The Good Will Tour
President-elect Herbert Hoover’s Good Will trip to Latin America began in November of 1928 and lasted thru the end of the year. The trip was planned to be an offer of friendship in which President-elect Hoover visited with officials from Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil.
The trip was designed to be a friendly visit of one good neighbor to another with the intent of establishing peaceful relationships along the United States’ southern border. Members of Hoover’s party included Mrs. Hoover and their son Allan, seven internationally famed cameramen, twenty news correspondents, trained experts from the Department of State, and a few others particularly suited to the duties that the nature of the voyage might demand. Hoover delivered some twenty-five short speeches, including one in each major capital.
How did they travel?
The Good Will tour members began their trip on the USS Maryland. The Maryland carried the party on the southern leg of their voyage. Instead of traveling around Cape Horn which is a dangerous and lengthy journey, the party disembarked the Maryland in Chile and traveled east across the continent by train. The USS Utah picked them up in Uruguay for their travels north along the east coast. At the end of the tour, the Utah carried them back to Old Point Comfort, a historical marina in Virginia.
The USS Maryland was a Colorado class ship commissioned in 1917 and launched in 1920. She had a displacement of 32,600 tons and was the first U.S. ship to carry 16” guns. Her top speed was 21.17 knots (24.36 mph). She made a goodwill voyage to Australia and New Zealand in 1925, and transported President-elect Herbert Hoover on the Pacific leg of his Good Will tour, but she is perhaps best well known for her presence at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese
attacks in 1941. She was damaged in the fighting, but was repaired and fully operational again just two months later in February of 1942. Maryland received seven battle stars for World War II service. She was decommissioned in 1947 and sold for scraps in 1959.
The USS Utah was a Florida class ship commissioned in 1909 and launched in 1911. She had a displacement of 21,825 tons and was promptly assigned to the Atlantic fleet. Her top speed was 20.75 knots (23.88 mph). She was mainly used for training exercises and rescue missions until the U.S. entered World War I. During the war, she was stationed in Ireland and protected valuable transport and supply ships as they crossed the Atlantic. Utah carried out two goodwill missions to South America. The first sent General John Pershing and other representatives to Peru in 1924. In 1928, the Hoover Good Will party embarked the Utah on the 18th of December. The Utah was stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1940. When the Japanese attacked, she sunk within 11 minutes. Today, the remains of the Utah are an underwater memorial for survivors of the attack. Veterans of Pearl Harbor may be interred in the ship if they wish.
Why South America?
1. Policy change in military intervention
2. Attitude change - Latins suspicious of U.S. as materialistic, imperialistic; U.S. ignorant, condescending of Latin development
3. Commercial development with healthy trade balance
4. Material resources and study of economic requirements
5. Cultural, social and educational development
1. Withdrawal of troops
2. Winning confidence and respect
3. Intercontinental trade routes, transportation highways, Pan American Airways
4. Education of markets: values of standardization, copyright and trademark, higher profits
5. Educational scholarships, research exchange