One of the great myths of American history is that President Herbert Hoover was a proponent of laissez-faire economics, and that his purported hands-off approach led the US to economic ruin.
In fact, Hoover was anything but hands off once the economy began tanking in 1929, and his meddling made things far worse than they otherwise would have been.
According to economist Murray Rothbard, the government under Hoover embarked on the “Hoover New Deal,” an anti-depression program marked by extensive governmental economic planning and intervention – including bolstering of wage rates and prices, expansion of credit, propping up of weak firms, and increased government spending (e.g., subsidies to unemployment and public works).
“Hoover, from the very start of the depression, set his course unerringly toward the violation of all the laissez-faire canons,” according to Rothbard. “As a consequence, he left office with the economy at the depths of an unprecedented depression, with no recovery in sight after three and a half years, and with unemployment at the terrible and unprecedented rate of 25 percent of the labor force.”
Camp Lawton held Union prisoners for just six weeks toward the end of the War Between the States, but during that period more than 1,300 men may have perished, victims of disease, hunger and lack of medical care.
Today, the little-known Confederate POW camp near Millen, Ga., is being excavated by archaeologists, just a year after it was rediscovered.
Among items found: a man’s size-11 ring, pocketknife, buckle, keys and a token made in Michigan and used for trade, according to officials with Georgia Southern University.
“The camp is as rich in information as we thought it was,” said Kevin Chapman, a Georgia Southern University graduate student who last spring found the first artifacts.
Last week, Georgia Southern unveiled more than a dozen of the 60 to 70 items uncovered last month. The school’s museum also has acquired what’s believed to be the only surviving letter from a prisoner at the short-lived camp, according to CNN.