The latest exhibition from the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Bread + Medicine: Saving Lives in a Time of Famine, brings to light an American rescue operation during the catastrophic famine in Soviet Russia and Ukraine a century ago. The American Relief Administration, led by humanitarian Herbert Hoover, distributed food to millions of people. Yet, while food saved many lives, the ARA’s medical relief campaign proved to be equally critical to the mission’s success. 

Through photographs and archival material, visitors will discover the medical plight of those suffering from starvation and meet the American doctors and local medical teams who worked together to prevent a potentially devastating spread of disease. The ARA’s medical campaign included supplying drugs and medical equipment on a massive scale, launching a sanitary offensive to curb contagion, and vaccinating millions. America’s intervention saved countless lives and revitalized medical care for tens of millions in a time of desperate need.

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Photograph circa 1922 of a young boy getting vaccinated in Soviet Russia by a doctor
Vaccination of children by ARA medical personel, Soviet Russia, circa 1922
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collage of three photographs of ARA leaders: Herbert Hoover, William Haskell, and Henry Beeuwkes
From left: Herbert Hoover, Chairman of the ARA; William Haskell, Director of ARA Russian Unit; and Dr. Henry Beeuwkes, Chief of the Medical Division
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Collage of three Russian posters circa 1922 about fighting diseases
Three Soviet Russian posters warning of the dangers of disease. From left: A poster warning about lice transmitting Typhus; center and right are posters about Cholera.

Upcoming Events

Monday, January 30, 2023
Markets vs. Mandates
Markets vs. Mandates: Promoting Environmental Quality and Economic Prosperity
On January 30, 2023, the Hoover Institution will host a one-day conference on Markets vs. Mandates: Promoting Environmental Quality and Economic… Hoover Institution, Stanford University
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