Thursday, May 9, 2013
Day 103, May 9
President Herbert Hoover, who failed to follow the policies put in place by Coolidge, underestimated the seriousness of the crisis, called it “a passing incident in our national lives,” and assured Americans that it would be over in 60 days. A strong believer in rugged individualism, Hoover did not think the federal government should offer relief to the poverty-stricken population
Focusing on a trickle-down economic program to help finance businesses and banks, Hoover met with resistance from business executives who preferred to lay off workers. Blamed by many for the Great Depression, Hoover was widely ridiculed: an empty pocket turned inside out was called a “Hoover flag;” the decrepit shantytowns springing up around the country were called “Hoovervilles.”
Hoover lasted only one term. Fairly or unfairly, he took the brunt of the blame for the Great Depression.