Victor Davis Hanson // National Review
This year marks the centennial anniversary of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Or at least, in theory, it sort of does.
In 1919 Herbert Hoover — then a 45-year-old multimillionaire, mining engineer, and veteran of efforts to save the starving of Europe and Russia following World War I — gave $50,000 (about $600,000 today) and his million-document collection on the war and its detritus to his beloved alma mater, Stanford University.
By 1921, the expanding “Hoover War Collection” — hardly a “think tank” — had become formalized as Stanford’s prestigious Hoover War Library, with some 1.4 million documents and books.
After two decades, the iconic 285-foot Hoover tower was built in 1941 on Stanford’s 50th anniversary. And by 1947 the library and its staff were formally renamed the “Hoover Institute and Library on War, Revolution and Peace” — still embedded within Stanford University, but perhaps not yet even a true think tank — and in theory not necessarily to be ideologically part of Stanford University.