Arundel History

October 15, 2006

1931: Secret Service faux pas?

Political egos have changed hardly a whit since 1931. Seventy-five years ago this month, President Herbert Hoover socially slighted the mayor of Annapolis, Walter E. Quenstedt. The White House later apologized, according to The Sun on Oct. 22, 1931.

Hoover, in the midst of the Depression, was on his way to the Naval Academy to board the battleship Arkansas for the Battle of Yorktown sesquicentennial celebration. He failed to greet the mayor or even nod to him and his reception committee when he arrived by automobile in Annapolis.

The mayor fired off a letter of protest.

The White House assured Quenstedt that the slight was unintentional. White House attaches said that word of the arrangement never reached the president or his secretaries and that the only probable explanation was confusion among the Secret Service men, The Sun reported.

[ Sources: Sun archives and Paul McCardell, Sun researcher]

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