From Belgian Babies to UNICEF: The First World War, Children, and the Right to Food
The Belgian feeding programs developed under Herbert Hoover’s leadership during World War I made an indelible impression not only in postwar Belgium, but in the United States and in international aid organizations in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The Commission for Relief in Belgium and its successor programs created an argument both for the right to food and for the importance of children’s health and welfare that has persevered. This short talk will examine the innovations of the CRB and its impact even in our contemporary world.
Tammy M. Proctor is a Distinguished Professor of History at Utah State University. Proctor earned her PhD in history from Rutgers University in 1995 and is a specialist in modern European and gender history with a special emphasis on the history of youth, gender, and conflict. Best known for her books, Female Intelligence: Women and Espionage in the First World War (2003) and Civilians in a World at War, 1914-1918 (2010), she is also an expert in the history of international Girl Scouting as well as Boy Scout and Girl Guide history in Britain. More recently, she has published World War I: A Short History (2017) as well as Gender and the Great War (with Susan Grayzel) and An English Governess in the Great War: The Secret Brussels Diary of Mary Thorp (with Sophie de Schaepdriver). Her book, Saving Europe, on the history of US relief in Europe during and after the First World War is forthcoming in 2024 from Oxford University Press.