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In 1932, Herbert Hoover encouraged Utahns to remain optimistic

Deseret News Archives

Editor's note: With the election season winding down and a new president about to take office, the Deseret News has decided to review the presidents who have visited Utah and explain what they did while they were on their trip through the Beehive State.

For Herbert Hoover, Utah proved to be one of the last states he’d see before losing the White House.

As the Deseret News reported in 2009, Hoover stopped in Salt Lake City in 1932 while on the way to California, where he placed his vote for the presidency. He would lose that election, falling to Franklin D. Roosevelt. He spoke at the Tabernacle while he was in town.

In that speech, Hoover gave a lengthy talk about why his re-election would help rebuild the country, which had been suffering from the Great Depression at the time. He said it was Utah’s family values that could help restore the nation, according to The American Presidency Project.

“There is no community where the building up of the home and the advancement of children born amid the handicaps of the desert has called for more sacrifice by men and women, and where its hopes have been more nearly attained than in this city,” he said. “I ask you to traverse the program which has been laid down by the Democratic Party, their program for long-view policies, and determine whether you think the growth which you have made here in the last 75 years can be continued if you project yourselves for the next 75 years into such a program.”

Of course, Hoover didn’t believe that all of America’s answers relied on family. When he left Salt Lake City, he spoke to residents at the Ogden train platform, telling them that America also needed to remain optimistic for its future.

“Now, there are other questions of vital importance,” Hoover said. “They are questions that reach to the very philosophy and basis of our Government that are at stake in this election. To those ends I have endeavored in this campaign by presentation in a manner unprecedented by any President to bring before the American people the concrete facts, and to appeal to their logic, their sense, and their thought, with the hope that they would base their action not upon destructive emotion but upon constructive emotion and upon the logic of their own interest.”

Hoover, despite his one appearance while president, also spent a lot of time in Utah before and after his presidency.

“He visited Utah four times before he became president and 18 times after his presidential service,” KSL reported.

Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.