Tags: Presidential History | lou hoover | herbert hoover | causes

Lou Hoover: The Causes That Defined President Herbert Hoover's First Lady

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Jul 2015 03:13 PM

Lou Henry Hoover, the wife of U.S. President Herbert Hoover, strongly believed in gender and racial equality, and her actions and words as First Lady supported these feelings.

Hoover was passionately involved in the 1920s Girl Scout movement, as a troop leader, member of the Girl Scout Council in Washington, and two-time president of the organization; her service was interrupted so as not to take time away from her duties as First Lady, the American Association of University Women said. During her second term as GSA president, in 1935, a plan was approved to bake and sell cookies, an annual practice that still occurs.

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Hoover also championed physical fitness for girls and women, and fought for their health and welfare as a vice president of the National Amateur Athletic Federation in the 1920s, the Hoover Presidential Library & Museum said. She successfully campaigned for the creation of a Women's Division, which she chaired from 1923-27 – before she was First Lady – and then served as honorary chair until 1941. She constantly encouraged women of all ages to participate in physical and outdoor activities.

As First Lady, her principles of equality were on display in 1929 when she invited Jessie DePriest, a black woman married to black Congressman Oscar DePriest, to a White House tea party for congressional wives, The White House Historical Association said.

Knowing the implications, Lou Hoover surrounded herself with like-minded guests at this particular event, instructed White House officials to grant DePriest full access, and publicly shook Jessie's hand.

Hoover's act of compassion sparked outrage from white supremacists, who accused her of "degradation" and "defiling" the White House in newspaper editorials across the south. In fact, state legislatures in Texas, Florida and Georgia took formal votes to "censure the First Lady," the Historical Association said.

A constant supporter of public service, Lou Hoover promoted volunteer groups that placed women in leadership roles, including the National Women's Conference on Law Enforcement. She urged her husband to appoint more females to government jobs and approved when he signed an executive order stipulating that the civil service consider applicants regardless of sex, The Miller Center said.

Other notable achievements include her part in the building of the presidential Camp Rapidan retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the precursor to Camp David. She also oversaw a comprehensive inventory of White House furnishings.

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As technology become part of American culture, Lou Hoover was the first First Lady to talk over the radio, delivering a total of 15 addresses to local or national audiences, The Miller Center said.

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Lou Henry Hoover, the wife of U.S. President Herbert Hoover, strongly believed in gender and racial equality, and her actions and words as First Lady supported these feelings.
lou hoover, herbert hoover, causes
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2015-13-08
Wednesday, 08 Jul 2015 03:13 PM
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