Saturday, May 16, 2009

History with Hoover

Thursday, May 14th, we loaded a school bus with 70 lively Sixth Graders and headed for the Herbert Hoover Historical Museum in West Branch, Iowa. The noise level at 9:00am could probably have registered a 5.0 on the Richter scale. By 10:00am we were on the grounds of the impressive complex. They divides the kids by their classes and we had the tour of the grounds first. Adam, the tour guard, guided us to the birth home of "Bert" Hoover. Can you imagine five people living in a very small two-room house with no electricity or indoor plumbing? This is the bedroom that housed all five of them and was about 10 foot wide.

Herbert's Dad was a blacksmith and the kids thought the shop was cool. We then ventured to the one-room schoolhouse and this got the attention of the kiddos. The tour guide passed around slates and chalk and shared what school meant in those times. We learned more about Hoover in the Presidential Museum and library.
Hoover's parents passed when he was just a young fellow and he was shipped out to an uncle in Oregon. Hoover was in the first class at Stanford and graduated with a degree in engineering. After he made his millions, he eventually became President. He was a world traveler and was best known for his humanitarian efforts in saving millions from starvation. Belgium created a status of Isis and it rests on the grounds as a thank you for saving their children from hunger.

We then walked past the prairie and shared with the kids this would have been reminiscent of Iowa in the early days. They weren't impressed to say the least. We finished the walk with the grave of President and Lou Hoover. Massive 10 foot slabs of marble cover the burial site and sits overlooking the grounds. All too soon, we loaded up all 70 and headed back for the day. If you thought the trip back was quiet, you guessed wrong.

We could all gain a thing or two from Herbert and his life. We are here to take care of each other first and foremost. He also felt strongly that hard-work and kindness were a expectation, not the exception. Great day!


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