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Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) was a self-made millionaire in the mining industry, a very successful Secretary of Commerce from 1921-28, and a very unsuccessful president of the U.S. from 1929 to 1933. His term saw the onset of the Great Depression, which began with the stock market crash just a few months after he took office. Today, Hoover's name is most associated with the shanty towns—"Hoovervilles"—erected during the Depression by the nation's unemployed and homeless.

Hoover was elected to the presidency in 1928, promising that "we shall soon, with the help of God, be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this nation." Unfortunately, Hoover's presidency saw not the banishment of poverty, but instead the onset of the Great Depression, which began with the stock market crash of 1929.

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