Birthplace & Presidential Library
(West Branch, Iowa)
Excerpts from Roadchick K:
The Hoover Birthplace & Library is hot only one of my favorite stops in Iowa it’s also one of my favorite presidential libraries. We spent over 4 hours at this site enjoying the library museum, the birthplace and the grounds, which have beautiful picnic areas.
The library is extremely well laid out and gives an interesting look at Herbert Hoover’s life. This not only covers his presidency, but goes into interesting detail about his famed life before and after his presidency. Rather than presenting endless facts on display boards, the displays in the library are engaging and lead you through the story of Hoovers life using eye-catching photos and memorabilia. They tell you the story not only of Hoover, but what the country was experiencing at each period in his life.
The museum also has an additional display area that has rotating exhibits. The current display was on conspiracies in America with everything from George Washington’s wooden teeth to Marilyn Monroe’s death to who was Billy the Kid. I have to say this was intriguing also, if just from the bizarre viewpoints that they had gathered.
The gift shop housed the usual paraphernalia, but some extra affordables such as kiddie t-shirts with all of the presidents and miniature Herbert Hoover statues for your desk.
I have to say I have a new appreciation and understanding of Hoover and have moved past the term “Hoovervilles” to describe the aftermath of his presidency. To give you an idea of why my opinion was so much changed read this quote:
“In two wars I have served amidst famine. And in the war shattered aftermath, I directed reconstruction in many nations. Uppermost in the minds of plain people everywhere was that war should cease and that peace would come to the world.” Herbert Hoover – West Branch, Iowa August 10, 1962.