In his 1928 campaign speech, Republican president-elect Herbert Hoover supported "rugged individualism."
Considered a humanitarian for years prior to his presidency, Hoover believed in "volunteerism" within communities and asked the private sector to come forth and help with relief for the poor and disadvantage.
Early in his administration Hoover followed a "hands-off" policy despite America’s looming economic collapse.
Hoover said that help for the individual American should come from the local and state governments and charity organizations, not through federal legislative action.
In 1929 Congress passed Hoover’s Agricultural Marketing Act that could help farmers and give a farm board powers in the commodities market so to keep prices from falling. It failed.
Then in 1930 in hopes of helping Americans, Congress passed the Smoot–Hawley Tariff which Hoover endorsed. Its intent was to raise tariffs on imported goods, thereby protecting farmers against foreign imports. It backfired.
Remaining ever hopeful, Hoover in Oct. 1931, encouraged major banks to form the National Credit Corporation (NCC) that would loan to other banks that were failing. It was short-lived.
That same month Hoover gave a radio address to the nation on Unemployment Relief.
By 1932 President Hoover realized that he had to change his tactics. His volunteer measures were too little too late.
Between May-July 1932, Americans witnessed how Hoover mishandled a senstive issue concerning World War I vets: the Bonus Army.
Hoover ordered General Douglas MacArthur to remove the veterans from government buildings. Even Major George S. Patton was involved.
The entire Bonus Army mishandling spelled defeat for Hoover and a future presidental win for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In 1935 President Roosevelt dedicated the dam two years ahead of schedule.