tv The Presidency Herbert Hoovers 1964 Funeral CSPAN December 14, 2021 8:02pm-9:09pm EST
next, i look back at the 1964 funeral of former president herbert hoover, with presidential library archivist lynn smith, using old footage and photographs, she recreates mr. hoover's trip to his childhood home. >> today's presentation is called hoover's last trip home. our speaker is smith, audio visual archivist at the hoover presidential library and museum, where she's worked since november, 2000. her previous experience include serving as government documents department supervisor at the university of denver and archivist for the u.s. forest service in montana. she holds a b a from the university of northern colorado.
a masters degree from colorado state university. and further degrees from the university of denver. she is chair of a committee on ethics and professional conduct and has taught workshops on copyright law for the society of rocky mountain archivists. in her career, she's been elected president of the society of rocky mountain archivist, secretary of the academy of certified archivists, and the nominating committee of the midwest archives conference. she has collected some great photos, videos and audio files to share with us from herbert funeral's funeral service in 1964. hoover died on october 20th and was buried at west branch on the 25th. thank you for joining us tonight, lynn. looking forward to your presentation. >> thank you, brad. i want to know that this marks
the second year of the third thursdays. and i'm happy to be part of launching what will be the next year. also, just kind of a note, this coming october 27th's world day for audio visual heritage. it's a key initiative of unesco and the coordinating council of audio visual archives associations, to honor archival institutions for safe guiding our av heritage. so in that spirit, i was able to put together a very visual production of what happened on those few days after october 20th, when mr. hoover died. it's a combination of army photos and photos, black and white and color, from press, local residents. all kinds of media donations have come on over the years.
silent film, color film of the army. because hoover's funeral was an army, military production, as former president. and also working in a couple of pieces of artwork. so it's kind of a full thing. the recording you will hear part of the way in, is the radio broadcast of wmt radio out of cedar rapids, iowa. and it features a man who went into television, price, and some of the other wmt on-air news people that followed the cortege from cedar rapids airport to west branch. and there's a full recording of the funeral service that is unedited. the assorted clips that you hear of the radio people are just that, segments, of longer, two and a half hour recordings
-- but no one has two and a half hours to do this. so we can crunch it. but they did not cut any part of the funeral. even silences of things are as is. so, our story begins with mr. hoover's death at the age of 90, shortly before noon, on tuesday, october 20th, 1964. plans for his funeral were made as far back as 1958. so when he passed, the pre-established sequence of events began. so let me hit share screen and we should have media. and enlarge it to full screen and if i can find the play button, here it is -- so ... october 20th, the 21st, it was moved to st. bartholomew's church and put on
a replica of the lincoln vault. october 22nd, the church was closed from three to about 5 pm as a funeral service was held with president lyndon johnson and john connally, the texas mayor, the new york city mayor robert wagner, robert kennedy, his mother rose, wife ethel. and of course the hoover family and other dignitaries attended this funeral. and the family group or mr. hoover's two sons. herbert jr. and allen and their wives margaret and margaret. and they're six grandchildren. the reverend terrence j. thinly, director of saint barr the bartholomew's, conducted the service. st. bartholomew's we opened the public. and there you see the director. i and the people lined up
around the block, located at 51st and park avenue in new york city, waiting to view mr. hoover's flag covered casket. between the 21st and 22nd, some 22,000 people paid their respects at st. bartholomew's church. and the church was open from nine to three on the 22nd. and then three to five. and then nine. the next morning, october 22nd, the family and friends arrived at the church, the u.s. military academy band, along with cadets from west point, were on hand. and hundreds of people watched from across the street. the joint service honor cordon lined the steps, the steps leading from park avenue, the band played ruffles and flourishes and then hail to the
chief. when the him began, lord, thou has been our dwelling place, the pallbearers took the casket and placed in the waiting hearse. the body bearers and flag team marched away. and you'll see after the driver door of the hearse close, the honor cordoned and then -- military ended their salute. and as they move the casket very slowly, as you see the family -- and this is army film, different angles. i it's a series of clips, never footage, 30 seconds here, a minute of that, it's kind of a hodgepodge of film clips but i try to put them together in some semblance of order to show you this today.
after the hearse left, a motorcade of 18 limousine's followed the hearse to pennsylvania station, with the hoover family and others and dignitaries to take the train ride to washington d.c.. and there was honor guard and flag salutes at pennsylvania station for the hoover family. whence at the station, the body bearers removed the casket from the hers.
and moved it down to the train. the hoover family and friends, including richard and patricia nixon, the former vice president, and admiral lewis straws, among others, with military escort, took their positions near the funeral car. the body bearers preceded with the national color detail and clergy, followed by the personal flag bearer, the presidential flag, went through the honor cordon and went through to place the casket on the funeral car. 153 people boarded the train before it departed at 9:35 am. the funeral train reached the station at 1:25. the president and mrs. johnson
greeted the hoover family. just outside union station, the johnson's and the hoover's lined up to watch the casket loaded onto the pay some. general paisley led the procession down delaware avenue, three blocks from the capital. the procession include the army band, the national color detail, the case on and the body detailer's. and the groom, with the comparison horse, blackjack. next was the hoover family and limousine's. president johnson followed up with secret service extort. with cars and dignitaries. as the column moved down delaware avenue to the south, escort troops were in units lined up alongside the east side of the avenue, facing the center of the street. in order to the south were
accompany from each of the service academies. a company from the army marine corps, navy, air force, and coast guard, and a composite company of servicewoman. the air national guard, air force reserve and coast guard reserve. more at the southern end, more representatives from eight veterans organizations. along delaware avenue,as the pg delaware avenue, hundreds, including the press, gathered at the east front of the capital, awaiting the movement of mr. hoover's casket, by way of the senate staircase, as the main stairs were closed for the construction of the inaugural platform. 1964 being an election year, the inaugural would be early in 1965. so here you see more of the funeral procession moving down delaware avenue, passed the
blocks of the escorts troops. a word briefly about blackjack, who followed the caisson. a comparison horse is a long-standing practice is having a deceased military officer in a funeral procession. blackjack carried an empty saddle and boots, reversed in the stirrups and blackjack famously appeared in john kennedy's funeral 11 months earlier. blackjack was a very spirited, gelding named for a blackjack, general blackjack pearling. when the horse and delaware avenue from union station, the third infantry fired a 21 gun salute and, crossed delaware avenue, and a 48 air force fighter jet plane in clusters of three passed overhead. when the cortege answered the
east plaza, the troops and his staff, and the army men continued on until they were out of the ceremonial area. the cortege halted in front of the senate wing steps and took their respective positions at the foot of the senate at 2:30. i mentioned it was a windy day. the marine band had ruffles and flourishes for the chief, and begin america beautiful. the first note the body bearers removed the casket. general really led the procession of the steps into the capital. hundreds watched from a distance. and there is the casket with the body bearers. and there is hoover, mr. and mrs. johnson are in the center, with the hoover family close behind.
and, people from across the east front of the capitol watching, a little girl with flowers. inside the senate wing entrance, the procession can continue to the rotunda. the hoover family and civilian leaders watched while the national color detail, clergy, and personal flag bearer accompanied the casket as it was carried to the center of the rotunda, and placed on the lincoln catapult. the personal flag and colors were posted, and the catapult was a platform built originally for president lincoln's casket when he was assassinated back in 1865 and it is maintained at the capitol and used for very
specific state funerals once the flags were posted, the -- at the lincoln catafalque and the body bearers were dismissed after a salute. the body bearers are with the same group we will see again a bit later. once they departed, the reverend harris, chaplain of the senate delivered a short eulogy addressing mr. hoover's humanitarian work and his strong, unbending, unblemished
concluding the ceremony -- while a rotunda cleared the hoover family -- for the lying in state period. after the departure of the family, the rotunda was open to the public from 3 pm to 9 pm. on october 24th, the rotunda opened again and was open to the public between the hours of 9 am and 9 pm. over the two days, approximately 30,000 people filed past the lincoln kind of fault, and the hoover casket. throughout the state period, the joint service guard of honor maintained a constant vigil changing relief units every 30 minutes. the next day, sunday october 25th, at 9:30, the last ceremonies began when the casket was moved from the capital to washington national airport. the u.s. navy band was on the
capitol plaza, to the left of the steps, as the national color detail appeared in the doorway, they presented arms, the body bearers took the casket to the steps and the navy band played abide with me, the body bearers moved down the steps through the honor court and down to the hers. after the casket was placed in the hearse, -- in the hoover family and others entered to their automobiles, and followed the hearse.
the motorcade reached the military airport service terminal at 9:55 am, the motorcade traveled across the access road to the terminal, the -- give a 21 gun salute. at the airport, [inaudible] and the air force band sounded honors. the band played, now the day is over, and the body bearers remove the casket from the hearse through the national retail, through the honor, court and place the body along a board these c-130 airplane. -- in all 64 people to iowa. before plants were airborne by 10:30 am. the four aircraft from washington d.c. landed in cedar rapids shortly before 2 pm. now i give you, w empties radio
coverage of the events starting in cedar rapids at the airport. >> good afternoon, we are reporting from the burial site in hoover remote world park -- the body of the 31st president of the united states will be laid to rest. we switch now to the cedar rapids municipal airport, and news man martin johnson. >> approaching from the east now, in his final approach is the plane which carries the remains of iowa was only president. now nearing the runway, just touched the ground, [inaudible]. hundreds of people parade along the fences, from the front to all the way behind the terminal, several hundred yards to the
rest of the terminal. the inside of the terminal, filled with people here to view the arrival of mr. hoover's body. the family, or walking down the steps [inaudible]. greeted by the governor. the big cargo plane, very slowly rose up to its destination. about three feet ahead of it where it now stands. family and close friends walking directly towards us, escorted by an army officer. the entire group of close friends and relatives now moving into position. directly in front of us. between us and the big airplane,
♪ ♪ ♪ the doors shut on the hearse. pull barest and back. rifles come down. they offer a salute. as the funeral party now approaches, the location, the mourners, the members to the official funeral party are gone up on one side of the top of the knoll on which the burial site is located. then, bringing all the way around the hoover birthplace park, particularly on the side, next to the town are the people, the friends of herbert hoover,
who have come out to pay their final respects to this man who will be right here within the hour. the beauty of the scene, is one which is difficult to describe. the grass is past its peak of its summer green, established upon the burial site here now, in a complete ring are the formal tributes which were brought here to the site, and of course as chief among them there is a wreath with right white and blue carnations. it is very difficult to establish the size of the crowd which has gathered here, but it is very, very large. as i look across now to the, directly to the west, i see
that they are also lined up, people behind the fence, behind the military court which has been established by some 240 members of the iowa national guard, looking directly across the valley from this hilltop to the view upon which the town itself sets. there is an area -- probably people standing there in some 20, 20 to 25 deep. and all the way back to the library itself. then, in the cornfield which has been turned into a parking lot for this day, people are lined up all along that fence also. it has to stretch for distance of about half a mile. the traffic situation became acute. traffic was backed up for the
total of a mile. rou >> reporting from the long route -- [inaudible] one mile north of interstate 80, north of 218. and the senate general lieutenant general, see the gods. [inaudible] within minutes should be coming up to bob nelson, heading up to the last end of the trip. a large number of cars are trying to catch a glimpse along the way. this is dennis swanson, or turning you to our central studio. >> west on interstate 80. in a few moments, the hearse bearing the body of president hoover, chief executive west of
the mississippi, will travel to the grave site. >> now on the north side of the funeral know, where we have just viewed the hearse, the honor guard drawn up beside it representing all members of the armed services. the color guard standing on the opposite side of the roadway. the door of the hearse has now been opened. the body bearers will be moving the crosscut casket a few inches out of the car for the phase of this ceremony, which
♪ ♪ ♪ [inaudible] ♪ ♪ ♪ the army band has concluded playing the national anthem. and immediately begins the notes of the battle hymn of the republic. mr. hoover's favorite him. this is the signal for the general party to move from the cortege to the grave site. the colors unfurled on the first note of the ruffles and
flourishes. ? moving slowly. and the perception moves up the line, which at one point is very steep. now the procession begin -- now just coming into my view, general dodge, commander of the united states [inaudible] and escort commander for his general service. and behind him, the national color detail. and [inaudible] an army man. and then [inaudible] who will preside at the religious service at the grave.
and now passing from my view, [inaudible] containing the body of the 31st president of the united states, coming home to arrest rest [inaudible] his sons, herbert junior and -- and their wives and seven grandchildren of herbert qvar. hoover. now passing in front of our vantage point, the governor of iowa. immediately behind him, [inaudible] and president kennedy. and then the very close friends
of the family, and military escort proceeding slowly to the green, with its canopy of trees at the ridge here, looking out over the valley on which arrests the hoover library and the cottage where ms. rand was born. the general procession filing slowly into place. and in accordance with a heritage with which president hoover knew and cherished, we shall begin this service with a period of reverent silence into which we ask you all to join.
along and an corrupted life and in the hope of glory, into which our friend has now entered. make us to rejoice. because nothing can separate us or him from the love of christ, amen. it would be suitable at this time, to read the noblest passages of the new testament, which are -- concerned with the resurrection in christ. there is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon,
and another glory of the stars. [inaudible] stars differ from stars in glory. so it is with the resurrection of the dead, what is shown [inaudible] it's perishable, what is raised us imperishable. it is shown in this honor, it is raised in glory. it is [inaudible] in a week this, it is raised in power. that's shown in physical body, it is raised in a spiritual body. i tell you a mystery -- we shall not all sleep but we shall be -- in a moment, at the last trump, it [inaudible] and the that will be raised
imperishable. for this perishable must [inaudible] and this model must put on [inaudible] when the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the model for [inaudible], then shall come to pass -- death is swallowed up in victory, oh death where is thy victory? oh death, where is thy [inaudible]. the speed of god, who tells us the victory to our lloyd jesus christ. who then shell separate us from the love of christ. shall [inaudible] or describe us, for persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril [inaudible]. no, in all of these things we are more than conquerors through [inaudible] who loved us. neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principality, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor [inaudible]. not anything else and all creation can separate us from the love of god and christ jesus our lord. we have gathered here, friends, to honor one of the great men of the 20th century. his is the story of what is
best in the american heritage. he bears witness to a way of life [inaudible] we seldom demonstrate, but which is infinitely precious, indicted provides a standard by which we may judge our relatives [inaudible] as well as our relatives successors. in so far as his is the kind of life we truly prize, the basic [inaudible] of the republic is likely to be -- for we perform a service, but we try to make clear the nature of the heritage, which -- the very first president of the united states of america has represented with unusual -- first there is the beginning, which combines [inaudible]
frugality, and [inaudible]. hoover belongs to the procession of hard working and god loving pioneers, across the nation in great steps, establishing strong communities at each point. west milton ohio, and west branch iowa. we're important stopping graces, [inaudible] hoover's move from the atlantic to the pacific. the cemetery near the west branch of the miami river, and the birthplace here at was french oil, they are both symbols of something precious in american history. they are symbols of men close to the soil, and close to almighty god who made it.
it is important to remember that the life of toil and reverence, lead naturally to the [inaudible] of learning. -- were set up at each stopping place along the way. that herbert hoover as a boy should -- stanford university and it's opening, was there for in no way surprising. [inaudible] carried over into the life of learning, in those glorious years when stanford was built. by amazing good fortune, he was guided not only into the study of geology, but into the study of lawton under a man who was remarkable, professor augustus. the result was an unending spiritual influence, which reached its climax in the days in the white house. hoover has worked as a geologist, [inaudible] was
brilliantly successful. the public just tremendous right, [inaudible] it's only a preparation for larger work. the great days at the end of the first world war and immediately afterwards, when herbert hoover in his message of compassion, was the most influential men in europe. -- the rare, but -- fulfillment. all along the heritage to which he was being a faithful, one in which public service is [inaudible]. the consciously nourished ideal required every question to bind on his pick grim way. whether humble, or [inaudible]. included a --
could be mentioned without self consciousness, and without a policy. it required of each person that they show diligence in his calling. that he should practice frugality and simplicity, and that he should respect responsibility for some unique contribution to the total community. the most important thing to say about herbert hoover is that he has demonstrated an ethic, which is identical with that which made america great. there are some who supposed that we have outgrown it, or that we ought to outgrow it. but, a life like that which we honor today is the best reputation -- it is not unreasonable to see herbert hoover's life in six major chapters. these six are as follows: first,
in iowa and oregon. second, student at stanford. third, engineer in various -- . fourth, director of [inaudible] fifth, that [inaudible], six, elder. it might be supposed thought -- but it has not been so, instead his influence has gone on from strength to strength. he became the very ideal of the [inaudible] writing much, speaking seldom, counseling untold numbers of men and women. and, standing as a symbol of moral strength. all knew there was one great man in america, who stood above the possibility of corruption,
all recognized that he was one who had never saw a personal gain or even payment for his public service. as the years went on, after the end of the white house days, there was a great depression, there was a second world war, and through the years we have succeeded that for. there was probably no thoughtful person in the united states who did not come to see the unfairness of the judgment of those who had claimed mr. hoover for what was in reality a worldwide economic -- in his magnificent patience, mr. hoover did not even worry about the outcome. he knew that he had been right. he knew that he had been unjustly blamed. and via wonderful grace, he
lived long enough to see that would have been a problem had been a problem no longer. indeed, we see the events of 35 years ago in perspective, it is obvious that the critics have been more hurt than the criticized. this is particularly true among those who tried to raise public stature by seeking to harm that of public stature. these critics now standup clearly for all to see and the public has made it judgment. the six chapters are now over. in one sense, the volume is complete. but there is another sense in which it is not and is still going on. herbert hoover will be remembered as long as the american dream is cherished because he is, to such a great
extent, the last of the famous pioneers. he represents the westward track. he represents dignified simplicity. he represents to a remarkable degree, the authority of a fait which expresses itself in compassionate service to mankind. he has worked hard. he has been very brave. he has endured. how appropriate that went his mortal of him should finally rest, after all his struggles, and his victories, in his native soil midway in the western track and near the middle of north america. he never favored from the
living, which was indigenous to his heritage, and in which he lived and served and died. the story is a great one and it is a good one. it is essentially a story that is triumph. therefore, it is reasonable that today our mood should be one of rejoice. this is not a time for tears. this corruption has put on in corruption. this more toll has put on immortality. death he swallowed up in victory. thanks be to god, which gave us the victory through our lord
jesus christ. and now let me ask this great company to bow their heads in prayer for the final prayer. and now, most gracious father, bless this great gathering of thy children in this place of memory, of peace, of beauty. send each one of us forward with a new dedication and renewed compassion. teach us to be a company of memory and of hope.
as we pay our final respects to thy servant, herbert hoover. therefore, we commit his body to the ground. and his soul to die eternal keeping. amen. >> [inaudible] the burial service -- now being moved to one side. preparations are now being made to present a wreath of president johnson. the presidential race he's now
-- rendering taps, colors now being folded over the simple coffin. by the body bearers, enlisted man of all the services. an air force man standing at attention with the presidential flag, the national color guard made up of navy, army and marine personnel bearing the national colors. the national anthem now being folded over the coffin of herbert hoover.
now being passed, one of the enlisted men, reaches forward. donald amash takes it. places it under his left arm. returns his salute. the body they were's now step back, the color guard begins to move out. the body bearers behind them, moving out over the green. the military detail moves forward. general dodge steps up to herbert huber junior and
presents to him the national flag, which was used in this funeral service for the nation's 31st president. the casket stands now over the grave of the refs, with white flowers rusting upon it. at front of the casket is the presidential reef wreath made up of red, white and blue carnations and all around the green are flowers of every description, including one made up in the form of a cross of white flowers. another a shield of the united states colors.
and the tribute which the nation has paid to the 31st president of the united states is at an end. this is grand price speaking from the herbert hoover burial site, returning you to our studios. >> that's that. >> think, you lynn, we do just have a couple of minutes and a lot of questions here to run through. several are wondering why did they refer to them as body carriers instead of paul bearers? we had a cultural thing at the time? is there any story behind that terminology? >> probably a cultural thing.
i think it could be old school, because throughout almost all of the radio man referred to the box in which the body was in as a coffin. that is incorrect, it was a casket. a coffin it's a diamond shape. picture a kite with the top and the bottom cut out. we see them in the 1920s horror movies, in all of that. that is a coffin. caskets are rectangular. he was buried in a rectangle. >> when was the last time that mr. hoover had visited the birthplace in west branch? >> he was last in west branch in 1960 -- 1962, for the dedication of the library. prior to, that it was his 80th birthday in 1954. >> lou henry had died 20 years
before him, and was buried in california. when was she then moved to west branch? >> within a week. so, somewhere october 31st, or november 1st. that last picture where he is describing the flowers and you see no casket, but two military men standing guard, that was in that one week period before they had moved mrs. hoover's body from being entered in california to west branch. >> is that a 24 hour guard that they had posted? >> it was a private ceremony that have happened. >> a few people are wondering did former presidents truman and eisenhower attend the
funeral? i believe they were probably there in washington, but did they come to us branch as well? >> they were not in washington, their health problems we're -- came up and neither mr. eisenhower, nor mr. truman were on hand in d.c., nor in west branch. they had sent postage messages of, you know, eulogizing mr. hoover and sent their condolences to the family. but, medical problems left them unable to actually attend in either place. >> there is some question, it was obviously in new york, but what was the cause of death? >> he was at the waldorf, it was technically they say it was
cancer, but it was internal bleeding and internal hemorrhaging that they have been dealing with for over three or four days, around october 16th, october 17th. they had given in a lot of blood transfusions, all kinds of paramedic type assistance and the waldorf. but, his body just kind of war out and gave up the goes as it were, around 11:35 in the morning on the 20th. with the family nearby. >> bruce is asking where are hoover's parents buried? are they here in west french? >> right, there are buried and west branch cemetery. as is all in hoover, their son. >> and, where is that cemetery? i have never been up that way.
>> it is kind of by west branch high school, off to the north west of town. >> you know, we saw the video of the cargo plane coming into cedar rapids, and stevens asking, why wasn't it air force one? was there and air force one at that time? and, was that exclusively for -- >> at that time, that would not have been done. i don't think it is standard procedure. it is a military operation for the presidential funerals, so that would have been strictly u.s. army. some military air transport service that flew that plane.
so, it would not have been air force one unless they had made some kind of dispensation to allow that. but i do not think -- in more recent presidential funerals, i don't think air force one is used. i do not recall it being used. but, maybe so. they usually have it during the day when i am at work. >> we saw also in the video that, out east dated a 21 gun salute. was there an issue with doing that in west branch? >> that was a concern, and the family asked not to have the 21 gun salute. >> -- >> between that, and it was just, this funeral was here on
a sunday. middle of sunday afternoon, you have 21 rifles, in washington d. 21 gun salute near the train station where it came in, it wasn't just rifle, bang, bang. -- it is a bit of a distraction in the middle of the afternoon to have the 21 gun salute. it was as it were, shot down by the family. >> general dodge played an important role in this. was he an iowa in by heritage? >> i believe he was an iowa native. that might be in the report. most of the information that i had, from the events in new york and washington d.c. came from the army after action report that we have on file.
that, if there is any other specific questions, that we are running out of time, you can zip off an email to hoover.library at archives.gov. we have limited access to the library because of covid, but at least one of our staff is in every day. i will be in tomorrow, in fact. if you have a question about pictures. >> you and the other archives center is just a tremendous resource for all things hoover, and even other presidential historical moments. you can see they scoured all of these documents, and the photos, and videos. really, a great wealth of information there. when the research area is open, it is open to the public, they can go in and do research.
just, not right at this time but once the covid stuff winds a little bit more, that will open up again. that is open for anybody to use. great information there. thank you. that is all the times we have a question right now. i would like to thank her archivist lynn smith for joining us tonight. i would also like to think the library museum, and the national historic site. and, all the public libraries who helped make tonight's program a success.