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Ship Building 1929-33 - Hoover, Herbert

Son of a Quaker blacksmith, Herbert Clark Hoover brought to the Presidency an unparalleled reputation for public service as an engineer, administrator, and humanitarian. After capably serving as Secretary of Commerce under Presidents Harding and Coolidge, Hoover became the Republican Presidential nominee in 1928. He said then: "We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land." His election seemed to ensure prosperity. Yet within months the stock market crashed, and the Nation spiraled downward into depression. After the crash Hoover announced that while he would keep the Federal budget balanced, he would cut taxes and expand public works spending. Hoover became the scapegoat for the depression and was badly defeated in 1932.

President Herbert Hoover looked for ways to reduce government spending. He believed in preparedness for defense but begrudged the money it took. He abhorred war and thought it a great waste.

Charles Francis Adams, born 2 August 1866 in Quincy, Mass., graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1888 and from Harvard Law School in 1892. Charles Francis Adams was the son of John Quincy Adams, a great grandson of John Quincy Adams, sixth Fkesident of the United States, and great, great grandson of John Adams, second President of the United State. The sea caught and held Adams' intrest from his very earllest associations. He was born within sight of salt water. Some of his earliest steps teed him to the shore where his father, John Quincy Adams, fitted out boats for fishing expeditions that took him across the bay to the smelting gromcb and out through the narrows for cod.

A successful lawyer, business man, outstanding civic leader, and well-known yachtsman and ocean racer, he served as Secretary of the Navy from 1929 to 1933. He vigorously promoted public understanding of the Navy's indispensable role in international affairs, and worked strenuously to maintain naval strength and efficiency during a period of severe economic depression. As Secretary of the Navy during the depression, he fought with valor to protect the Navy against the economizers in Congress and the White House. It was a struggle all the way, for that was a period when the fighting services were starved and evon ridiculed by an apathetic public that did not understand the role of power in international affairs. He served at the London Naval Conference in 1930 where he successfully maintained the principle of United States naval parity with Great Britain.

Yearly fleet exercises repeatedly confirmed the importance of aviation in modern naval warfare. The 1929 exercise was the first to include the newly commissioned aircraft carriers USS Lexington and USS Saratoga, and their fine showing convinced the admiralty of the great value of this type of fast carrier, and the need for many more of the same class. In the end, no large carriers were approved, and only one small, unarmed vessel - the USS Ranger - was laid down in 1931. When it entered service in 1934, it became the first U.S. Navy vessel designed as an aircraft carrier from the keel up.

On 13 February 1929 the United States Congress passed an act to build 15 light cruisers, five each over the next three years at an average cost of $17,000,000. By 1930, cruisers were segregated into two distinct classes, light and heavy by the London Naval Conference of 1930. In general, those ships with a main battery of 8-in guns were designated as heavy cruisers and those with 6-in guns, light cruisers. By the time that the New Orleans was actually laid down on 9 September 1931, a reinterpretation of the 1929 act had been made and ten heavy cruisers were to be built under the auspices of the same act.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:52:31 ZULU