Plotting to Kill the President: Assassination Attempts from Washington to Hoover

By Mel Ayton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 14
The Argentinean Plot to
Assassinate Herbert Hoover

The effect of the Depression on the Detail was acute. Our vigilance had to be
doubled; the worries and problems which ordinarily beset us were multiplied.
Crank letters, threats, and eccentric visitors reached a new high.

—Secret Service agent Edmund Starling

Herbert Hoover was a geology graduate from Stanford University who became a wealthy mining engineer with his own engineering and financial consulting firm. An expert administrator, he rose to public prominence during World War I, helping repatriate 120,000 Americans from Europe, and then organizing the Commission for Relief in Belgium. He was so successful that Woodrow Wilson asked him to be head of the U.S. Food Administration and director of the American Relief Administration. The organization fed 350 million people in more than twenty countries after the war. He was secretary of commerce during the Harding and Coolidge administrations and oversaw America’s economic modernization.

In 1927 Hoover was dispatched by President Coolidge to lead the relief efforts in Louisiana after a great flood. He was highly successful and managed the logistics of feeding and delivering aid and shelter to seven hundred thousand people. The flood helped propel Hoover to the presidency a year later, his first electoral appointment. Unfortunately for Hoover, Wall Street crashed just eight months into his tenure at

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