The Faithfull Cow’s Silent Splash Herbert Hoover’s Quiet Influence on U.S.-Argentine Relations

Vivian Reed, Western Oregon University


The background provided here is intended to illuminate the difficulties Hoover faced in securing Argentine aid in averting worldwide famine. That he was successful in both securing aid and easing diplomatic tensions is highlighted as the story of Hoover’s four days in Buenos Aires develops. This study seeks to delve into this little known diplomatic episode and assess its impact. The personal papers of the primary actors provide convincing evidence of Hoover’s impact at a critical juncture of U.S.-Argentine relations in the face of shifting postwar priorities. Hoover’s mission in Argentina was clear and compassionate, but it also demonstrates considerable influence on the attitudes and actions of U.S. Ambassador George Messersmith, Argentine President Juan Perón, and President Truman. The splash made by the Faithfull Cow’s occupants in Argentina was largely silent.