up-and-coming power couple and they wanted to hitch their wagon to that success. franklin roosevelt was president of the american construction council, which was basically a residential housing trade group. working with the secretary of commerce would be a feather in his cap. there was every reason for them to try to make friends and that breaks down as franklin roosevelt becomes governor and hoover becomes president. it deteriorates before the dust during the campaign -- it deteriorates further during the campaign. communication after that time has been spotty. good question. >> i believe on that note, we shall end. mr. walch: i'm out of time? please.
just another hour. [laughter] [applause] mr. walch: as my mother would say, sure to thank them all for listening to you. [applause] >> sundays at 7:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, a series of six interviews with prominent photo journalists. committee a conversation with frank johnston about his .hotos and create -- career >> when they brought also walled out, he was within three feet of me. we were all thrown to the floor because there must have been 100 police in that basement that sunday morning bu.
>> sundays at 7:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. presidency,he herbert hoover's relationship with woodrow wilson and his role in the wilson administration until their falling out in 1920. mr. kennedy is an illinois state university professor. this is part of the herbert hoover presidential library and museum's a long conference entitled "presidential partnerships." it is 45 minutes. kennedy's professor of history at illinois state university. he received a phd in history from the university of california berkeley and specializes in the united states
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