Dr. Nancy Heingartner Speaks at the Hoover Institution


From left to right, the people in the photo are: Bernard Geenen, Economic and Commercial Counselor for Wallonia, Embassy of Belgium; Margaret Hoover, political commentator and great granddaughter of President Hoover; Dr. George Nash, historian and author; Brigadier General Georges Franchomme, Defense, Military, Air and Naval , Attaché, Embassy of Belgium; Colonel Thomas Dunne, Canadian Armed Forces, Air Attaché, Embassy of Canada; and Justin Margolis, Public Affairs Assistant,Québec Government Office in Washington.

On Monday March 5th, the Hoover Institution hosted “Glory and Gratitude to the United States – Chers Bienfaiteurs'” — accompanying the panel discussion was an exhibit of handwritten letters and drawings of gratitude addressed by Belgian schoolchildren to US Consul General in Liège, Alexander Heingartner, in 1915.

Dr. Nancy Heingartner, IRIS’ Assistant Director for Outreach, participated in the panel session, along with American historian and Herbert Hoover biographer, George Nash, as well as Mrs. Margaret Hoover. The panel  discussed the Commission for Relief, the lives of civilians during WWI, and the legacy which continues on into today.

Few people know that a large-scale humanitarian effort took place during WWI. As early as 1914, thousands of Belgian and American volunteers pulled together under the leadership of future President Herbert Hoover to save millions from starvation.