It is commonplace for First Lady Michelle Obama to host teas and other social gatherings in the White House.  But we all know this was not always the case.  I am completing a Pinterest board of American Presidents and their wives. While researching, I found out some interesting information about a past first lady. Her name was Lou Hoover in fact. Her husband Herbert Hoover, who served as Secretary of Commerce under the Coolidge Administration did a disservice to blacks of Greenville Mississippi during the floods of 1927 (Devastation almost as bad as Hurricane Katrina if you can imagine). Hoover promised to help them and black Americans in general during his presidential campaign. He broke the promise and this is when blacks first started making a grand shift from Republican to Democrat (1932) but I digress.

Lou Hoover decided not to snub Mrs. Jessie DePriest, wife of the black Illinois Congressman Oscar De Priest (son of Alabama slaves). She stood up to bullies who did not want her to invite a Negro to an official White House Tea as was customary to wives of congressmen. Mrs. Hoover was strategic in how she pulled it off. Though strategic it was, it still didn’t make the racists of both the North and South happy. She stood her ground and deserves to be recognized for being courageous under those circumstances.

Hoover-DePriest

Read how the drama unfolded.

Great Mississippi Flood of 1927

NPR Segment on the 1927 Flood of Mississippi

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