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

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Hugh Gibson’s diaries

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. After Hoover’s successes in similar humanitarian ventures decades earlier, he was the perfect choice to head the Famine Emergency Committee established by President Truman on March 1, 1946. Hoover and his delegation traveled to nearly forty countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America between March and June 1946 (and again to Europe in February 1947). As Hoover’s close associate, Gibson provides a fascinating and lively account of the mission, making incisive comments on a wide range of topics, from their meetings with heads of state and other prominent figures to the general political situation and overall living conditions.

The diaries are part of the Hugh Gibson papers, which were acquired by the Hoover Archives in 1956 from his son Michael Gibson, who wrote the introduction to this online version of the diaries.