- Associated Press - Sunday, October 26, 2014

WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) - Fifty years ago the funeral for former President Herbert Hoover attracted more than 75,000 people to his hometown of West Branch, Iowa.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports (https://icp-c.com/1wtmaKx ) a ceremony was held Saturday on the 50th anniversary of the funeral to remember that day and honor Hoover.

Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize, says Hoover’s death in the fall of 1964 helped bring Americans together during the presidential race between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater.

“In death, Herbert Hoover provided a unifying moment,” he said.

Quinn said he remembers Hoover as a humanitarian who fought world hunger.

At Saturday’s ceremony, Quaker minister Ruthie Tippen read the eulogy that Hoover family friend and Quaker theologian Elton Trueblood delivered at the funeral.

After the former president died in New York City at the age of 90, funerals were held there and in Washington D.C. Then Hoover’s body was flown to Iowa for burial in his hometown.

Jerry Fleagle, executive director of the Hoover Presidential Foundation, said Hoover’s funeral brought more people to West Branch than anything before or since that day in 1964.

“It’s an amazing story that just needs to be told, and too often, I think we forget about it,” he said.

Andy Hoover, the former president’s grandson, said the ceremony Saturday was lovely and he remembers hearing a moving version of “Echo Taps” 50 years ago at the burial service.

Leslie Hoover-Lauble, the former president’s great granddaughter, attended Saturday’s ceremony but not the funeral. She was seven when Hoover died.

“He was a wonderful, very kind, older guy who had just the faint cigar smoke aura to him,” she said. “I remember him being a very nice and kind man.”


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, https://www.press-citizen.com/

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