Herbert Hoover, in 1932 was in the unenviable position of running for re-election as President on the GOP ticket. During his first term, in fact, some 8 months into it, the great 1929 crash of Wall Street and the ensuing panic that resulted turned what was an economic disaster into a full-blown depression. And even though attempts were made to deal with the crisis, by 1932 the depression had deepened with massive unemployment and a further plummeting economy.
Needless to say, it set the stage for Franklin D. Roosevelt to run and the Democrats to sweep the 1932 elections later that year. Americans felt that the Republicans had lost touch, and were blaming Hoover, not only for getting the country into the mess it was in, but doing very little to improve the situation, even though Hoover had taken measures (some say half-hearted) into creating Public works programs and helping boost employment. It was deemed to be to little too late and that Hoover, even though he had strong business acumen, didn’t have the political strength to pull off any substantial recovery for the country.
In retrospect, Hoover’s defeat was largely attributed to the Depression, but it was also attributed to the fact that he was very much in favor of Prohibition, and most Americans were fed up with it and wanted it repealed. During World War 1, all sales of Alcohol were banned in the U.S. – and during the 1920s, a booming underground economy sprang up by way of organized crime, which was involved in the importing of illegal liquor into the country.
But on June 16, 1932 an enthusiastic convention crowd cheered the renomination of the President. He had gone largely unopposed and many felt that his contention of maintaining a balanced budget was the fix for the economy.
America felt otherwise.
Here, in case you haven’t heard it – is the complete acceptance address of Herbert Hoover, as it was delivered on August 11, 1932.