Presidential visit fails to brighten mood

On this day in 1930: President Herbert Hoover visits the textile town of Kings Mountain for the 150th anniversary of the nearby Battle of Kings Mountain, a turning point in the Revolutionary War.

Thousands watch from the curb, store windows and rooftops as the president and first lady Lou Henry Hoover, accompanied by no visible security personnel, ride slowly past in an open convertible.

At the battleground, 8 miles away in York County, S.C., Hoover makes a 22-minute talk before a crowd estimated at 75,000.

The Charlotte Observer reports that President Hoover, showing the “cares of his office,” indirectly responds to charges that he hasn’t done anything to ease the Great Depression precipitated by last year’s stock market crash.

He compares “the material well-being of the United States with that of other nations of the world,” pointing out that twice as many Americans own homes as Europeans and seven times as many own cars.

A lone heckler yells, “Well, Hoover, all us jackasses are here to get our hay.” Nobody laughs, and Hoover doesn’t respond.