German Baby Named Hoover

After being defeated in World War I (1914-1918), Germany was expected to pay reparations.

But in June of 1931, as industrialized nations sank deeper and deeper into the Great Depression, U.S. President Herbert Hoover announced a one-year moratorium [vid] on reparations payments.

Days after the announcement, a baby boy born in Zehlendorf, Germany, was named Hoover “in gratitude for America’s beneficient [sic] action toward Germany.”

If the baby had been a girl, “[t]he parents said the child would have been named Mellona” after Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon.

(Most of Germany’s World War I reparations payments ended up being canceled. Germany’s final reparations-related payment was made in October of 2010–less than a year ago!)


  • Kindleberger, Charles Poor. The World in Depression, 1929-1939. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1986.
  • “Little German Baby Named After Hoover.” Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal [Dubuque, IA] 7 Jul. 1931: 9.

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