The Great Depression

Leaders in Crisis - Herbert C. Hoover

Leaders in Crisis - Herbert C. Hoover
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.17

     challenging words:    surcharge, induce, steadfastly, sector, policies, legacy, uncaring, poorhouse, triumph, margin, better, helping, boost, worsen, dilemma, response
     content words:    Herbert Hoover, World War, On October, President Hoover, But Hoover, Smoot-Hawley Tariff, In February, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Construction Act, Federal Home Loan Bank Act

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Leaders in Crisis - Herbert C. Hoover
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     In 1928, Herbert Hoover was one of the most respected men in America. Left an orphan at age six, Hoover had been raised by a Quaker uncle. He worked hard at school and in his uncle's business. In fact, Hoover paid for his education by working three jobs. Afterward, he built a successful career as a mining engineer.
2     During World War I, Hoover headed a massive program to feed the hungry in Europe. He had laid aside his career to take the job and accepted no pay for his work. Later, Hoover became U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He was known as a problem solver and humanitarian.
3     Hoover was nominated for president in 1928. The 1920s had brought good times to America. Everyone expected life to get better and better. Hoover's speech summed up the mood of the nation. "We in America... are nearer to...triumph over poverty than ever before... The poorhouse is vanishing from among us," Hoover said.
4     This accomplished man of principle seemed the natural choice as leader of the country. He was elected by a large margin. Hoover took office in March of 1929. Then, disaster struck. On October 29, the stock market crashed. The U.S. economy lurched to a halt.
5     President Hoover was sure the problems would quickly pass. He worked to boost faith in the economy. Hoover called together business leaders from across the nation. The slump would pass, he told them, if wages held steady and workers had money to spend. The leaders agreed to try to keep wages up. Hoover also tried to encourage the American people to hang on. In a couple of months' time, he insisted, things would look better.

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