On April 6, 1917, the United States entered World War I. While the Hoover Institution would not be founded for two more years, the Great War was instrumental to its origins. Since 1914, Herbert Hoover had been working tirelessly to bring food and aid to the struggling famine-stricken people of occupied Belgium. The Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) was founded by Hoover as a “neutral organization under diplomatic protection to procure and distribute food to the Belgian people.” This enabled the CRB’s agents to move within occupied territory and bring food to the people with diplomatic immunity. This great humanitarian organization was one of the first of its kind to offer large-scale humanitarian aid in times of warfare. When the United States entered the war, Hoover moved to the new wartime agency, the United States Food Administration, to continue his work.
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