Herbert Hoover’s Inaugural Address, 1929

by Herbert Hoover

Inaugural Address of President Herbert Hoover, March 4, 1929 (Gilder Lehrman Collection)In November 1928, Republican Herbert Hoover was elected president over the Democratic nominee Al Smith. Hoover had served in the Harding and Coolidge administrations and won the nomination after Coolidge declined to run for a third term. Hoover would eventually come to be remembered for the Great Depression and “Hoovervilles,” and as a leader blind to the plight of the common man.

When he was inaugurated in March 1929, however, Hoover was still seen as a progressive and energetic heir to the Republican Party. His inaugural speech focused on what he called the “ideals and aspirations of America.” He proposed criminal justice reform and stronger enforcement of prohibition, declaring that “a large responsibility rests directly upon our citizens. There would be little traffic in illegal liquor if only criminals patronized it.” He also touched on issues of education and public health, saying, “Public health service should be as fully organized and as universally incorporated into our governmental system as is public education.”

Taking office, he said, “Ours is a land rich in resources; stimulating in its glorious beauty; filled with millions of happy homes; blessed with comfort and opportunity.” Hoover continued, “I have no fears for the future of our country. It is bright with hope,” words that would stand in stark contrast to the sense of desperation that would pervade the nation during and after his presidency. Nothing in Hoover’s address foretold the coming economic crisis.

Excerpt

The questions before our country are problems of progress to higher standards; they are not the problems of degeneration. They demand thought and they serve to quicken the conscience and enlist our sense of responsibility for their settlement. And that responsibility rests upon you, my countrymen, as much as upon those of us who have been selected for office. 

Ours is a land rich in resources; stimulating in its glorious beauty; filled with millions of happy homes; blessed with comfort and opportunity. In no nation are the institutions of progress more advanced. In no nation are the fruits of accomplishment more secure. In no nation is the government more worthy of respect. No country is more loved by its people. I have an abiding faith in their capacity, integrity and high purpose. I have no fears for the future of our country. It is bright with hope. 

In the presence of my countrymen, mindful of the solemnity of this occasion, knowing what the task means and the responsibility which it involves, I beg your tolerance, your aid, and your cooperation. I ask the help of Almighty God in this service to my country to which you have called me.

Questions for Discussion

Full content is available to our community and Affiliate School members only. To view it, please apply for your school to be an Affiliate School, sign up to be a community member, or log in.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Already have an account?

Please click here to login and access this page.

How to subscribe

Click here to get a free subscription if you are a K-12 educator or student, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program, which provides even more benefits.

Otherwise, click here for information on a paid subscription for those who are not K-12 educators or students.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Become an Affiliate School to have free access to the Gilder Lehrman site and all its features.

Click here to start your Affiliate School application today! You will have free access while your application is being processed.

Individual K-12 educators and students can also get a free subscription to the site by making a site account with a school-affiliated email address. Click here to do so now!

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Why Gilder Lehrman?

Your subscription grants you access to archives of rare historical documents, lectures by top historians, and a wealth of original historical material, while also helping to support history education in schools nationwide. Click here to see the kinds of historical resources to which you'll have access and here to read more about the Institute's educational programs.

Individual subscription: $25

Click here to sign up for an individual subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Upgrade your Account

We're sorry, but it looks as though you do not have access to the full Gilder Lehrman site.

All K-12 educators receive free subscriptions to the Gilder Lehrman site, and our Affiliate School members gain even more benefits!

How to Subscribe

K-12 educator or student? Click here to edit your profile and indicate this, giving you free access, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program.

Not a educator or student? Click here for more information on purchasing a subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Add comment

Login or register to post comments