German baby named after Herbert Hoover

U.S. President Herbert Hoover proclaiming debt moratorium (mid-1931)
Herbert 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 on reparations payments.

Days after the announcement, a baby boy born in Zehlendorf, Germany, was named Hoover “in gratitude for America’s beneficent 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!)


  • Hoover Beats Mellon by Boy.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 7 Jul. 1931: 13.
  • 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.

Image: Screenshot of Hoover Proclaims Debt Moratorium [vid]

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