Pinback button promoting Herbert Hoover for president, 1928. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
With a background in engineering, Hoover was one of the most intellectual U.S. presidents. Leaving a successful career in business at the outbreak of World War I, he directed civilian relief operations in Europe until being appointed chairman of the Food Administration Board by Woodrow Wilson, where he oversaw rationing. Serving as Secretary of Commerce in the Harding and Coolidge administrations, he encouraged free trade and reduced tariffs on imports. In 1928 he was nominated for president on the first ballot by the Republican National Convention, and won handily in November over Democrat Alfred Smith.
A worldwide depression loomed as he took office, and the following October the U.S. stock market crashed, sending the country into the worst economic crisis in its history. Believing that properity was "just around the corner," Hoover opposed largescale government intervention, instead calling on private interests to act to restore consumer confidence. None of his proposals succeeded in bringing the country out of depression, however.
The darkest hour of his administration came in the spring of 1932, when hundreds of jobless World War I veterans (Bonus Army) marched on Washington demanding early pensions. Hoover called in federal troops to forcibly evict them from their encampent on the Potomac. In November, he lost his bid for reelection to Franklin Roosevelt.
Original campaign buttons promoting Hoover are in demand and increasingly hard to come by. We offer a fine example featuring a portrait of the candidate.