Food Mission Diaries of Hugh Gibson, 1946 and 1947

In the spring of 1946 famine brought on by World War II and disastrous droughts threatened more than 800 million people (about one-third of the world's population). President Harry Truman called Herbert Hoover out of retirement to lead the US President's Famine Emergency Committee, often called the Food Mission. Hugh Gibson accompanied Hoover on this worldwide mission. Together they visited more than forty countries and territories to evaluate needs, identify surpluses, and quickly move food from one region to another. In approximately three months they traveled more than 50,000 miles. Gibson’s daily record of events provides a dizzying cross-section of the world just one year after the war ended.

Hugh Gibson diaries, Diary B, Page 41, Hoover Institution Archives

Wed. March 27, 1946. Paris and Prague. "We had much too elaborate a dinner in spite of our pleas sent on in advance and all of us felt uncomfortable."

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diary of first trip (volume I), 1946 March 17–April 26
diary of first trip (volume II), 1946 April 27–June 19
diary of second trip, 1947 February 2–22

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Finding Aid:

Hugh Gibson papers
Hugh Gibson in devastated Warsaw Ghetto, March 29, 1946.  (Courtesy of Michael Gibson)

Hugh Gibson’s diaries documenting Herbert Hoover’s 1946–47 food mission are now available online

Thursday, September 30, 2010

With the tragic earthquakes in Haiti and Chile earlier this year, and the recent floods in Pakistan, we are reminded once again of the primacy of food in relief operations for people in distress, whether suffering from natural or man-made catastrophes.

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Hugh Gibson’s diaries

Hugh Gibson’s Diaries Documenting Herbert Hoover’s Post-World War II Food Mission Available Online

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gibson wrote this daily journal when he accompanied Herbert Hoover around the world on the so-called food mission to assess needs and coordinate efforts in alleviating the famine caused by severe droughts and the devastation wrought by World War II.

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