I was surprised, because I knew him as the President who ignored the Great Depression!
But in autumn 1921, while he was Secretary of Commerce under President Harding, Hoover saw a newspaper item where author Maxim Gorky was requesting help from the West for a great famine in Russia. Farming was disrupted by the fighting of the Bolshevik Revolution, then there was s drought, then the Bolsheviks came to the farms and requisitioned the grain ALL of it, not even leaving enough for seed in the spring. It was the greatest natural disaster in Europe since the Black Plague pf the Middle Ages.
25,000 people were dying from starvation each week.
By December, Hoover got Congress to allocate $20,000,000 and ships began carrying food to Russia. And by August 1922, American kitchens were feeding 11 million people each day. And it was the first time ever for a country to rescue an adversary. Hoover's program may have saved the fledgling Soviet Union from collapse, even though Hoover was strongly anti-Communist and hoped the democratic, capitalist rescue would inspire Russians to overthrow the new Bolshevik government.
This is a fascinating film, I learned SO much!