End of Our String
The last two weeks of the Hoover presidency were pure hell. As the economic crisis worsened, Hoover was powerless to coerce Congress into action. No one would act without Roosevelt's authority and the president-elect was silent. Hoover felt compelled to appeal to Roosevelt once again, in the strongest terms, to take action.
On February 18, Hoover sent a desperate, handwritten appeal to Roosevelt to take action for the good of the country. Only Roosevelt could calm the nation's jitters. Something must be done. But no response was forthcoming from Hyde Park.
Hoover came to believe that Roosevelt's refusal to act was purely political. If the banks failed before March 4, the American people would blame Hoover. Even though millions of Americans were suffering, Roosevelt would do nothing. Hoover received a piece of intelligence documenting this strategy on February 25, in a memo passed from James Rand to Ted Joslin.
Hoover fumed until the 28th when he sent another letter to Roosevelt; but this time he had it hand carried by a secret service agent. Roosevelt responded on March 1, saying that his response to the letter of the 18th had been misplaced. It did not matter, though, because Roosevelt had not changed his mind about taking action.
But Hoover would not give up. Day and night from March first to the third, Hoover tried to find a way to end the crisis. All to no avail. Finally, on March