USS UTAH  BB-31 / AG-16

The Forgotten Ship of Pearl Harbor

USS Utah

Christmas with the Hoovers 


​President-elect Herbert Hoover, his wife Lou, son Allan, staff and a number of journalists embarked on board the U.S. battleship USS Utah in Montevideo, Uraguay on December 18, 1928 to return home from a South American Goodwill Tour. The Hoovers were treated to the best that the Utah crew had to offer beginning on Christmas Eve with hundreds of sailors singing carols on deck. Christmas Day opened with religious services and ended with an elaborate dinner. Under a full moon the deck was converted to a summer garden and holiday setting. Japanese lanterns swung over the tables, which were decorated with fresh Brazilian flowers and strings of evergreens. A fireplace with mantel and chimney was constructed at one end of the deck and painted to look like brick. Red electric globes gave the appearance of glowing coals. Following dinner, the Hoover’s son, Allan, played Santa and with the help of Lou’s secretary, George Akerson, they distributed gifts to the crew.