Warren G. Harding
Overview
Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1921–23). A Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate
Ohio Senate
The Ohio State Senate is the upper house of the Ohio General Assembly, the legislative body for the U.S. state of Ohio. There are 33 State Senators. The state legislature meets in the state capital, Columbus. The President of the Senate presides over the body when in session, and is currently Tom...

 (1899–1903), as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
The position of lieutenant governor of Ohio was established in 1852. The lieutenant governor becomes governor if the governor resigns, dies in office or is removed by impeachment. Before 1852, the president of the Ohio State Senate would serve as acting governor if a vacancy in the governorship...

 (1903–05) and as a U.S. Senator (1915–21). He was also the first incumbent United States Senator and the first newspaper publisher to be elected President.

His conservativism, affable manner, and "make no enemies" campaign strategy made Harding the compromise choice at the 1920 Republican National Convention
1920 Republican National Convention
The 1920 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States nominated Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding for President and Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge for Vice President...

.
Quotations

In the great fulfillment we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it and more anxious about what it can do for the nation.

Address to the 1916 Republican convention

Let the black man vote when he is fit to vote; prohibit the white man voting when he is unfit to vote.

Speech delivered to a segregated audience at Woodrow Wilson Park in Birmingham, Alabama on the occasion of the city's semicentennial, published in the Birmingham Post (27 October 1921) quoted in Political Power in Birmingham, 1871-1921 (1977) by Carl V. Harris (1977) University of Tennessee Press, ISBN 087049211X

Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little.

Inaugural address (4 March 1921)

The success of our popular government rests wholly upon the correct interpretation of the deliberate, intelligent, dependable popular will of America.

Inaugural address (4 March 1921)

There is something inherently wrong, something out of accord with the ideals of representative democracy, when one portion of our citizenship turns its activities to private gain amid defensive war while another is fighting, sacrificing, or dying for national preservation.

Inaugural address (4 March 1921)

I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends, my god-damned friends, White, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor nights!

Remark to editor William Alan White, quoted in Thomas Harry Williams et al. (1959) A History of the United States

I don't know what to do or where to turn in this taxation matter. Somewhere there must be a book that tells all about it, where I could go to straighten it out in my mind. But I don't know where the book is, and maybe I couldn't read it if I found it.

Remark to Judson Welliver, as quoted in Francis Russell (1968) The Shadow of Blooming Grove

I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.

Quoted in Nicholas Murray Butler (1939) Across the Busy Years vol. 1

Encyclopedia
Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1921–23). A Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate
Ohio Senate
The Ohio State Senate is the upper house of the Ohio General Assembly, the legislative body for the U.S. state of Ohio. There are 33 State Senators. The state legislature meets in the state capital, Columbus. The President of the Senate presides over the body when in session, and is currently Tom...

 (1899–1903), as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
The position of lieutenant governor of Ohio was established in 1852. The lieutenant governor becomes governor if the governor resigns, dies in office or is removed by impeachment. Before 1852, the president of the Ohio State Senate would serve as acting governor if a vacancy in the governorship...

 (1903–05) and as a U.S. Senator (1915–21). He was also the first incumbent United States Senator and the first newspaper publisher to be elected President.

His conservativism, affable manner, and "make no enemies" campaign strategy made Harding the compromise choice at the 1920 Republican National Convention
1920 Republican National Convention
The 1920 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States nominated Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding for President and Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge for Vice President...

. During his presidential campaign, in the aftermath of World War I
Aftermath of World War I
The fighting in World War I ended in western Europe when the Armistice took effect at 11:00 am GMT on November 11, 1918, and in eastern Europe by the early 1920s. During and in the aftermath of the war the political, cultural, and social order was drastically changed in Europe, Asia and Africa,...

, he promised a return of the nation to "normalcy
Normalcy
"A return to normalcy" was United States presidential candidate Warren G. Harding’s campaign promise in the election of 1920...

". This "America first" campaign encouraged industrialization and a strong economy independent of foreign influence. Harding departed from the progressive movement that had dominated Congress since President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

. In the 1920 election
United States presidential election, 1920
The United States presidential election of 1920 was dominated by the aftermath of World War I and a hostile response to certain policies of Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic president. The wartime economic boom had collapsed. Politicians were arguing over peace treaties and the question of America's...

, he and his running mate, Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

, defeated Democrat
History of the United States Democratic Party
The history of the Democratic Party of the United States is an account of the oldest political party in the United States and arguably the oldest democratic party in the world....

 and fellow Ohioan James M. Cox
James M. Cox
James Middleton Cox was the 46th and 48th Governor of Ohio, U.S. Representative from Ohio and Democratic candidate for President of the United States in the election of 1920....

, in the largest presidential popular vote landslide in American history (60.36% to 34.19%) since first recorded in 1824.

President Harding rewarded friends and political contributors, referred to as the Ohio Gang
Ohio Gang
The Ohio Gang was a group of politicians and industry leaders who came to be associated with Warren G. Harding, the twenty-ninth President of the United States of America.-Background:...

, with financially powerful positions. Scandals and corruption eventually pervaded his administration; one of his own cabinet and several of his appointees were eventually tried, convicted, and sent to prison for bribery or defrauding the federal government. Harding did however make some notably positive appointments to his cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

.

In foreign affairs, Harding spurned the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, and signed a separate peace treaty with Germany and Austria, formally ending World War I. He also strongly promoted world Naval
Navy
A navy is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake- or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions...

 disarmament at the 1921–22 Washington Naval Conference
Washington Naval Conference
The Washington Naval Conference also called the Washington Arms Conference, was a military conference called by President Warren G. Harding and held in Washington from 12 November 1921 to 6 February 1922. Conducted outside the auspices of the League of Nations, it was attended by nine nations...

, and urged U.S. participation in a proposed International Court. Domestically, Harding signed the first child welfare program in the United States and dealt with striking workers in the mining
Battle of Blair Mountain
The Battle of Blair Mountain was one of the largest civil uprisings in United States history and the largest armed insurrection since the American Civil War...

 and railroad industries. Also, the Veterans Bureau was cleaned up by Harding in March, 1923. The nation's unemployment rate dropped by half during Harding's administration. In August 1923, President Harding suddenly collapsed and died during a stop in California on a return trip from Alaska. He was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States . A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state...

.

Polls of historians and scholars have consistently ranked Harding as one of the worst Presidents
Historical rankings of United States Presidents
In political science, historical rankings of Presidents of the United States are surveys conducted in order to construct rankings of the success of individuals who have served as President of the United States. Ranking systems are usually based on surveys of academic historians and political...

. His presidency has been evaluated in terms of presidential record and accomplishments in addition to the administration scandals. The most recent Presidential rankings have had various low results for President Harding. However, in 1998, political historian Carl S. Anthony stated Harding was a "modern figure" who embraced technology and culture; sensitive to the plights of minorities, women, and labor. President Harding contended with racial problems on a national level, rather than sectional, and openly advocated African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 political, educational, and economic equality while in the Solid South
Solid South
Solid South is the electoral support of the Southern United States for the Democratic Party candidates for nearly a century from 1877, the end of Reconstruction, to 1964, during the middle of the Civil Rights era....

.

Childhood and education

Warren Gamaliel Harding was born November 2, 1865, in Blooming Grove, Ohio. His paternal ancestors, mostly ardent Baptists, hailed from Clifford, Pennsylvania and had migrated to Ohio in 1820. Nicknamed "Winnie", he was the eldest of eight children born to Dr. George Tryon Harding, Sr. (1843–1928) and Phoebe Elizabeth (Dickerson) Harding (1843–1910). His mother, a devout Methodist, was a midwife who later obtained her medical license. His father, never quite content with his current job or possessions, was forever swapping for something better, and was usually in debt; he owned a farm, taught at a rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 school north of Mount Gilead, Ohio
Mount Gilead, Ohio
Mount Gilead is a village in Morrow County, Ohio, United States.Mount Gilead's population was 3,290 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Morrow County and the center of population of Ohio. The village was established in 1832, eight years after white settlers arrived in the region...

 and also acquired a medical degree and started a small practice. It was rumored in Blooming Grove that one of Harding's great-grandmothers may have been African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

. Harding's great-great grandfather Amos claimed the rumor was started, as an attempted extortion, by a thief caught in the act by the family. Eventually, Harding's family moved to Caledonia, Ohio
Caledonia, Ohio
Caledonia is a village in Marion County, Ohio, United States. The population was 578 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Caledonia is located at ....

, where his father then acquired The Argus, a local weekly newspaper. It was at The Argus where, from the age of 10, Harding learned the basics of the journalism business. In 1878, his brother Charles and sister Persilla died, presumably from typhoid.

Harding continued to study the printing and newspaper trade as a college student at Ohio Central College
Ohio Central College
Ohio Central College was a college located in Iberia, Ohio in northwestern Morrow County, Ohio during the second half of the 19th Century. Open to both genders and all races, the college was founded by the Presbyterian Church and led by the Rev. George Gordon, a strong abolitionist. It counts...

 in Iberia
Iberia, Ohio
Iberia is a census-designated place in western Washington Township, Morrow County, Ohio, United States. The community is served by the Northmor Local School District which operates Iberia Elementary School in the community. Iberia is near to Galion, and Martel. The ZIP code assigned to Iberia by...

, during which time he also worked at the Union Register in Mount Gilead. In college Harding became an accomplished public speaker and graduated in 1882 with a Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

 degree at the age of 17. As a youngster Harding had become an accomplished cornet player and played in various bands. In 1884, Harding gained popular recognition in Marion, when his Citizens' Cornet Band won the third place $200 prize at the highly competitive Ohio State Band Festival in Findlay
Findlay, Ohio
As of the census of 2000, there were 38,967 people, 15,905 households, and 10,004 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,266.3 people per square mile . There were 17,152 housing units at an average density of 997.6 per square mile...

. The prize money paid for the band's snappy dress uniforms Harding had bought on credit.

Career in journalism and marriage

Upon graduating, he had stints as a teacher and insurance man, and made a brief attempt at reading the law. He then raised $300, in partnership with others, for the purchase of the failing Marion Daily Star
Marion Daily Star
The Marion Star is a newspaper in Marion, Ohio. The paper is owned by the Gannett Newspaper organization, the paper is also notable as having once been owned and published by Warren G...

, the weakest of the growing city's three newspapers; Harding was complete owner of the Star by 1886. Harding revamped the paper's editorial platform to support the Republican Party, and enjoyed a moderate degree of success. He became an ardent supporter of Governor "Fire Alarm Joe" Foraker; however, his political stance put him at odds with those who controlled local politics in Marion. When Harding moved to unseat the Marion Independent as the official daily paper, he was met with strong resistance from local figures, such as Amos Hall Kling, one of Marion's wealthiest real estate speculators. The editorial battle with the Independent became so heated that, at the inevitable mention of Harding's questionable bloodline, father and son proceeded, with shotgun in hand, to demand, and get, a retraction.

While Harding won the war of words and made the Marion Daily Star one of the most popular newspapers in the county, the battle took a toll on his health. In 1889, at age 24, he suffered from exhaustion and nervous fatigue. He spent several weeks at the Battle Creek Sanitarium
Battle Creek Sanitarium
The Battle Creek Sanitarium, in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States, first opened on September 5, 1866, as the Western Health Reform Institute, based on the health principles advocated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 1876, John Harvey Kellogg became the superintendent, and his brother, W....

 to regain his strength, ultimately making five visits over 14 years. Harding later returned to Marion to continue operating the paper. He spent his days promoting the community on the editorial pages, and his evenings "bloviating
Bloviation
Bloviation is a style of empty, pompous, political speech which originated in Ohio and was used by US President, Warren G. Harding who described it as "the art of speaking for as long as the occasion warrants, and saying nothing". The verb to bloviate is the act of creating...

" (a word which Harding frequently used, referring to longwinded, pompous political speech) with his friends over games of poker. In 1893, the Star supplanted the Independent as the official paper for Marion's governmental notices, after Harding exposed the rival paper for overcharging the city. In 1896, the Independent ceased doing business and Amos Kling wasted no time in financing and launching another rival paper, the Republican Transcript, in a failed attempt to derail his future son-in-law. Harding also made political speeches on the Chautauqua circuit and expressed admiration for his ideal American patron, Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

.

In 1900, a political opponent, J.F. McNeal, with the help of Amos Kling, secretly bought up $20,000 in loans owed by Harding, and immediately called them due in full. Harding just barely succeeded in securing the funds to pay off the debt in order to save the Star. In the last year of his Presidency, anticipating no resumption of his journalism career following his years in the White House, Harding sold the Star to Louis H. Brush and Roy D. Moore for $550,000.

On July 8, 1891, Harding married Florence Kling DeWolfe
Florence Harding
Florence Mabel Kling "Flossie" Harding , wife of President Warren G...

, the daughter of his nemesis (and hers as well), Amos Hall Kling. Florence Kling DeWolfe was a divorcée
Divorcee
Divorcee, refers to a person whose marriage has ended in divorce, a legal dissolution of marriage before death by either spouse. The feminine form is "divorcée", and the masculine "divorcé". At one time the term had negative cultural and religious associations...

, five years Harding's senior, and the mother of a young son, Marshall Eugene DeWolfe. "Flossie's" first, and compulsory, marriage, to an alcoholic, had been soundly condemned by her father, to the point of her disownment. Her mother remained loyal and provided support nevertheless. She pursued Harding persistently, until he reluctantly proposed. On his part, according to noted biographer Russell, true love was missing, but the prospect of social acceptance, and standing, was the compelling reason for his proposal. Florence's father was incensed by his daughter's decision to marry Harding, prohibited his wife from attending the wedding (she sneaked in long enough to see the vows exchanged) and refused to speak to his daughter or son-in-law for eight years. Her mother continued to provide support on the sly.

The couple were complementary, with Harding's affable personality balancing his wife's no-nonsense approach to life. Florence Harding, exhibiting her father's determination and business sense, turned the Marion Daily Star into a profitable business in her management of the circulation. She has been credited with helping Harding achieve more than he might have alone; some have speculated that she later pushed him all the way to the White House. Early in their marriage, Harding bestowed on her the lasting nickname "Duchess" as a nod to the imperious (and often alienating) persona she shared with her father.

Ohio emergence

Harding made his foray into politics running for the Marion County Auditor's office, primarily to gain political exposure – his inability to win election was a foregone conclusion in the heavily Democratic county. When his newspaper business attained sufficient strength, and even dominance, in Marion, Harding and his wife traveled widely throughout the country, which broadened Harding's exposure at political gatherings. Biographer Andrew Sinclair asserts that, like many contemporaries during the days of Ohio Republican Party boss Mark Hanna
Mark Hanna
Marcus Alonzo "Mark" Hanna was a United States Senator from Ohio and the friend and political manager of President William McKinley...

, Harding was involved with graft and excessive patronage. Harding allegedly arranged free public transit passes for his family in return for favorable coverage in his newspaper. Harding, in 1897, was said to have facilitated appointment of his sister as a teacher for the blind over supposedly more qualified candidates. Harding also was accused of collusion with other newspapers on the price-fixing of public printing bids and dividing the profits from low-straw biddings. No formal charges were made against Harding based on these accusations. The accomplished publisher also gained a flair for public speaking, and Harding in 1899 was elected to fill the Ohio State Senate seat for the 13th Senatorial District, despite Amos Kling's financing of a primary opponent. Shortly after this victory, there was a fortuitous meeting with Ohio Republican party leader and McKinley ally, Harry M. Daugherty
Harry M. Daugherty
Harry Micajah Daugherty was an American politician. He is best known as a Republican Party boss, and member of the Ohio Gang, the name given to the group of advisors surrounding president Warren G...

, who commented about him, "Gee, what a great looking President he'd make."; Daugherty later assumed the primary role in Harding's political career.
Harding, as a Republican state senator, was a partisan regular and did favors for political bosses Mark Hanna
Mark Hanna
Marcus Alonzo "Mark" Hanna was a United States Senator from Ohio and the friend and political manager of President William McKinley...

 and Harry M. Daugherty. Harding's only notable reform effort in his first term (Ohio state offices had terms of two years) was a progressive bill to revamp the municipal code, which passed the Senate but was halted by a single member's procedural call to "reconsider". As asserted by Sinclair, Harding, against his own conscience, signed a municipal bill that protected Republican party patronage and graft. In his second term, he was chosen Republican Floor Leader. In early 1903 Harding announced his campaign for Governor of Ohio, which was soon thwarted by an intra-party alliance that assured the election of fellow Republican Myron T. Herrick
Myron T. Herrick
Myron Timothy Herrick was a Republican politician from Ohio. He served as the 42nd Governor of Ohio.-Biography:...

; Harding was awarded the position of Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, a post he occupied from 1904 to 1906. In short order, a number of ill-advised decisions by Gov. Herrick damaged his popularity. Harding saw an opening as the 1906 election approached, and announced his candidacy for Governor again. Nevertheless, the party bosses stuck by Herrick, and Harding took his name out of the running for any position on the ticket, which was defeated by the Democrats.

While Harding was dwindling politically, there were developments on the personal and business front. In 1907, Amos Kling married his second wife and soon after began an effort at rapprochement with daughter and son-in-law. As a result, the Klings and the Hardings took a cruise to Europe together. Not long after their return, Harding reorganized his newspaper business into the Harding Publishing Co., issued stock in the company, took two-thirds for himself and allowed his employees to purchase the rest; this was the first profit sharing arrangement of its kind in Ohio.

Harding sought the 1909 gubernatorial nomination of the GOP, which was deeply divided between progressive and conservative wings of the party, but could not defeat the united Democrats; he lost the election to incumbent Judson Harmon
Judson Harmon
Judson Harmon was a Democratic politician from Ohio. He served as United States Attorney General under President Grover Cleveland and later served as the 45th Governor of Ohio....

. Harding took his first election loss in stride, saying "...I have lost nothing which I ever had except a few dollars which I can make again, a few pounds of flesh which I can grow again, a few false friends of whom I am well rid, and an ambition which simply fettered my freedom and did not make for happiness."

U.S. Senator

In 1912, Harding gave the nominating speech for incumbent President William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

, who would later serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during Harding's administration, at the embattled Republican National Convention in Chicago – before he completed his introduction, a fist fight ensued between the Taft supporters and the more progressive Roosevelt faction, but the speech was quite a personal success. By 1914 the Republican Party was beginning to show signs of reunification, with the result that support weakened for Ohio's U.S. Senator Theodore Burton, who then decided not to stand for re-election. When prompted, Harding agreed to run for Burton's seat against his mentor, "Fire Engine" Joe Foraker, in the Republican primary, and he emerged victorious. Henry Daugherty at this point was on a first name basis with Harding and supported his campaign. Harding's general election opponent, Timothy Hogan, fell victim to fervid anti-Catholic sentiment (which Harding did not voice) and Harding was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming Ohio's first senator elected by popular vote
Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. The amendment supersedes Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures...

. The election came on the heels of the outbreak of World War I – an issue Harding downplayed due to the significant German immigrant population in his district. He served in the Senate from 1915 until his inauguration as President in 1921, making him the first sitting senator to be elected President of the United States; John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 followed in this pattern. (James A. Garfield was at the time of his presidential election a non-incumbent senator-elect.)

When Harding joined the U.S. Congress, both houses were controlled by the Democrats, and Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, a progressive Democrat, was in the White House; therefore, the legislative agenda was dominated by the opposition. Harding was often considered a fence sitter on most issues, be that labor, big business, women's suffrage, or prohibition. He was "the harmonizer", declaring that a "righteous mean" could always be obtained on an issue. He did vote on legislation to protect the alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

 industry 30 times and was against Philippine independence. He was staunchly opposed to government ownership of business. In startling form, he once spoke in support of a strong executive, at least in war time, saying about President Wilson, "He is already... our partial dictator. Why not make him complete and supreme dictator?" He joined with 39 other senators in opposition to Wilson's proposed League of Nations. Harding took on a personal secretary in the Senate, George B. Christian, Jr., a former neighbor, who protected him from political patrons and intrusive inquiries, and served until the future president's death. Harding introduced 134 bills, but substantively his six year record as Senator was unremarkable; his attendance was inconsistent, he spoke minimally on the floor of the Senate and offered no major bill or debate. Harding was not even present for the vote on the women's suffrage amendment, though he "paired" his vote with another member, in effect supporting it. He was, nevertheless, most popular, and acquired many very close friends in the chamber. This popularity led to his serving as Chairman of the 1916 Republican Convention as well as Keynote Speaker.

Republican nomination

In 1918, when Theodore Roosevelt was entertaining plans (later abandoned) to reprise his presidency, he considered Harding had strong potential to run and serve as Vice President, and discussed with Harry Daugherty the desirability of having Harding on his ticket. In 1919, the first candidate to declare for the GOP nomination was General Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood
Leonard Wood was a physician who served as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Military Governor of Cuba and Governor General of the Philippines. Early in his military career, he received the Medal of Honor. Wood also holds officer service #2 in the Regular Army...

. The GOP bosses were nevertheless determined to have a dependable listener, and were lukewarm toward the General. Some in the party began to scout for such an alternative, and Harding's name arose, despite his reluctance, due to his very unique ability to draw vital Ohio votes. Also at the forefront of a throng of candidates for the nomination were Hiram Johnson
Hiram Johnson
Hiram Warren Johnson was a leading American progressive and later isolationist politician from California; he served as the 23rd Governor from 1911 to 1917, and as a United States Senator from 1917 to 1945.-Early life:...

, Frank Lowden and Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

. Harry Daugherty, who became Harding's campaign manager, and who was sure none of these candidates could garner a majority, convinced Harding to run after a marathon discussion of six-plus hours. Daugherty's campaign style was variously described as pugnacious, devious and no holds barred. For example, shortly before the GOP convention, Daugherty struck a deal with millionaire and political opportunist Jake Harmon, whereby 18 Oklahoma delegates whose votes Harmon had bought for Lowden were committed to Harding as a second choice if Lowden's effort faltered.

Harding's supporters thought of him as the next McKinley. By the time the convention began, a Senate sub-committee had tallied the monies spent by the various candidates, with totals as follows: Wood – $1.8 million; Lowden – $414,000; Johnson – $194,000; and Harding – $114,000; the committed delegate count at the opening gavel was: Wood – 124; Johnson – 112; Lowden – 72; Harding – 39. Still, at the opening, less than ½ of the delegates were committed. No candidate was able to corral a majority after nine ballots. Republican Senators and other leaders, who were divided without a singular political boss, met in Room 404 of the Blackstone Hotel
Blackstone Hotel
The Renaissance Blackstone Hotel is located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Balbo Street in the Michigan Boulevard Historic District in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois. This 21-story hotel was built from 1908 to 1910 and designed by Marshall and Fox. On May 29, 1998, the...

 in Chicago and after a nightlong session, tentatively concluded Harding was the best possible compromise candidate. According to Francis Russell, though additional meetings took place, this particular meeting came to be known as the "smoke filled room". Before receiving the formal nod, Harding was summoned by George Harvey, told he was considered to be the consensus nominee, and asked if he knew, "before God", whether there was anything in his life which would be an impediment. After mulling the question over for some minutes, he replied no, despite alleged adulterous affairs. The next day, when Harding was nominated on the tenth ballot, Mrs. Harding was so startled, she inadvertently stabbed Harry Daugherty in the side with her hat pins. The local Masons could not resist the opportunity to co-opt Harding's new notoriety, and promoted him to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason.

General election

In the 1920 election
United States presidential election, 1920
The United States presidential election of 1920 was dominated by the aftermath of World War I and a hostile response to certain policies of Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic president. The wartime economic boom had collapsed. Politicians were arguing over peace treaties and the question of America's...

, Harding ran against Democratic Ohio Governor James M. Cox, whose running-mate was Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Assistant Secretary of the Navy is the title given to certain civilian senior officials in the United States Department of the Navy....

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

. The election was seen in part as a rejection of the "progressive"
Progressive Era
The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of social activism and political reform that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s. One main goal of the Progressive movement was purification of government, as Progressives tried to eliminate corruption by exposing and undercutting political...

 ideology of the Woodrow Wilson Administration in favor of the "laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

" approach of the William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 era.

Harding ran on a promise to "Return to Normalcy", a seldom-used term he popularized, and healing for the nation after World War I. The policy called for an end to the abnormal era of the Great War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, along with a call to reflect three trends of the time: a renewed isolationism
Isolationism
Isolationism is the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by...

 in reaction to the War, a resurgence of nativism
Nativism (politics)
Nativism favors the interests of certain established inhabitants of an area or nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants. It may also include the re-establishment or perpetuation of such individuals or their culture....

, and a turning away from government activism.

On July 28, 1920, Harding's general election campaign manager, Albert Lasker
Albert Lasker
Albert Davis Lasker was an American businessman who is often considered to be the founder of modern advertising. He was born in Freiburg, Germany when his American parents Morris and Nettie Heidenheimer Davis Lasker were visiting their homeland; he was raised in Galveston, Texas, where Morris was...

, unleashed a broad-based advertising campaign that implemented modern advertising techniques; the focus was more strategy oriented. Lasker's approach included newsreels and sound recordings, all in an effort to enhance Harding's patriotism and affability. Farmers were sent brochures decrying the alleged abuses of Democratic agriculture policies. African Americans and women were also given literature in an attempt to take away votes from the Democrats. Professional advertisers including Chicagoan Albert Tucker were consulted. Billboard posters, newspapers and magazines were employed in addition to motion pictures. Five thousand speakers were trained by advertiser Harry New and sent abroad to speak for Harding; 2,000 of these speakers were women. Telemarketers were used to make phone conferences with perfected dialogues to promote Harding. Lasker had 8,000 photos distributed around the nation every two weeks of Harding and his wife.
Harding's "front porch campaign" during the late summer and fall of 1920 captured the imagination of the country. Not only was it the first campaign to be heavily covered by the press and to receive widespread newsreel coverage, but it was also the first modern campaign to use the power of Hollywood and Broadway stars, who travelled to Marion for photo opportunities with Harding and his wife. Al Jolson
Al Jolson
Al Jolson was an American singer, comedian and actor. In his heyday, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer"....

, Lillian Russell
Lillian Russell
Lillian Russell was an American actress and singer. She became one of the most famous actresses and singers of the late 19th century and early 20th century, known for her beauty and style, as well as for her voice and stage presence.Russell was born in Iowa but raised in Chicago...

, Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks
Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro....

, and Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford was a Canadian-born motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences...

 were among the luminaries to make the pilgrimage to his house
Harding Home
The Harding Home, in Marion, Ohio, was the residence of Warren G. Harding, twenty-ninth president of the United States. Harding and his future wife, Florence, designed the Queen Anne Style house in 1890, a year before their marriage. They were married there and lived there for 30 years before his...

 in central Ohio. Business icons Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison
Thomas Alva Edison was an American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. In addition, he created the world’s first industrial...

, Henry Ford
Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry...

, and Harvey Firestone
Harvey Firestone
Harvey Samuel Firestone was an American businessman, and the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, one of the first global makers of automobile tires.-Family background:...

 also lent their cachet to the campaign. From the onset of the campaign until the November election, over 600,000 people travelled to Marion to participate.

The campaign owed a great deal to Florence Harding, who played perhaps a more active role than any previous candidate's wife in a presidential race. She cultivated the relationship between the campaign and the press. As the business manager of the Star, she understood reporters and their industry. She played to their needs by being freely available to answer questions, pose for pictures, or deliver food prepared in her kitchen to the press office, a bungalow which she had constructed at the rear of their property in Marion. Mrs. Harding even coached her husband on the proper way to wave to newsreel cameras to make the most of coverage. Campaign manager Lasker struck a deal with Harding's paramour, Carrie Phillips, and her husband Jim Phillips, whereby the couple agreed to leave the country until after the election; ostensibly, Mr. Phillips was to investigate the silk trade.

The campaign also drew upon Harding's popularity with women. Considered handsome, Harding photographed well compared to Cox. However, it was mainly Harding's support in the Senate for women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 legislation that made him more popular with that demographic: the ratification of the 19th Amendment
Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. It was ratified on August 18, 1920....

 in August 1920 brought huge crowds of women to Marion, Ohio, to hear Harding. Immigrant groups who had made up an important part of the Democratic coalition, such as ethnic Germans
Germans
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 and Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, also voted for Harding in the election in reaction to their perceived persecution by the Wilson administration during World War I.

The election of 1920 was the first in which women could vote nationwide. It was also the first presidential election to be covered on the radio, thanks to both KDKA
KDKA (AM)
KDKA is a radio station licensed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Created by the Westinghouse Electric Corporation on November 2, 1920, it is one of the world's first modern radio stations , a distinction that has also been challenged by other stations, although it has claimed to be the first in...

 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is the second-largest city in the US Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Allegheny County. Regionally, it anchors the largest urban area of Appalachia and the Ohio River Valley, and nationally, it is the 22nd-largest urban area in the United States...

 and 8MK (later WWJ
WWJ (AM)
WWJ is Detroit, Michigan's only 24-hour all-news radio station. Broadcasting at 950 kHz, the station is owned and operated by CBS Corporation subsidiary CBS Radio. The station first went on the air on August 20, 1920 with the call sign 8MK...

) in Detroit; which carried the election returns, as did the educational/amateur radio station 1XE (later WGI) at Medford Hillside MA. Harding received 60% of the national vote, the highest percentage ever recorded, and 404 electoral votes. Cox received 34% of the national vote and 127 electoral votes. Campaigning from a federal prison, Socialist
Socialist Party of America
The Socialist Party of America was a multi-tendency democratic-socialist political party in the United States, formed in 1901 by a merger between the three-year-old Social Democratic Party of America and disaffected elements of the Socialist Labor Party which had split from the main organization...

 Eugene V. Debs
Eugene V. Debs
Eugene Victor Debs was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the International Labor Union and the Industrial Workers of the World , and several times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States...

 received 3% of the national vote. The Presidential election results of 1920, for the first time in U.S. history, were announced live by radio. Harding was the only Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 presidential candidate to ever defeat Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 on a presidential ticket. At the same time, the Republicans picked up an astounding 63 seats in the House of Representatives. Harding immediately embarked on a vacation which included an inspection tour of facilities in the Panama Canal Zone.
African-American lineage contention

During the campaign, political opponents spread rumors that Harding's great-great-grandfather was a West Indian black person and that other blacks might be found in his family tree. In an era when the "one-drop rule
One-drop rule
The one-drop rule is a historical colloquial term in the United States for the social classification as black of individuals with any African ancestry; meaning any person with "one drop of black blood" was considered black...

" would classify a person with any African ancestry as black, and black people in the South
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 had been effectively disfranchised, Harding's campaign manager responded, "No family in the state (of Ohio) has a clearer, a more honorable record than the Hardings', a blue-eyed stock from New England and Pennsylvania, the finest pioneer blood." Historian and opponent William Estabrook Chancellor
William Estabrook Chancellor
William Estabrook Chancellor was an American academic and writer. An opponent of the Republican presidential candidate Warren G...

 publicized the rumors, based on supposed family research, but perhaps reflecting no more than local gossip. The rumors may have been sustained by a statement Harding allegedly made to newspaperman James W. Faulkner
James W. Faulkner
James W. Faulkner was an American political journalist from Cincinnati, Ohio, whose career spanned local politics in Cincinnati; state politics in Ohio; and whose writings covered the Presidential campaigns of both parties from 1892 through 1920...

 on the subject, which he perhaps meant to be dismissive: "How do I know, Jim? One of my ancestors may have jumped the fence." However, while there are gaps in the historical record, studies of his family tree have not found evidence of an African-American ancestor.

Presidency: 1921–23

The atmosphere of Harding's inauguration was unremarkable – in terms of both weather and celebration. Harding cancelled most of the planned festivities, including the customary parade, leaving only the swearing-in ceremony and a brief reception at the White House. In his inaugural speech he declared, "Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much from the government and at the same time do too little for it." The Hardings also brought a different style to the running of the White House. Though the Duchess did keep a little red book of those who had offended her, the executive mansion was now once again open to the public, including the annual Easter egg roll.

The administration of Warren G. Harding followed the Republican platform
Party platform
A party platform, or platform sometimes also referred to as a manifesto, is a list of the actions which a political party, individual candidate, or other organization supports in order to appeal to the general public for the purpose of having said peoples' candidates voted into political office or...

 approved at the 1920 Republican National Convention, which was held in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. Harding, who had been elected by a landslide, felt the "pulse" of the nation and for the 28 months in office he remained popular both nationally and internationally. Harding's administration has been critically viewed due to multiple scandals, while his successes in office were often given credit to his capable cabinet appointments that included future President Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

. Author Wayne Lutton asked, "Was Harding really a failure?" Historian and former White House Counsel John Dean
John Dean
John Wesley Dean III is an American lawyer who served as White House Counsel to United States President Richard Nixon from July 1970 until April 1973. In this position, he became deeply involved in events leading up to the Watergate burglaries and the subsequent Watergate scandal cover-up...

's reassessment of Harding stated his accomplishments included income tax and federal spending reductions, economic policies that reduced "stagflation
Stagflation
In economics, stagflation is a situation in which the inflation rate is high and the economic growth rate slows down and unemployment remains steadily high...

", a reduction of unemployment by 10%, and a bold foreign policy that created peace with Germany, Japan, and Central America. Herbert Hoover, while serving in Harding's cabinet, was confident the President would serve two terms and return the world to normality. Later, in his own memoirs, he stated that Harding had "neither the experience nor the intellect that the position needed."
One of Harding's earlier decisions as President was the appointment of former President William Howard Taft as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a position Taft had always coveted, more so than the Presidency.

Harding pushed for the establishment of the Bureau of Veterans Affairs (later organized as the Department of Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

), the first permanent attempt at answering the needs of those who had served the nation in time of war. In April 1921, speaking before a special joint session of Congress which he had called, Harding argued for peacemaking with Germany and Austria, emergency tariff
Tariff
A tariff may be either tax on imports or exports , or a list or schedule of prices for such things as rail service, bus routes, and electrical usage ....

s, new immigration laws, regulation of radio and trans cable communications, retrenchment in government, tax reduction, repeal of wartime excess profits tax, reduction of railroad rates, promotion of agricultural interests, a national budget system, an enlarged merchant marine and a department of public welfare. He also called for measures to bring an end to lynching
Lynching
Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that...

, but he did not want to make enemies in his own party and with the Democrats, and did not fight for his program. Generally, there was a lack of strong leadership in the Congress and, unlike his predecessors Roosevelt and Wilson, Harding was not inclined to fill that void.

According to biographers, Harding got along well with the press more than any other President, being a former newspaper man. Reporters admired his frankness, candor, and his confessed limitations. He took the press behind the scenes and showed them the inner circle of the presidency. Harding, in November 1921, also implemented a policy of taking written questions from reporters during a press conference. Harding's relationship with Congress, however, was strained and he did not receive the traditional honeymoon given to new Presidents. Prior to Harding's election the nation was adrift; President Woodrow Wilson had been ill by a debilitating stroke for eighteen months and before that Wilson had been in Europe for several months attempting to negotiate a peace settlement after World War I. By contrast, at the March 4, 1921 Inaugural, Harding looked strong, with grey hair and a commanding physical presence. Wilson's successor stressed the importance of the ceremonial aspects of the office of President. This emphasis fulfilled his desire to travel the breadth of the country to officiate at formal functions.

Although Harding was committed to putting the "best minds" on his cabinet, he often rewarded those persons who were active and contributed to his campaign by appointing them to high federal department positions. For instance, Wayne Wheeler, leader of the Anti-Saloon League was literally allowed by Harding to dictate who would serve on the Prohibition Commission. Graft and corruption charges permeated Harding's Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

; bootleggers confiscated tens of thousands cases of whiskey through bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

 and kickbacks. Harding, out of loyalty, appointed Harry M. Daugherty to U.S. Attorney General because he felt he owed Daugherty for running his 1920 campaign. After the election, many people from the Ohio area moved to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, made their headquarters in a green house on K Street, and would be eventually known as the "Ohio Gang". The financial and political scandals caused by these men, in addition to Harding's own personal controversies, severely damaged President Harding's personal reputation and eclipsed his presidential accomplishments.

In his most open challenge to Congress, Harding forced a deferral of a budget-busting World War I soldier's bonus in an effort to reduce costs.
A 2008 study of presidential rankings for The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 placed Harding at number 34 and a 2009 C-SPAN
C-SPAN
C-SPAN , an acronym for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, is an American cable television network that offers coverage of federal government proceedings and other public affairs programming via its three television channels , one radio station and a group of websites that provide streaming...

 survey ranked Harding at 38. In 2010, a Siena College
Siena College
Siena College is an independent Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Loudonville, in the town of Colonie, New York, United States. Siena is a four-year, coeducational, independent college in the Franciscan tradition, founded by the Franciscan Friars in 1937. It has 3,000 full-time students and...

 poll of Presidential scholars placed Harding at 41. The same poll ranked President Harding 26 in the Ability to Compromise category.

Harding presided over the nation's initial consecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This followed similar commemorations established by Britain, France and Italy. The fallen hero was chosen from a group previously interred at Romagne Military Cemetery in France, and was re-interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

On December 23, 1921 Harding calmed the 1919–20 Bolshevik scare
First Red Scare
In American history, the First Red Scare of 1919–1920 was marked by a widespread fear of Bolshevism and anarchism. Concerns over the effects of radical political agitation in American society and alleged spread in the American labor movement fueled the paranoia that defined the period.The First Red...

 and released election opponent, socialist leader Eugene Debs, from prison. This was done as an effort to get the United States returned to "normalcy" after the Great War. Debs, a forceful World War I antiwar activist, had been convicted under sedition charges brought by the Wilson administration for his opposition to the draft during World War I. Despite many political differences between the two candidates Harding commuted Debs' sentence to time served; however, not granted an official Presidential pardon. Debs' failing health was a contributing factor for the release. Harding granted a general amnesty to 23 prisoners, alleged anarchists and socialists, active in the Red Scare
Red Scare
Durrell Blackwell Durrell Blackwell The term Red Scare denotes two distinct periods of strong Anti-Communism in the United States: the First Red Scare, from 1919 to 1920, and the Second Red Scare, from 1947 to 1957. The First Red Scare was about worker revolution and...

.

Harding's party suffered the loss of 79 seats in the House in the 1922 mid-term elections, leaving them with a razor thin majority. The President determined to fill the void of leadership in the party and attempted to take a more aggressive role in setting the legislative agenda.

The Hardings visited their home community of Marion, Ohio once during the term, when the city celebrated its centennial during the first week of July. Harding arrived on July 3, gave a speech to the community at the Marion County
Marion County, Ohio
Marion County is a county located in the state of Ohio, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 66,501. Its county seat is the city of Marion and is named for General Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion, an officer in the Revolutionary War....

 Fairgrounds on July 4, and left the following morning for other speaking commitments.

Joint Session of Congress 1921

On April 12, President Harding addressed a joint session of Congress which he had called to address matters that he deemed of national and urgent importance. That speech, considered to be his best, contained few political platitudes and was enthusiastically received by Congress. On the economic front, Harding urged Congress to create a Bureau of the Budget; cut expenditures; and revise federal tax laws. Harding urged increasing protectionist tariffs, to lower taxes, and agriculture legislation to help the farmer. In the speech, Harding advocated aviation technology for civil and military purposes; the development of radio technology and regulation; and the passage of a federal anti-lynching law to protect African Americans. Harding advocated, in terms of foreign affairs, a "conference and cooperation" of nations to prevent war, yet flatly stated the U.S. should not enter the League of Nations. Harding endorsed peace to be established between all former enemy nations from World War I; and the funding and liquidation of war debts.

Bureau of the Budget and Veterans Bureau

Considered to be one of his greatest domestic and enduring achievements, President Harding signed Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. Harding requested and obtained from the Congress authorization for the country's first formal budgeting process via the establishing of the Bureau of the Budget. The law created the presidential budget director who was directly responsible to the President, rather than the Secretary of Treasury. The law also stipulated that the President must submit a budget annually to the U.S. Congress. Subsequent Presidents each year have had to submit a budget to Congress. The General Accounting Office was created to assure oversight in the federal budget expenditures. Harding appointed Charlie Dawes, known for being an effective financier, as the first director of the Bureau of the Budget. Dawes reduced government spending by $1.5 billion his first year as director, a 25% reduction, along with another 25% reduction the following year. In effect, the Government budget was cut in ½ in just two years. Harding believed the federal government should be fiscally managed similar to the private sector having campaigned "Less government in business and more business in government." "Harding was true to his word, carrying on budget cuts that had begun under a debilitated Woodrow Wilson. Federal spending declined from $6.3 billion in 1920 to $5 billion in 1921 and $3.3 billion in 1922. Tax rates, meanwhile, were slashed—for every income group. And over the course of the 1920s, the national debt was reduced by one third."On August 9, 1921, President Harding signed legislation known as the "Sweet Bill", which established the Veterans Bureau as a new agency. After World War I, 300,000 wounded veterans were in need of hospitalization, medical care, and job training. In order to handle the needs of these veterans, the new Veterans Bureau incorporated the War Risk Insurance Bureau, the Brig. Gen. Charles E. Sawyer
Charles E. Sawyer
Charles Elmer Sawyer, also known as Dr. C. E. Sawyer , was a homeopathic physician who is blamed for giving a false diagnosis of U.S. President Warren G. Harding that led to Harding's premature death....

's Federal Hospitalization Bureau, along with three other bureaus that dealt with veteran affairs. Harding regrettably appointed Colonel Charles R. Forbes
Charles R. Forbes
Charles Robert Forbes was appointed the first Director of the Veterans' Bureau by President Warren G. Harding on August 9, 1921 and served until February 28, 1923. Caught for Army desertion in 1900, he went on to serve in the military and was a decorated World War I veteran. He first became active...

, albeit a decorated war veteran, as the Veteran Bureau's first director (see scandal below), a position which reported directly to the President. The Veterans Bureau later was incorporated into the Veterans Administration
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

 and ultimately the Department of Veterans Affairs
United States Department of Veterans Affairs
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is the United States government’s second largest department, after the United States Department of Defense...

.

Postwar recession and recovery

On March 4, President Harding assumed office while the nation was in the midst of a postwar economic decline, known as the Depression of 1920–21. By summer of his first year in office, an economic recovery began.

President Harding convened the Conference of Unemployment in 1921, headed by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, that proactively advocated stimulating the economy with local public work projects and encouraged businesses to apply shared work programs.

Harding's Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, ordered a study that claimed to demonstrate that as income tax rates were increased, money was driven underground or abroad. Mellon concluded that lower rates would increase tax revenues. Based on this advice, Harding cut taxes, starting in 1922. The top marginal rate was reduced annually in four stages from 73% in 1921 to 25% in 1925. Taxes were cut for lower incomes starting in 1923.

Revenues to the treasury increased substantially. Unemployment also continued to fall. Libertarian
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 historian Thomas Woods
Thomas Woods
Thomas E. "Tom" Woods, Jr. is an American historian, economist, political analyst, and New York Times-bestselling author. He has written extensively on the subjects of American history, contemporary politics, and economic theory...

 contends that the tax cuts ended the Depression of 1920–21—even though economic growth had begun before the cuts—and were responsible for creating a decade-long expansion. Historians Schweikart and Allen attribute these changes to the tax cuts. Schweikart and Allen also argue that Harding's tax and economic policies in part "...produced the most vibrant eight year burst of manufacturing and innovation in the nation's history." The combined declines in unemployment and inflation (later known as the Misery Index
Misery index (economics)
The misery index is an economic indicator, created by economist Arthur Okun, and found by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. It is assumed that both a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation create economic and social costs for a country...

) were among the sharpest in U.S. history. Wages, profits, and productivity all made substantial gains during the 1920s.

Daniel Kuehn attributes the improvement to the earlier monetary policy of the Federal Reserve, and notes that the changes in marginal tax rates were accompanied by an expansion in the tax base that could account for the increase in revenue. However:
Recovery did not last long. Another economic contraction began near the end of Harding's presidency in 1923, while tax cuts were still underway. A third contraction followed in 1927 during the next presidential term.

Farm acts and Radio Conferences

In 1921 and 1922, President Harding signed a series of bills regulating agriculture. The legislation emanated from President Woodrow Wilson's 1919 Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

 report, which investigated and discovered "manipulations, controls, trusts, combinations, or restraints out of harmony with the law or the public interest" in the meat packing industry. The first law was the Packers and Stockyards Act
Packers and Stockyards Act
The Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 was enacted following the release in 1919 of the Report of the Federal Trade Commission on the meatpacking industry.-History and passage:...

, prohibiting packers from engaging in unfair and deceptive practices. Two amendments were made to the Farm Loan Act
Federal Farm Loan Act
The Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 was a United States federal law aimed at increasing credit to rural, family farmers. It did so by creating a federal farm loan board, twelve regional farm loan banks and tens of farm loan associations...

 of 1916 which had been signed into law by President Wilson, and which expanded the maximum size of rural farm loans. The Emergency Agriculture Credit Act authorized new loans to farmers in order to sell and market livestock. The Capper–Volstead Act signed by Harding on February 18, 1922 protected farm cooperatives from anti-trust legislation. The Future Trading Act
Future Trading Act
The Future Trading Act of 1921 was a United States Act of Congress intended to institute regulation of grain futures contracts and, particularly, the exchanges on which they were traded...

 was also enacted, regulating "puts and calls", "bids", and "offers" on futures contracting. This legislation was later ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 15, 1922.

On February 27, 1922, President Harding implemented the first of a series of Radio Conferences headed by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover. The last Radio Act of 1912
Radio Act of 1912
The Radio Act of 1912 is a United States federal law that mandated that all radio stations in the US be licensed by the federal government, as well as mandating that seagoing vessels continuously monitor distress frequencies....

 was considered "inadequate" and "chaotic"; change was necessary to help the fledgling radio industry. At the first meeting, 30 representatives including amateurs, governmental agencies, and the radio industry made "cooperative efforts" to ensure the public interest in broadcasting, who would broadcast and for what purpose, and to curb direct advertising. Also discussed was how wattage power used by broadcasters would be distributed depending on the radio station's conditional use and location.

A second radio conference was called in 1923, and this time Secretary Hoover was successful at obtaining radio regulation power without legislation passed. Hoover himself in January 1923 told the press there was an "urgent need for radio regulation." Large radio stations such as Westinghouse
Westinghouse Electric (1886)
Westinghouse Electric was an American manufacturing company. It was founded in 1886 as Westinghouse Electric Company and later renamed Westinghouse Electric Corporation by George Westinghouse. The company purchased CBS in 1995 and became CBS Corporation in 1997...

 advocated that only 25 larger radio stations in large metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

s be allowed to broadcast while smaller stations would be given limited power. At the end of the meeting, the industrialists agreed to give Hoover the power "to regulate hours and wave lengths of operation of stations when such action is necessary to prevent interference detrimental to the public good".

On February 8, 1922, President Harding had a radio installed in the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. On June 14, President Harding Harding spoke on radio at a dedication site in honor of Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key
Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet, from Georgetown, who wrote the lyrics to the United States' national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".-Life:...

, who wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner.

Revenue Act and Highway Act of 1921

On November 22, 1921, President Harding signed the Revenue Act of 1921
Revenue Act of 1921
The United States Revenue Act of 1921 was the first Republican tax reduction following their landslide victory in the 1920 federal elections. New Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon argued that significant tax reduction was necessary in order to spur economic expansion and restore...

 that gave large deductions in the amount of taxes that the wealthiest Americans had to pay. Protests from Republican farmers caused the deductions to be less than originally desired by Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon. The lengthy 96-page Act reduced the corporate tax from 65% to 50% and provided for the ultimate elimination of the excess-profits tax during World War I.

The 1920s were a time of modernization for America, with the advent of movies, flappers, and automobiles. To improve and expand the nation's highway system, President Harding signed the Federal Highway Act of 1921
Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921 (Phipps Act)
The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921, November 9, 1921, ,sponsored by Sen. Lawrence C. Phipps of Colorado, defined the Federal Aid Road program to develop an immense national highway system. The plan was crafted by the head of the National Highway Commission, Thomas MacDonald and was the first...

. From 1921 to 1923, the federal government spent a total of $162 million on America's highway system, infusing the U.S. economy with a large amount of capital. In 1922, President Harding proclaimed that America was in the age of the "motor car". He stated that the automobile, "reflects our standard of living and gauges the speed of our present-day life."

Fordney-McCumber Tariff

On September 21, 1922, President Harding enthusiastically signed the Fordney-McCumber Tariff
Fordney-McCumber Tariff
The Fordney–McCumber Tariff of 1922 raised American tariffs in order to protect factories and farms. Congress displayed a pro-business attitude in passing the ad valorem tariff and in promoting foreign trade through providing huge loans to Europe, which in turn bought more American goods...

 Act. The protectionist legislation was sponsored by Representative Joseph W. Fordney
Joseph W. Fordney
Joseph Warren Fordney was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.Fordney was born on a farm near Hartford City, Indiana where he attended the common schools. He moved to Saginaw, Michigan in June 1869 and engaged in the lumber industry...

 and Senator Porter J. McCumber
Porter J. McCumber
Porter James McCumber was a United States Senator from North Dakota. Born in Crete, Illinois, he moved with his parents to Rochester, Minnesota the same year. He attended the common schools and taught school for a few years, and graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at...

. It increased the tariff rates contained in the previous Underwood-Simmons Tariff Act of 1913, to the highest level in the nation's history. Harding became concerned when the agriculture business suffered economic hardship from the high tariffs. Previously, on May 21, 1921 President Harding had signed emergency legislation that put tariffs on select foreign inputs. By 1922, Harding began to realize that the long-term effects of tariffs could be detrimental to national economy, despite the short term benefits. Harding's successors, President Calvin Coolidge and President Herbert Hoover, also advocated tariff legislation. The tariffs established in the 1920s have historically been viewed as a contributing factor to causing the Wall Street Crash of 1929
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

.

Foreign policies

President Harding was very specific in commenting on the appointment of Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican politician from New York. He served as the 36th Governor of New York , Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States , United States Secretary of State , a judge on the Court of International Justice , and...

, that the secretary would be the sole spokesman for the State Department (as opposed to the Wilson administration). Hughes ably worked behind the scenes to formally make peace with former enemies Austria and Germany. This was known as the Knox–Porter Resolution; subsequent Peace treaties
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 were signed with both countries and Ratified by the Senate and signed by Harding on July 21, 1921; that officially ended World War I for the U.S. The Senate had refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 in both 1919 and 1920; since it required the U.S. to endorse the League of Nations.

Washington arms conference and treaties 1921–22

President Harding spearheaded, with the urging of the Senate, a monumental global conference, held in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, to limit the armaments of world powers, including the U.S., Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy, China, Belgium, Netherlands and Portugal. Harding's Secretary of State, Charles E. Hughes, assumed a primary role in the conference and made the pivotal proposal – the U.S was to reduce its number of warships by 30 if Great Britain decommissioned 19, and Japan 17 ships. Starting on November 6, 1921 and ending February 6, 1922, world leaders met to control a naval arms race and to bring stability to East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. The conference enabled the great powers to potentially limit their large naval deployment and avoid conflict in the Pacific. The delegation of nations also worked out security issues and promoted cooperation in the Far East.

The conference produced six treaties and 12 resolutions among the participating nations, which ranged from limiting the size or "tonnage" of naval ships to custom tariffs. The treaties, which easily passed the Senate, also included agreements regulating submarines, dominions in the Pacific, and dealings with China. The treaties only remained in effect until the mid 1930s, however, and ultimately failed. Japan eventually invaded Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 and the arms limitations no longer had any effect. The building of "monster warships" resumed and the U.S. and Great Britain were unable to quickly rearm themselves to defend an international order and stop Japan from remilitarizing.

President Harding, in an effort to improve U.S. relations with Mexico, Latin America, and the Caribbean Islands implemented a program of military disengagement. On April 20, 1921, the Thomson–Urrutia Treaty with Colombia was ratified by the Senate and signed by Harding; that awarded $25,000,000 as indemnity payment for land used to make the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

.

Harding stunned the capital when he sent to the Senate a message supporting the participation of the U.S. in the proposed Permanent Court of International Justice. This was not favorably received by Harding's colleagues; a resolution was nevertheless drafted, in deference to the President, and then promptly buried in the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Blair Mountain miner war

On May 12, 1921, just two months into Harding's presidency, violence was initiated near Matewan, West Virginia
Matewan, West Virginia
Matewan is a town in Mingo County, West Virginia, USA at the confluence of the Tug Fork River and Mate Creek. The population was 498 at the 2000 census...

, between private detectives, on behalf of the Stone Mountain Coal Company, and United Mine Workers union members who had been fired from their jobs and were being evicted from company-owned housing. The miners cut down telephone and telegraph lines and trained their guns on the mines, strike breakers and buildings. The battle lasted three days and on the first day and night of the battle some 10,000 rounds were fired. Former Justice of the Peace Harry C. Staton was killed, and Ephraim Morgan, Governor of West Virginia, pleaded in person with President Harding for federal military support. Harding, who was keeping track of the situation, would only send in troops if state militia could no longer handle the striking miners. On August 1, Sid Hatfield
Sid Hatfield
William Sidney "Sid" Hatfield , was Police Chief of Matewan, West Virginia during the Battle of Matewan, a shootout that followed a series of evictions carried out by detectives from the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency....

, a prominent Union organizer and Matewan chief of police, was assassinated by mining company agents. On August 28, four days of fighting broke out on a 25 mi (40.2 km) front at Blair Mountain between coal company militia and thousands of Union miners led by Bill Blizzard
Bill Blizzard
right|thumb|Bill Blizzard William H. "Bill" Blizzard was a union organizer, a commander of the miners' army during the Battle of Blair Mountain, and president of District 17 of the United Mine Workers. Blizzard is most remembered for his role in the Battle of Blair Mountain, leading the miners...

. Both the miner and the strike buster armies were equipped with physicians, nurses and chaplains. President Harding, having issued two proclamations to keep the peace, finally used military force including Martin MB-1
Martin MB-1
-References:NotesBibliography* The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft . London: Orbis Publishing, 1985, p. 2419.* Andrade, John. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Hinckley, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9.* Swanborough, F.G and Peter M....

 bombers that deployed gas and explosive bombs. Federal troops arrived on September 2, forcing the miners to flee to their homes and hostilities ended on September 4; 50–100 miners had been killed, as well as 30 strike busters, in the fighting. After the battle, 985 miners were tried and imprisoned for crimes against the State of West Virginia. Bill Blizzard was indicted and tried for treason, but was acquitted.

Strikes by the UMW were restarted again in 1922 when workers refused a wage reduction insisted upon by companies. Union wages apparently had risen far above others under the Wilson administration. After five months, the companies capitulated, and the wage reductions were tabled. This was a Pyrrhic victory for Lewis and the UMW, as membership in the union would drop from 400K to 150K by 1930 as the nation transitioned to less costly petroleum.

Great railway strike and repeal of 12 hour work-day

A year after President Harding contended with the 1921 mining labor war in West Virginia, a strike broke out during the summer of 1922 in the railroad industry. On July 1, 1922, 400,000 railroad workers and shopmen went on strike over hourly wages reduced by seven cents and a 12 hour-day work week. Strike busters were brought in to fill the positions. President Harding proposed a settlement that gave the shop workers some concessions; however, the railroad owners objected. Harding sent out the National Guard and 2,200 deputy U.S. marshals to keep the peace. Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty convinced Judge James H. Wilkerson to issue a broad sweeping injunction to break up the strike. This was known as the "Wilkerson" or "Daughtery" injunction, which enraged the union as well as many in congress, as it prohibited First Amendment rights. Harding had Daugherty and Wilkerson withdraw the objectionable parts of the injunction. The injunction ultimately succeeded in ending the strike; however, tensions remained high between railroad workers and company men for years. Daugherty's harsh injunction against labor created great discord in Harding's cabinet. This, along with Daugherty's other activities, prompted one congressman, Oscar Keller of Minnesota, to attempt, in vain, to bring impeachment charges against the Attorney General.

In 1922, President Harding and Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover convened a White House conference with manufacturers and unions, to reduce the length of the 12 hour work day, in a move for the cause of labor. The labor movement supported an 8 hour day and a 6 day work week. President Harding wrote Judge Gary, a steel industry leader who attended the meeting, advocating labor reform. The labor conference, however, decided against labor's demands in 1923. Both Harding and Hoover were disappointed with the committee's ruling. Harding wrote a second letter to Gary and with public support the steel industry repealed the 12-hour work day to an eight-hour work day.

Anti-lynching movement and immigration

Notably in an age of severe racial intolerance during the 1920s, President Harding did not hold any racial animosity, according to historian Carl S. Anthony. In a speech on October 26, 1921, given in segregated Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. The city is the county seat of Jefferson County. According to the 2010 United States Census, Birmingham had a population of 212,237. The Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Area, in estimate by the U.S...

, Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 Harding advocated civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 for African Americans; the first President to openly advocate black political, educational, and economic equality during the 20th century. Harding went further and viewed the race problem as a national and international issue and desired that the sectionalism of the Solid South and black membership of the Republican party be broken up. Harding, however, openly stated that he was not for black social equality in terms of racial mixing or miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

. Harding also spoke on the Great Migration
Great Migration (African American)
The Great Migration was the movement of 6 million blacks out of the Southern United States to the Northeast, Midwest, and West from 1910 to 1970. Some historians differentiate between a Great Migration , numbering about 1.6 million migrants, and a Second Great Migration , in which 5 million or more...

, believing that blacks migrating to the north and west to find employment had actually tempered race relations between blacks and whites.

According to the Louisiana Historical Association
Louisiana Historical Association
The Louisiana Historical Association is an organization of professional historians and interested laypersons dedicated to the preservation, publication, and dissemination of the history of the U.S. state of Louisiana, with particular emphasis at the inception on territorial, statehood, and the...

, he named some African Americans to federal positions, such as Walter L. Cohen
Walter L. Cohen
Walter L. Cohen, Sr. was an African American Republican politician and businessman in the U.S. state of Louisiana.The New Orleans native was the son of Bernard Cohen and the former Amelia Bingaman...

 of New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

, Louisiana, whom he named comptroller of customs. Harding also advocated the establishment of an international commission to improve race relations between whites and blacks; however, strong political opposition by the Southern Democratic bloc prevented the commission. The Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 had its highest membership during its revival in the 1920s, when it expanded membership among urban populations of the Midwest and South who were concerned about job competition and immigration.

Harding supported Congressman Leonidas Dyer's federal anti-lynching bill, known as the Dyer Bill
Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill
The Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, introduced by Representative Leonidas C. Dyer, a Republican from Saint Louis, Missouri, in the US House of Representatives in 1918, was directed at punishing lynchings and mob violence....

, which passed the House of Representatives on January 26, 1922. The bill was defeated in the Senate by a Democratic filibuster
Filibuster
A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure. Specifically, it is the right of an individual to extend debate, allowing a lone member to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal...

. Harding had previously spoken out publicly against lynching on October 21, 1921. Congress had not debated a civil rights bill since the 1890 Federal Elections Bill
Lodge Bill
The Lodge Bill or Federal Elections Bill of 1890 was a bill drafted by Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, and sponsored in the Senate by George Frisbie Hoar; it was endorsed by President Benjamin Harrison. The bill would have allowed the federal government to ensure that elections...

.

The Per Centum Act of 1921 signed by President Harding on May 19, 1921 severely reduced the amount of immigration into the U.S. to 3% of a country's represented population based on the 1910 census. The Act allowed unauthorized immigrants to be deported. Harding and Secretary of Labor James Davis
James J. Davis
James John Davis was an American steel worker and Republican Party politician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served as U.S. Secretary of Labor and represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate...

 believed that enforcement had to be humane. Harding often allowed exceptions granting reprieves to thousands of immigrants.

Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act

On November 21, 1921, President Harding signed the Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act, the first major federal government social welfare program in the U.S. The law funded almost 3,000 child and health centers throughout the U.S. Medical doctors were spurred to offer preventative health care measures in addition to treating ill children. Doctors were required to help healthy pregnant women and prevent healthy children from getting sick. Child welfare workers were sent out to make sure that parents were taking care of their children. Many minority groups, particularly African American, Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, and foreign-born women, resented the law and the welfare workers who visited their homes and intruded into their family's lives. The law was sponsored by a woman, Julia Lathrop
Julia Lathrop
Julia Clifford Lathrop was an American social reformer in the area of education, social policy, and children's welfare...

, America's first director of the U.S. Children's Bureau
United States Children's Bureau
The United States Children's Bureau is a federal agency organized under the United States Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. Today, the bureau's operations involve improving child abuse prevention, foster care, and adoption...

. Although the law remained in effect only eight years, it set the trend for New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 social programs during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. Many women who had been given the right to vote in 1920, were given career opportunities as welfare and social workers.

Religious toleration, advocated Jewish homeland

President Harding was tolerant towards religious faiths. Harding appointed prominent Jewish leader, Rabbi Joseph S. Kornfeld, and Catholic leader, Father Joseph M. Dennig, to foreign diplomatic positions. Harding also appointed Albert Lasker
Albert Lasker
Albert Davis Lasker was an American businessman who is often considered to be the founder of modern advertising. He was born in Freiburg, Germany when his American parents Morris and Nettie Heidenheimer Davis Lasker were visiting their homeland; he was raised in Galveston, Texas, where Morris was...

, a Jewish businessman and Harding's 1920 Presidential campaign manager, head of the Shipping Department. In an unpublished letter, Harding advocated the establishment and funding of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

Life at the White House

Katherine Marcia Forbes, wife of Harding's Veterans Bureau appointment Charles R. Forbes
Charles R. Forbes
Charles Robert Forbes was appointed the first Director of the Veterans' Bureau by President Warren G. Harding on August 9, 1921 and served until February 28, 1923. Caught for Army desertion in 1900, he went on to serve in the military and was a decorated World War I veteran. He first became active...

, had unprecedented access to the White House. Mrs. Harding
Florence Harding
Florence Mabel Kling "Flossie" Harding , wife of President Warren G...

 and Katherine had become close friends since meeting in Hawaii, when Senator Harding and his wife were on vacation. In 1921, Katherine Forbes wrote a series of articles for the Washington Post describing the daily life of President Harding and the First Lady
First Lady of the United States
First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

. President Harding and Mrs. Harding wanted to be known as "just home folks". At dinners, Harding's dog Laddie Boy
Laddie Boy (dog)
Laddie Boy was an airedale terrier owned by US President Warren G. Harding and was a celebrity during the Harding administration. Laddie Boy was a faithful kind of dog. When the president played golf and hit a tree, Laddie Boy would run up to the tree and get the ball. Laddie Boy had his own hand...

, was allowed to beg guests for food and play with children. Red velvet upholstery covered much of the furniture. President Harding's informal dress included a plain tuxedo, plaited shirt, and pearl studs. Mrs. Harding herself was able to talk with many guests at the same time. Inside the White House, the Hardings had a great grandfather clock, a gold fish bowl, a French vase with pussy willow
Pussy Willow
Pussy willow is a name given to many of the smaller species of the genus Salix when their furry catkins are young in early spring...

s, neutral color rugs, and a grand piano. Harding sometimes gave children private tours of the White House that included conservatories and kennels.

Harding's lifestyle at the White House was fairly unconventional compared to his predecessor President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

. Upstairs at the White House, in the Yellow Oval Room, President Harding allowed bootleg whiskey to be freely given to his guests during after dinner parties, at a time when the President was supposed to be enforcing Prohibition. One witness, Alice Longworth, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, claimed that trays "with bottles containing every imaginable brand of whiskey stood about." Some of this alcohol had been directly confiscated from the Prohibition department by Jess Smith
Jess Smith
Jesse W. Smith also known as Jess Smith, was a member of President Warren G. Harding's Ohio Gang. He was born and raised in Washington Court House, Ohio, where he became a friend of Harry M. Daugherty. There, Daugherty helped him to become the successful owner of a department store...

, assistant to U.S. Attorney General Harry Daugherty. Mrs. Harding, also known as the "Duchess", mixed drinks for the guests. Harding also indulged in poker playing twice a week, smoking, and chewing tobacco. President Harding allegedly won a $4,000 pearl necktie pin at one White House poker game. Although criticized by Prohibitionist advocate Wayne B. Wheeler over Washington, D.C. rumors of these "wild parties", Harding claimed his personal drinking inside the White House was his own business.

Administrative scandals

Upon winning the election, Harding appointed many of his longtime allies and campaign contributors to prominent political positions in control of vast amounts of government money and resources. Known as the "Ohio Gang" (a term used by Charles Mee, Jr., in his book of the same name), some of the appointees used their new powers to exploit their positions for personal gain. Although Harding was responsible for making these appointments, it is unclear how much, if anything, Harding himself knew about his friends' illicit activities. No evidence to date suggests that Harding personally profited from such crimes, but he was apparently unable to prevent them. "I have no trouble with my enemies", Harding told journalist William Allen White
William Allen White
William Allen White was a renowned American newspaper editor, politician, author, and leader of the Progressive movement...

 late in his presidency, "but my damn friends, they're the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!" The only scandal which was openly discovered during Harding's lifetime was in the Veteran's Bureau. Yet the gossip became rampant after the suicides of Charles Cramer (Veterans Bureau) and Jess Smith (Justice Dept.) President Harding responded aggressively to all of this with a mixture of grief, anger and perplexity.

Before any of the scandalous activity became widely known, Harding's popularity began to ebb, but he responded with determination to run for re-election, despite strong support emerging for the very popular Henry Ford for the Democrats. While on his trip to Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 in 1923, President Harding asked reporters and Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, how he should respond to associates who may have betrayed him. He also said at this time, according to Joe Mitchell Chapple, "someday the people will understand all that some of my erstwhile friends have done for me." However much he did know at the time of his departure for Alaska, Russell concludes it did not include Fall and Daugherty. Harding reformed the corrupt Veteran's Bureau in March, 1923.

Teapot Dome

The most notorious scandal was the Teapot Dome affair, most of which came to light long after Harding's death, which concerned an oil reserve located in Wyoming, which was covered by a rock formation in the shape of a teapot. For years, the country had taken measures to ensure the availability of petroleum reserves, particularly for use by the Navy. On February 23, 1923 President Harding by Executive Order # 3797 created Naval Petroleum Reserve Number 4 in Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. It became clear by the 1920s that petroleum was becoming increasingly important to the national economy and security of the nation. The reserve system was to keep the oil under government jurisdiction rather than through private claims. The management of these reserves was the subject of multi-dimensional arguments, beginning with a turf battle, between the Secretary of the Navy and the Interior Dept. The strategic reserves issue was a topic of debate also between conservationists and the petroleum industry, as well as those favoring public ownership versus private control. Harding's Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

, Albert B. Fall
Albert B. Fall
Albert Bacon Fall was a United States Senator from New Mexico and the Secretary of the Interior under President Warren G. Harding, infamous for his involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal.-Early life and family:...

, brought to that office a lot of political and legal experience – and also a lot of personal debt, incurred in his obsession to expand his personal estate, Three Rivers, in New Mexico. He also was an avid supporter of the private ownership and management of reserves.

Fall contracted with Edward Doheny of Pan American Corp. for the construction of storage tanks in exchange for drilling rights; it was later discovered that significant personal loans were made contemporaneously by Doheny to Fall. The Secretary also negotiated leases for the Teapot Dome reserves to Harry Sinclair of the Consolidated Oil Corp. in return for guaranteed oil reserves to the credit of the government. Again, it was later determined that Sinclair made concurrent cash payments personally to Fall, exceeding $400,000. These activities were taking place under the unsuspected watch of progressive and conservationist attorney, Harry Slattery, acting for Gifford Pinchot and Robert La Follete. Fall was ultimately convicted in 1931 of accepting bribes and illegal no-interest personal loans in exchange for the leasing of public oil fields to business associates. In 1931, Fall became the first cabinet member in history to be sent to prison. Paradoxically, while Fall was convicted for taking the bribe, Doheny was acquitted of paying it.

Justice department

Harding's appointment of Harry M. Daugherty as Attorney General received at the time more criticism than any other; Harding's campaign manager's Ohio lobbying and back room maneuvers with politicians were not considered the best qualifications. Historian M. R. Werner referred to the Justice Department under Harding and Daugherty as "the den of a ward politician and the White House a night club." On September 16, 1922, Minnesota Congressman Oscar E. Keller brought charges of impeachment against Daugherty. On December 4, formal investigation hearings headed by congressman Andrew J. Volstead started on Daugherty. The impeachment process, however, was stopped since Keller's charges that Daugherty protected interests in trust and war fraud cases could not be substantially proven. One alleged scandal involving Daugherty concerned the Wright-Martin Aircraft Corp., which was supposedly found to have overcharged the Federal government by $2.3 M on war contracts. Capt. Hazel Scaife attempted to bring the company to trial, but was blocked by the Department of Justice. At this time, Daugherty was said to have owned stock in the company and was even adding to these holdings, though he was never charged in the matter.

Daugherty remained in his position during the early days of the Calvin Coolidge administration, then resigned on March 28, 1924, amidst allegations of accepting bribes from bootleggers. Daugherty was later put on trial for corruption charges two times and acquitted; both juries were hung and failed to reach a verdict (in one instance after 65 hrs. of deliberation.) Daugherty's famous defense attorney, Max D. Steuer, blamed all corruption allegations brought against Daugherty on Jess Smith
Jess Smith
Jesse W. Smith also known as Jess Smith, was a member of President Warren G. Harding's Ohio Gang. He was born and raised in Washington Court House, Ohio, where he became a friend of Harry M. Daugherty. There, Daugherty helped him to become the successful owner of a department store...

, an aide at the Justice Department who had committed suicide.

Harding's Attorney General hired William J. Burns to run the Justice Dept.'s Bureau of Investigation, Burns was said to be unabashed in his willingness to conduct unauthorized searches and seizures of political enemies of the Justice Dept. A number of inquisitive congressmen or senators found themselves the object of wire taps, rifled files and copied correspondence. Burns' primary operative was Gaston B. Means
Gaston Means
Gaston Bullock Means was an American private detective, salesman, bootlegger, forger, swindler, murder suspect, blackmailer, and con artist....

, a reputed con man, who was known to have fixed prosecutions, sold favors and manipulated files in the Justice Dept. Means, who acted independently, took direct instructions and payments from Jess Smith, without Burn's knowledge, to spy on Congressmen. Means hired a woman, Laura Jacobson, to spy on Senator Thaddeus Caraway, a critic of the Harding administration. Means also was involved with "roping" bootleggers.

Narcotic
Narcotic
The term narcotic originally referred medically to any psychoactive compound with any sleep-inducing properties. In the United States of America it has since become associated with opioids, commonly morphine and heroin and their derivatives, such as hydrocodone. The term is, today, imprecisely...

 trafficking was rampant at the Atlanta Penitentiary
United States Penitentiary, Atlanta
United States Penitentiary, Atlanta is a medium-security federal prison for men in Atlanta, Georgia. It also has a detention center for pre-trial and holdover inmates and an adjacent camp for minimum security male inmates...

 while Daugherty was Attorney General. The appointed warden, J.E. Dyche, made internal prison reforms by firing two guards while two other officers were indicted by the Justice Department. Daughtery, however, was slow at following up on these indictments. As Dyche began to investigate the drug supply ring outside the prison, he was fired by Daugherty, and replaced by A. E. Sartain, a close friend of Daugherty. Daugherty had stopped the investigation into the drug ring until the two indicted officers were brought to trial. The Superintendent of Prisons, Heber Votaw, allegedly interfered and suppressed Dyche's attempted investigation into the narcotic ring outside the prison. Votaw, was Harding's brother-in-law and had been appointed by the President in April 1921. President Harding sent Charles R. Forbes
Charles R. Forbes
Charles Robert Forbes was appointed the first Director of the Veterans' Bureau by President Warren G. Harding on August 9, 1921 and served until February 28, 1923. Caught for Army desertion in 1900, he went on to serve in the military and was a decorated World War I veteran. He first became active...

, Director of the Veterans Bureau, to privately investigate the matter; upsetting Daugherty, who proclaimed the prison situation in Atlanta was none of Forbes business.

Daugherty, according to a 1924 Senate investigation into the Justice Department, had authorized a system of graft between aides Jess Smith
Jess Smith
Jesse W. Smith also known as Jess Smith, was a member of President Warren G. Harding's Ohio Gang. He was born and raised in Washington Court House, Ohio, where he became a friend of Harry M. Daugherty. There, Daugherty helped him to become the successful owner of a department store...

 and Howard Mannington. Both Mannington and Smith allegedly took bribes to secure appointments, prison pardons, and freedom from prosecution. A majority of these purchasable pardons were directed towards bootleggers
Rum-running
Rum-running, also known as bootlegging, is the illegal business of transporting alcoholic beverages where such transportation is forbidden by law...

. Cincinnati bootlegger, George L. Remus, allegedly bribed Jess Smith $250,000 not to be prosecuted. Remus, however, was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to Atlanta prison. Smith attempted to extract more bribe money from Remus to pay for a pardon. The prevalent question at the Justice Department was "How is he fixed?"

Jess W. Smith

Daugherty's personal aid Jess W. Smith, was widely viewed as the Attorney General's (and therefore the President's) spokesman and henchman. Smith was considered Daugherty's proxy, and a central figure, in government file manipulation, paroles and pardons, influence peddling and even bag-man. During Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

 alcohol permits were given to pharmacies to sell alcohol for medical purposes. According to Congressional testimony, Daugherty allegedly arranged for Jess Smith and Howard Mannington to sell these permits to drug company agents who in actuality represented bootleggers. The bootleggers having obtained these permits would be able to buy cases of whiskey. Profits from the sale of the alcohol permits were split between Smith and Mannington. Approximately 50,000–60,000 cases of whiskey were sold to bootleggers at a net worth of $750,000–$900,000. Smith also supplied bootleg whiskey to the White House and the Ohio Gang house on K Street concealing the whiskey in a brief case for poker games.

Eventually, rumors reached President Harding on Smith's free use of government cars, going to all night parties, and abuse of Justice Department files. Harding withdrew Smith's clearance at the White House and was told by Daugherty to leave Washington. On May 30, 1923, Smith's dead body was found at Daugherty's apartment with a gunshot wound to the head. William J. Burns immediately took Smith's body away and there was no autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

. Russell, concluding this was a suicide, indicates that a Daugherty aide entered Smith's room moments after a noise awoke him, and found Smith on the floor with his head in a trash can and a revolver in his hand. Russell also states that the gun was purchased by Smith (though he was said to have detested guns), that a bullet had entered Smith's temple, exited the forehead, and lodged in a doorjamb. Smith allegedly purchased the gun from a hardware store shortly before his death after Daugherty had verbally abused him for waking him up from a nap.

Veterans' bureau

Charles R. Forbes, the energetic Director of the Veterans Bureau, disregarded the dire needs of wounded World War I veterans to procure his own wealth. In order to limit corruption in the Veterans' Bureau, President Harding insisted that all government contracts be by public notice, but Forbes provided inside information to his co-conspirators to ensure their bid. Forbes was very quick after his appointment to have Harding issue executive orders giving him control over veterans' hospital construction and supplies. Forbes was estimated to have defrauded the government $225 million through hospital construction, after increasing construction costs from $3,000 to $4,000 per bed.
Forbes' main task at the Veterans bureau, having an unprecedented $500 million yearly budget, was to ensure that new hospitals would be built around the country to help 300,000 wounded World War I veterans.

In the Spring of 1922, Forbes went on tours, known as "joy-rides", of new hospital construction sites around the country and the Pacific Coast. On these tours, Forbes allegedly received traveling perks and alcohol kickbacks, took a $5,000 bribe in Chicago, and made a secret code to ensure $17 million in government construction hospital contracts with corrupt contractors. On the tours, Forbes allegedly went to parties, drank bootleg liquor, and played craps. Intent on gaining money upon returning to U.S. Capitol; Forbes immediately embarked on selling valuable hospital supplies under his control in large warehouses at the Perryville Depot. The government had stockpiled huge amounts of hospital supplies during the first World War, which Forbes unloaded for a fraction of their cost to the Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 firm of Thompson and Kelly. In exchange for the deal, J.W. Thompson of the firm added $150,000 to the contract for Forbes, who also received a percentage of the profits realized. The check on Forbes' authority at Perryville was Gen. Charles E. Sawyer
Charles E. Sawyer
Charles Elmer Sawyer, also known as Dr. C. E. Sawyer , was a homeopathic physician who is blamed for giving a false diagnosis of U.S. President Warren G. Harding that led to Harding's premature death....

, chairman of the Federal Hospitalization Board, who represented controlling interests in the valuable hospital supplies.

Dr. Sawyer and Forbes were at odds with each other over authority at the Veterans Bureau. Sawyer, a homeopathic doctor who was Harding's personal physician, told President Harding that Forbes was selling valuable hospital supplies to an insider contractor. After two issued orders for the sales to stop, President Harding finally summoned Forbes to the White House and demanded Forbes' resignation
Resignation
A resignation is the formal act of giving up or quitting one's office or position. It can also refer to the act of admitting defeat in a game like chess, indicated by the resigning player declaring "I resign", turning his king on its side, extending his hand, or stopping the chess clock...

, since Forbes had been insubordinate in stopping the shipments. Harding, however, was not yet ready to announce Forbes' resignation and allowed him to flee to Europe on the "flimsy pretext" to help disabled U.S. Veterans in Europe. While in Europe, Forbes submitted his resignation to President Harding on February 15, 1923.

Harding placed a reformer, Brig. Gen. Frank T. Hines, in charge of the Veterans Bureau who immediately cleared up the mess left by Forbes. When Forbes returned to U.S., he visited President Harding at the White House in the Red Room
Red Room (White House)
The Red Room is one of three state parlors on the first floor in the White House, the home of the President of the United States. The room has served as a parlor and music room, and recent presidents have held small dinner parties in it. It has been traditionally decorated in shades of red.The...

. During the meeting, President Harding angrily grabbed Forbes by the throat, shook him vigorously, and exclaimed "You double-crossing bastard!" A guest who had an appointment with President Harding interrupted this physical encounter and Forbes was allowed to leave. President Harding was bitter over Forbes' "betrayal
Betrayal
Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations...

" and the two never saw one another again. In 1926, Forbes was brought to trial and convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government. Forbes drew a two-year prison sentence and was released in November 1927.

Charles F. Cramer, Forbes' legal council to the Veterans Bureau, rocked the nation's capital when he committed suicide in 1923. Cramer was found dead by a maid in his bathroom on the morning of March 14 with a bullet wound to the head. Previously, in the fall of 1922 Cramer had been "bitterly assailed" by the American Legion
American Legion
The American Legion is a mutual-aid organization of veterans of the United States armed forces chartered by the United States Congress. It was founded to benefit those veterans who served during a wartime period as defined by Congress...

 at Indianapolis
Indianapolis
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population is 839,489. It is by far Indiana's largest city and, as of the 2010 U.S...

 over alleged corruption at the Veterans Bureau. Cramer, at the time of his death, was being investigated by a Senate committee and had been criticized and personally attacked. Cramer, himself, had denied charges of corruption and said he had given his "whole-hearted and patriotic service" to the Bureau. Cramer had paid $40,000 in Veteran funds to a private landholder to lease land to build a Veterans Hospital in Camp Kearny
Camp Kearny
Camp Kearny was a U.S. military base in San Diego, California, on the site of the current Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. It operated from 1917 to 1946.-Establishment and early years:...

, California. The 325-acre
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

 land tract was only estimated to be worth $8,000. Maj. Gen. John F. O'Ryan
John F. O'Ryan
John Francis O'Ryan was Commanding General of the 27th Division during World War I.-Career:During the mid 1920s O'Ryan was New York State Transit Commissioner, and was also involved in the early passenger aviation industry.He briefly held the position of New York City Police Commissioner from...

 conducted the investigation into the Veterans' Bureau. In addition to replacing Forbes with Hines, President Harding dismissed or transferred a number of subordinates at the Veteran's Bureau.

Shipping board, office of alien property and prohibition bureau

On June 13, 1921, President Harding appointed Albert D. Lasker chairman of the United States Shipping Board
United States Shipping Board
The United States Shipping Board was established as an emergency agency by the Shipping Act , 7 September 1916. It was formally organized 30 January 1917. It was sometimes referred to as the War Shipping Board.http://www.gwpda.org/wwi-www/Hurley/bridgeTC.htm | The Bridge To France by Edward N....

. Lasker, a cash donor and Harding's general campaign manager, had no previous experience with shipping companies. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 had allowed the Shipping Board to sell ships made by the U.S. Government to private American companies. A congressional investigation revealed that while Lasker was in charge many valuable steel cargo ships worth between $200 and $250 a ton were sold as low as $30 a ton to private American shipping companies without an appraisal board. J. Harry Philbin, a manager in the sales division, testified at the congressional hearing that under Lasker's authority U.S. ships were sold "as is, where is, take your pick; no matter which vessel you took." Lasker resigned from the Shipping Board on July 1, 1923.

Thomas W. Miller
Thomas W. Miller
Thomas Woodnutt Miller was an American businessman, lawyer and politician, from Wilmington, Delaware, and Reno, Nevada. He was a veteran of World War I and a member of the Republican Party, who served as U. S. Representative from Delaware.-Early life and family:Miller was born in Wilmington,...

, head of the Office of Alien Property
Alien Property Custodian
An Alien Property Custodian was an office within the Government of the United States during World War I and again during World War II, serving as a Custodian of Enemy Property to property that belonged to US enemies.-World War I:...

, was put on trial and convicted of accepting bribes. Miller's citizenship rights were taken away and was sentenced to eighteen months in prison with a $5,000 fine. After Miller served thirteen months of his sentence in prison, he was released and put on parole. President Herbert Hoover restored Miller's citizenship on February 2, 1933.

Roy Asa Haynes
Roy Asa Haynes
Roy Asa Haynes was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in charge of Prohibition enforcement from 1920-1925. He was succeeded by political appointee Lincoln Clark Andrews, who reorganized the enforcement bureau. He was the editor of a daily newspaper in Hillsboro, Ohio. Haynes was appointed by...

, Harding's Prohibition Commissioner, ran the patronage-riddled Prohibition bureau, which was allegedly corrupt from top to bottom. The bureau's "B permits" for liquor sales became tantamount to negotiable securities, as a result of being so widely bought and sold among known violators of the law. The bureau's agents allegedly made a year's salary from one month's illicit sales of permits.

Western travels, illness and death

In June 1923, Harding set out on a westward cross-country "Voyage of Understanding", in which he planned to renew his connection with the people, away from the capital, and explain his policies. The trip was scheduled to include 18 speeches and innumerable informal talks, and accompanying him were Secretaries Work, Wallace, and Hoover, House Speaker Gillett and Rear Adm. Adam Hugh Rodman. During this trip, he became the first president to visit Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

.

Harding's physical health had been declining since the fall of 1922. One doctor, Emmanuel Libman, who had met Harding at a dinner, privately suggested that the President was suffering from coronary disease. By early 1923, Harding had trouble sleeping, looked tired, and could barely get through 9 holes of golf. Although Harding desired to run for a second term in office, he may have been aware of his own health decline; he gave up drinking, sold his "life-work", the Marion Star, in part to regain $170,000 previous investment losses, and had the U.S. Attorney General Harry Daugherty make a new will. Harding, along with his personal physician Dr. Charles E. Sawyer
Charles E. Sawyer
Charles Elmer Sawyer, also known as Dr. C. E. Sawyer , was a homeopathic physician who is blamed for giving a false diagnosis of U.S. President Warren G. Harding that led to Harding's premature death....

, believed getting away from Washington
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 would help relieve the stresses of being President. By July 1923, criticism of the Harding Administration had been increasing. Prior to leaving Washington the President was noted for having chest pains radiating down his left arm.

St. Louis, Kansas, Denver

During Harding's western travels, historian Samuel H. Adams
Samuel Hopkins Adams
Samuel Hopkins Adams was an American writer, best known for his investigative journalism.-Biography:Adams was born in Dunkirk, New York...

 claims that Harding's own political views began to expand and became more independent from established Republican Party agenda. In St. Louis, Harding promoted U.S. participation in the World Court having earnestly desired world peace. In Kansas, Harding gave a speech on agriculture, and much to his doctor's displeasure rode on a farming combine
Combine harvester
The combine harvester, or simply combine, is a machine that harvests grain crops. The name derives from the fact that it combines three separate operations, reaping, threshing, and winnowing, into a single process. Among the crops harvested with a combine are wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn ,...

 in searing summer heat. In Denver, Harding extolled the virtues of the 18th Amendment, saying it should never be repealed, urging that the prohibition laws be obeyed. Harding, himself, did not pack any whiskey while traveling on the Presidential train. Breaking away from Republican isolationism, Harding advocated more spending on national defense in case of another war. Harding also made a speech fully endorsing labor's right to organize and even spoke against those who sought to destroy labor movements around the country. In Tacoma, Washington, the President read a letter that promoted his efforts in fighting for a 12-hour work day. Sensing his own conversion, Harding even told his friends that he felt a spiritual change was influencing his stance on issues.

Alaska, British Columbia, Seattle

President Harding, as his physically demanding schedule continued, boarded a naval transport ship, the , and voyaged to Alaska. During four days at sea, Harding was unable to rest and regain strength. Rumors of corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 in his administration were beginning to circulate in Washington. While in Alaska, Harding was profoundly shocked by a long message he received detailing illegal activities previously unknown to him.

The purposes for President Harding's visit to Alaska included the encouragement of colonization of the then sparsely populated territory. Harding hoped that with the completion of the Alaska Railroad
Alaska Railroad
The Alaska Railroad is a Class II railroad which extends from Seward and Whittier, in the south of the state of Alaska, in the United States, to Fairbanks , and beyond to Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright in the interior of that state...

, World War I veterans would return to their home territory and any impoverished workers in the lower states could come to Alaska and make or find their own employment. President Harding brought along with him to the territory the Secretary of Interior Hubert Work
Hubert Work
Hubert Work was a U.S. administrator and physician. He served as the Postmaster General between 1922 and 1923 in the presidency of Warren G. Harding. He then served as the Secretary of the Interior from 1923-1928 during the administration of Calvin Coolidge.Work was born in Marion Center,...

, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

, and Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace, ("The Three Bears" as Herbert Hoover called themselves) in order to cut the bureaucracy
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

 in their respected departmental jurisdictions of the territory. According to author, Douglas Brinkley
Douglas Brinkley
Douglas Brinkley is an American author, professor of history at Rice University and a fellow at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy. Brinkley is the history commentator for CBS News and a contributing editor to the magazine Vanity Fair...

, President Harding came to the most northern U.S. territory in order to "open up Alaska lands" for oil, mining, and timber development and industry.

President Harding arrived in Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 by the USS Henderson on July 7th, 1923. Harding and his presidential party first visited Metlakatla
Metlakatla, Alaska
Metlakatla is a census-designated place on Annette Island in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 1,375.- History :...

, and Ketchikan
Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan is a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost sizable city in that state. With an estimated population of 7,368 in 2010 within the city limits, it is the fifth most populous city in the state....

 (July 8), Wrangell
Wrangell, Alaska
Wrangell is a city and borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2000 census the population was 2,308.Its Tlingit name is Ḵaachx̱aana.áakʼw . The Tlingit people residing in the Wrangell area, who were there centuries before Europeans, call themselves the Shtaxʼhéen Ḵwáan after the nearby Stikine...

 (July 9), President Harding continued on to Juneau
Juneau, Alaska
The City and Borough of Juneau is a unified municipality located on the Gastineau Channel in the panhandle of the U.S. state of Alaska. It has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of the then-District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900...

 (July 10) , Skagway
Skagway, Alaska
Skagway is a first-class borough in Alaska, on the Alaska Panhandle. It was formerly a city first incorporated in 1900 that was re-incorporated as a borough on June 25, 2007. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city was 862...

 and Glacier Bay (July 11). The President then cruised to Seward
Seward, Alaska
Seward is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 3,016....

 (July 13). They then proceeded to travel by Presidential railway car and automobile. Harding visited Snow River on the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

 (July 13), Chickaloon
Chickaloon, Alaska
Chickaloon is a census-designated place in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, Wasilla and Willow
Willow, Alaska
Willow is a census-designated place in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is part of the Anchorage, Alaska Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2000 census the population was 1,658.-History:...

 (July 14). The U.S. government had bought up the financially unstable Tanana Valley Railroad. The President continued his Alaska journey through Montana Station, Curry (July 14) Cantwell, McKinley Park and Nenana
Nenana, Alaska
Nenana is a Home Rule City in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area of the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. Nenana lies at the juncture of the Nenana River and the Tanana River. The population was 402 at the 2000 census. "Nenana" means 'a good place to camp between two rivers.'-History...

(July 15). On July 15, 1923, President Harding drove in the golden spike on the north side of the steel Mears Memorial Bridge
Mears Memorial Bridge
The Mears Memorial Bridge is a truss bridge on the Alaska Railroad, completed in 1923. The bridge spans the Tanana River at Nenana and is among the largest simple truss-type bridges in the world....

 that completed the Alaska Railroad. The trip continued to Fairbanks (July 15) where it was decided (July 16) that the President and his wife would return to Seward (July 17) via the railroad. A restful day was spent at Seward (July 18). From there they took the Henderson to Valdez
Valdez
Valdés is a surname of Asturian origin.Both in North and South America the spelling Valdez is very common.The exact meaning of "Valdés" is not clear...

 (July 19), Cordova (July 20) and Sitka (July 22). While in Sitka, President Harding visited and shook hands with Alaskan Native Tlingit elder chief Katlean outside in a crowd of people.
The information gathered by President Harding's Alaska tour found that to improve agriculture in South Central Alaska, irrigation would be required due to low territory rainfall totals. By 1923, the Alaskan salmon population was being depleted due to over-fishing. Harvesting and transporting coal by ship from Alaska through the territory's panhandle would be very expensive.

On July 26, 1923, having departed Alaska on the USS Henderson, President Harding toured Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

; the first sitting American President ever to visit Canada. President Harding became exhausted while playing golf at the Shaughnessy Heights Golf Club, and complained of nausea and upper abdominal pain. His doctor, Charles E. Sawyer, believed Harding's illness to be a severe case of food poisoning. Nevertheless, Dr. Joel T. Boone also examined the President and noticed an enlargement of his heart. Harding's pulse and breathing rate were rapid. The President was given digitalis
Digitalis
Digitalis is a genus of about 20 species of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and biennials that are commonly called foxgloves. This genus was traditionally placed in the figwort family Scrophulariaceae, but recent reviews of phylogenetic research have placed it in the much enlarged family...

. President Harding met with British Columbia Premier John Oliver
John Oliver (politician)
John Oliver was a politician and farmer in British Columbia, Canada.Oliver was involved in local politics when he won a seat in the provincial legislature in the 1900 election, and became leader of the opposition. He lost his seat in the 1909 election...

 and Mayor of Vancouver Charles Tisdall at the Hotel Vancouver. Harding spoke in front of 50,000 people at Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park is a 404.9 hectare urban park bordering downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was opened in 1888 by David Oppenheimer in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada....

 with his voice projected by microphones. President Harding inspected The Vancouver Regiment honor guard accompanied by Canadian Brig. Gen. V.W. Odlum.

Coming into Seattle
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

, Washington, President Harding's transport ship, USS Henderson, accidentally rammed into a U.S. naval destroyer due to fog. Harding was not harmed in the incident. While in port, Harding reviewed the U.S. naval fleet and visited the Bell Street Pier. In Seattle, Harding greeted children and led 50,000 Boy Scout
Boy Scout
A Scout is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section...

s in the Pledge of Allegiance
Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of loyalty to the federal flag and the republic of the United States of America, originally composed by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress as the pledge in 1942...

. President Harding gave his final speech to a large crowd of 25,000 people at the University of Washington
University of Washington
University of Washington is a public research university, founded in 1861 in Seattle, Washington, United States. The UW is the largest university in the Northwest and the oldest public university on the West Coast. The university has three campuses, with its largest campus in the University...

 stadium in Seattle. Harding spoke on the magnificence of Alaska's wilderness, conservationism, and "measureless oil resources in the most northerly sections." Sec. of Commerce Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 wrote the Seattle speech and Harding claimed he would protect the territory from looters and profit seekers; a rebuff to former Sec. of Interior Albert Fall. Harding had rushed through his speech not waiting for applause by the audience. President Harding traveled by train from Seattle to Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

. Harding's scheduled speech in Portland was canceled.

Death in San Francisco, state funeral and memorial

The President's train continued south to San Francisco. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 sent a telegram from Dunsmuir, California
Dunsmuir, California
Dunsmuir is a city in Siskiyou County, California, United States. The population was 1,650 at the 2010 census, down from 1,923 at the 2000 census. It is currently a hub of tourism in Northern California as visitors enjoy fishing, skiing, climbing, or sight-seeing...

, to his friend Dr. Ray L. Wilbur, asking Wilbur to meet and to personally evaluate the President. Arriving at the Palace Hotel
Palace Hotel, San Francisco
The Palace Hotel is a landmark historic hotel in San Francisco, California, located at the SW corner of Market and New Montgomery streets. Also referred to as the "New" Palace Hotel to distinguish it from the original 1875 Palace Hotel that it was built to replace, the present...

 in San Francisco, Harding developed a respiratory illness believed to be pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

. Harding, severely exhausted, ordered that his planned speech be issued through the national press in order to communicate with the public. The President was given digitalis and caffeine
Caffeine
Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that acts as a stimulant drug. Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the seeds, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants...

 that momentarily helped relieve his heart condition and sleeplessness. On Thursday, the President's health appeared to be improving and his doctors went to dinner. Harding's pulse was normal and his lung infection had subsided. Unexpectedly, during the evening, Harding shuddered and died suddenly in the middle of conversation with his wife in the hotel's presidential suite, at 7:35 pm on August 2, 1923. Dr. Sawyer (a homeopath, and friend of the Harding family), opined that Harding had succumbed to a stroke, but doctors there disagreed.

Immediately after President Harding died word quickly spread to the San Francisco streets that the President was dead. People rushed into the Palace Hotel and rapidly crowded into the hallways. The San Francisco chief of police, Daniel J. O'Brian, finally was able to clear the hotel of the unruly mob and members of Harding's official party could come see him.

After some discussion, the doctors issued a release indicating the cause of death to be "some brain evolvement, probably an apoplexy." Mrs. Harding refused to allow an autopsy. In retrospect, scholars speculate that Harding had shown physical signs of cardiac insufficiency with congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure
Heart failure often called congestive heart failure is generally defined as the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition...

 in the preceding weeks. Naval
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 medical consultants who examined the president in San Francisco concluded that he had suffered a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

.

Harding was succeeded as President by Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Calvin Coolidge, who was sworn in while vacationing at Plymouth Notch
Plymouth Notch
Plymouth Notch is a small unincorporated village in the town of Plymouth, Windsor County, Vermont, United States.All or most of the village is included in the Calvin Coolidge Homestead District, a National Historic Landmark...

, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, by his father, a Vermont Notary Public
Notary public
A notary public in the common law world is a public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business...

.
It appears that the story about Harding's body being laid in state in San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco City Hall, re-opened in 1915, in its open space area in the city's Civic Center, is a Beaux-Arts monument to the City Beautiful movement that epitomized the high-minded American Renaissance of the 1880s to 1917. The structure's dome is the fifth largest in the world...

 before being returned to Washington is false. The Examiner for Aug. 3, 1923, states that Harding's "remains will not be taken from the hotel except to go directly to the train." The Chronicle for Aug. 3 and 4, 1923, says the same thing that the Examiner does, that Harding's body was taken from the Palace Hotel directly to the train depot at Third and Townsend. The funeral train had a four-day journey eastward across the country – the first such procession since Lincoln's funeral train. Millions lined the tracks in cities and towns across the country to pay their final respects.

Harding's casket was held in the East Room of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 pending a state funeral
State funeral
A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honor heads of state or other important people of national significance. State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition...

 which was held on August 8, 1923, at the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

. Unnamed White House employees stated that the night before the funeral they heard Mrs. Harding talking to her dead husband. According to the historian Samuel H. Adams, Harding's death was mourned by the nation and the average citizen felt a "personal loss." Harding was entombed in the receiving vault of the Marion Cemetery, Marion, Ohio, August 10, 1923. Following Mrs. Harding's death on November 21, 1924 (from renal failure
Renal failure
Renal failure or kidney failure describes a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood...

), she was buried next to her husband. Their remains were re-interred December 20, 1927, at the newly completed Harding Memorial
Harding Memorial
The Harding Tomb is the burial location of the 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Kling Harding. It is located in Marion, Ohio at the southeast corner of Vernon Heights Boulevard and Delaware Avenue....

 in Marion, dedicated by President Herbert Hoover on June 16, 1931. The delay between final interment and the dedication was partly because of the aftermath of the Teapot Dome scandal. At death, Harding was survived by his father. Harding and John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 are the only two presidents to have predeceased their fathers. Harding's term of office was the shortest of any 20th century U.S. President.

Speculation on cause of death

President Harding's sudden death led to theories that he had been poisoned or committed suicide. Suicide appears unlikely, since Harding was planning for a second term election. Rumors of poisoning were fueled, in part, by a book called The Strange Death of President Harding, in which the author (convicted criminal and former Ohio Gang member, Gaston Means
Gaston Means
Gaston Bullock Means was an American private detective, salesman, bootlegger, forger, swindler, murder suspect, blackmailer, and con artist....

) suggested Mrs. Harding had poisoned her husband. Mrs. Harding's refusal to allow an autopsy on President Harding only added to the speculation. According to the physicians attending Harding, however, the symptoms prior to his death all pointed to congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure
Heart failure often called congestive heart failure is generally defined as the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition...

. Harding's biographer, Samuel H. Adams, concluded that "Warren G. Harding died a natural death which, in any case, could not have been long postponed".

Presidential papers destroyed

Immediately after President Harding's death, Mrs. Harding returned to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, and briefly stayed in the White House with President and First Lady Coolidge. For a month, former First Lady Harding gathered and destroyed by fire President Harding's correspondence and documents, both official and unofficial. Upon her return to Marion
Marion, Ohio
Marion is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Marion County. The municipality is located in north-central Ohio, approximately north of Columbus....

, Mrs. Harding hired a number of secretaries, collecting and burning President Harding's personal papers. According to Mrs. Harding, she took these actions to protect her husband's legacy. The remaining papers were held and kept from public view by the Harding Memorial Association in Marion.

Cabinet and Supreme Court appointments

Harding appointed the following justices to the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

:
  • William Howard Taft
    William Howard Taft
    William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

     – Chief Justice – 1921

  • George Sutherland
    George Sutherland
    Alexander George Sutherland was an English-born U.S. jurist and political figure. One of four appointments to the Supreme Court by President Warren G. Harding, he served as an Associate Justice of the U.S...

     – 1922

  • Pierce Butler
    Pierce Butler (justice)
    Pierce Butler was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1923 until his death in 1939...

     – 1923

  • Edward Terry Sanford
    Edward Terry Sanford
    Edward Terry Sanford was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court from 1923 until his death in 1930. Prior to his nomination to the high court, Sanford served as an Assistant Attorney General under President Theodore Roosevelt from 1905 to 1907, and...

     – 1923

Personal controversies

Journalist Carl S. Anthony stated in a Washington Post article that Warren G. Harding had extramarital affairs with four women. These women included: Susie Hodder and Carrie Fulton Phillips
Carrie Fulton Phillips
Carrie Phillips was the mistress of Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States. Young Carrie Fulton matured into a great beauty, one that epitomized the Gibson Girl beauty so popular at the time. Her relationship with then Senator Warren G...

, Mrs. Harding's personal friends; Grace Cross, Harding's senatorial aide; and Nan Britton
Nan Britton
Nan P. "Nanny" Britton was a figure associated with the Presidency of Warren G. Harding due to her claim that Harding fathered her illegitimate daughter shortly before his election as President....

. Anthony stated that Harding was the father of Hodder's daughter. In her 1927 book, The President's Daughter, Britton asserted that Harding fathered her daughter, Elizabeth Ann
Elizabeth Ann Blaesing
Elizabeth Ann Britton Harding Blaesing was the alleged illegitimate daughter of Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, and Nan Britton, a native of Marion, Ohio....

, as well, during a 1919 tryst in his senatorial offices. Britton, who had a profound obsession with Harding beginning in high school, also alleged that she was his mistress before and during his administration, at one point having sex with him in a closet at the White House. Historian Henry F. Graff states that Harding was sterile and that Harding's affair with Britton ended after Harding assumed the presidency.

Historian Francis Russell indicates that, beginning in the spring of 1905, Harding had a 15-year relationship with Carrie Fulton Phillips, wife of businessman and friend James Eaton Phillips of Marion, Ohio
Marion, Ohio
Marion is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Marion County. The municipality is located in north-central Ohio, approximately north of Columbus....

. More than 100 intimate letters between Harding and Mrs. Philips were discovered in the 1960s, but publication of the letters was enjoined by court order in Ohio until 2024. Russell, however, viewed the letters upon their discovery and described them as very touching and naive in some respects, erotic in others. Russell also concluded from the letters that Phillips was the love of Harding's life -– "the enticements of his mind and body combined in one person".

Before his death, Harding had established a margin account with stockbroker Sam Ungerleider. Before the broker could get authority from Harding's successors to liquidate the stocks purchased on loan, the account had a loss of more than $170,000. The broker was given the authority to sell, but the family refused to settle the loss and the broker declined to force collection.

The most sensational allegations include one that President Harding and Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty participated in bacchanalian orgies at the Ohio Gang
Ohio Gang
The Ohio Gang was a group of politicians and industry leaders who came to be associated with Warren G. Harding, the twenty-ninth President of the United States of America.-Background:...

's Little Green House on K Street
Little Green House on K Street
The Little Green House on K Street was a residence at 1625 K Street, NW, in Washington, DC, USA, that served as the unofficial headquarters of the Ohio Gang during the Presidential Administration of Warren G. Harding. The name itself entered the American lexicon as a symbol of political corruption...

 in Washington, D.C.; witnesses to this were considered unreliable and one was a convicted perjurer. Also, in his 1987 book The Fiery Cross, historian Wyn Craig Wade suggested that President Harding had ties with the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

, perhaps having been inducted into the organization in a private White House ceremony. Evidence included the taped testimony of one of the members of the alleged induction team; however, evidence beyond that is scanty. Other historians generally dismiss these stories.
Several historians deny claims of orgies and mistresses, such as Robert H. Ferrell and Paul Johnson. Paul Johnson writes in Modern Times: “When in 1964 the Harding Papers (which had not been burnt) were opened to scholars, no truth at all was found in any of the myths, though it emerged that Harding, a pathetically shy man with woman, had a sad and touching friendship with the wife of a Marion store-owner before his presidency. The Babylonian image was a fantasy, and in all essentials Harding had been an honest and exceptionally shrewd president.”

Life legacy

As a career politician, Harding exhibited an ability to grow, and had a desire to get along with political enemies rather than alienate them. As a prior journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

, Harding was the first President to realize the importance of an ever growing powerful media, and even ordered his cabinet to organize their own respective press staff. He knew that radio would eventually dominate American commerce and promoted two Radio Conferences to give government power to regulate the industry. Harding also sensed the importance of oil in terms of national security and prosperity, signing an executive order that gave the U.S. a giant oil reserve in Alaska. President Harding staunchly protected American business interests. He also signed America's first child welfare program designed to protect children's health and ensure that they would grow up without neglect from their parents. Harding was also the first president that pursued world security through arms reduction and regulation during the Washington peace conference.

Harding's generosity and loyalty to friends proved to be a liability as President. Multiple scandals evolved during his administration that damaged his reputation throughout the nation. His successes as President were over shadowed by the "Ohio Gang" criminal exploits, the detrimental image of his social drinking and his alleged extramarital affairs. His sudden death in 1923 only intensified the unanswered questions concerning his knowledge of, and potential involvement in, the scandals, and if he would have reformed his administration. In fact, his reputation was so controversial, it was not until 1931 that President Harding's marble memorial colonnade in Marion was ably dedicated by Herbert Hoover. According to Hoover the legacy of Harding was one of tragic betrayal.

Harding's legacy began to improve during the 1970s; however, the truth behind the many presidential scandals and his personal controversies may never be known. In order to protect her husband's damaged legacy, Mrs. Harding
Florence Harding
Florence Mabel Kling "Flossie" Harding , wife of President Warren G...

 only left 1/7 of Harding's personal papers for posterity, having destroyed the rest. The remaining papers, except for Harding's speeches, are currently unpublished. Harding has been one of the most historically challenging American Presidents in terms of finding private letters and paper documents. Historian Hazel Rowley
Hazel Rowley
Hazel Joan Rowley was a British-born Australian author and biographer.Born in London, Rowley emigrated with her parents to Adelaide at the age of eight. She studied at the University of Adelaide, graduating with Honours in French and German. Later she acquired a PhD in French...

 writes that because the Harding administration and the Republicans were seen associated with prosperity, prominent Democrats were reticent of running for president in 1924. According to historian Thomas Woods
Thomas Woods
Thomas E. "Tom" Woods, Jr. is an American historian, economist, political analyst, and New York Times-bestselling author. He has written extensively on the subjects of American history, contemporary politics, and economic theory...

, "Few American presidents are less in fashion among historians than Harding, who is routinely portrayed as a bumbling fool who stumbled into the presidency."

Warren G. Harding is among the relatively few American Presidents who have been honored on a U.S. postage stamp more than the usual two times. Harding has appeared on US postage for a total of five issues, more than that of most Presidents. Harding's election provided a short burst of popularity for the name Warren.

Memorials

  • Warren G. Harding High School
    Warren G. Harding High School
    Warren G. Harding High School is a public high school located in Warren, Ohio. It is the only high school in the Warren City Schools district...

    , Warren, Ohio
    Warren, Ohio
    As of the census of 2000, there were 46,832 people, 19,288 households and 12,035 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,912.4 people per square mile . There were 21,279 housing units at an average density of 1,322.9 per square mile...

  • Warren G. Harding Middle School, Steubenville, Ohio
    Steubenville, Ohio
    Steubenville is a city located along the Ohio River in Jefferson County, Ohio on the Ohio-West Virginia border in the United States. It is the political county seat of Jefferson County. It is also a principal city of the Weirton–Steubenville, WV-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area...

  • Warren G. Harding High School; Bridgeport, Connecticut
    Bridgeport, Connecticut
    Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

  • Warren G. Harding Middle School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

  • Harding Senior High School
    Harding Senior High School (St. Paul, Minnesota)
    Harding Senior High School is a public comprehensive high school located on the East Side of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The school is one of six high schools in the Saint Paul Public School District and is the largest high school in the city of Saint Paul with enrollment at approximately 2400...

    , Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city...

  • Harding Middle School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

  • Harding Elementary School, Santa Barbara, California
    Santa Barbara, California
    Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean...

  • Warren G. Harding Elementary School, Hammond, Indiana
    Hammond, Indiana
    Hammond is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. It is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. The population was 80,830 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Hammond is located at ....

    .
  • Harding Memorial
    Harding Memorial
    The Harding Tomb is the burial location of the 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Kling Harding. It is located in Marion, Ohio at the southeast corner of Vernon Heights Boulevard and Delaware Avenue....

    , Marion, Ohio
    Marion, Ohio
    Marion is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Marion County. The municipality is located in north-central Ohio, approximately north of Columbus....

    , listed on the National Register of Historic Places
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Marion County, Ohio
    This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Marion County, Ohio.This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Marion County, Ohio, United States...

    .
  • Marion Harding High School
    Marion Harding High School (Ohio)
    Marion Harding High School is a public high school in Marion, Ohio. It is the only high school in the Marion City School District. The school mascot is the Presidents and is symbolized by an eagle named Warren G...

    , Marion, Ohio
  • Harding County, New Mexico
    Harding County, New Mexico
    Harding County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of 2010, the population was 695, the lowest in the state. Its county seat is the Village of Mosquero. The county is named for United States President Warren G...

     is named in his honor.
  • Ohio Northern University
    Ohio Northern University
    Ohio Northern University is a private, United Methodist Church-affiliated university located in the United States in Ada, Ohio, founded by Henry Solomon Lehr in 1871. ONU is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. ONU is a sister...

    's College of Law was once named after him but was later renamed.
  • Harding Park Golf Club
    Harding Park Golf Club
    TPC Harding Park, formerly Harding Park Golf Club and commonly known as Harding Park, is a municipal golf course owned by the city and county of San Francisco. It is now a part of the PGA Tour's Tournament Players Club network of courses, following an agreement between the tour and the city that...

     in San Francisco is named after him.
  • Peace Treaty Marker in Somerville, New Jersey
    Somerville, New Jersey
    Somerville is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 12,098. It is the county seat of Somerset County....

    . In 1921, at the estate of New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

     Governor Joseph S. Frelinghuysen
    Joseph S. Frelinghuysen
    Joseph Sherman Frelinghuysen, Sr. represented New Jersey as a Republican in the United States Senate from 1917 to 1923.- Biography :...

    , Warren Harding signed the peace treaty which ended America's involvement in World War I. Today, the estate has been replaced with mini-malls. The marker remains in a patch of grass near a Burger King
    Burger King
    Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain...

     parking lot
    Parking lot
    A parking lot , also known as car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface....

     along Route 28
    Route 28 (New Jersey)
    Route 28 is a state highway in the central part of New Jersey, United States that is long. Its western terminus is at U.S. Route 22 in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County while its eastern terminus is at Route 27 in Elizabeth, Union County. From its western terminus, Route 28 heads east through...

    , just north of the Somerville traffic circle
    Somerville Circle
    The Somerville Circle is a traffic circle located on the border of Bridgewater Township and Raritan, New Jersey, United States. The circle is at the intersection of U.S. Routes 202 and 206, and New Jersey Route 28...

    .
  • Harding Charter Preparatory High School
    Harding Charter Preparatory High School
    Harding Charter Preparatory High School is a charter school based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that was founded in 2003.The focus of this school is to help and encourage students to achieve at the best of their abilities and attend a college or university. All students are required to take AP...

    , Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Oklahoma City is the capital and the largest city in the state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 31st among United States cities in population. The city's population, from the 2010 census, was 579,999, with a metro-area population of 1,252,987 . In 2010, the Oklahoma...

  • Harding Memorial, Seattle, Washington
    Seattle, Washington
    Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

    . In 1925, a memorial was erected in Seattle at Woodland Park
    Woodland Park (Seattle)
    Woodland Park is a 90.9 acre park in Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Green Lake neighborhoods that originated as the estate of Guy C. Phinney, lumber mill owner and real estate developer. Phinney died in 1893, and in 1902, the Olmsted Brothers firm of Boston was hired to design the city's parks,...

     to commemorate the site of Harding's next-to-last public address. In 1977, the memorial was demolished and buried under the Woodland Park Zoo
    Woodland Park Zoo
    Woodland Park Zoo is a zoological garden around the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Occupying the western half of Woodland Park, the zoo began as a small menagerie on the estate of Guy C. Phinney, a Canadian-born lumber mill owner and real estate developer...

    's African Savanna exhibit. The memorial's only surviving elements – two life-sized bronze statues of Boy Scout
    Boy Scout
    A Scout is a boy or a girl, usually 11 to 18 years of age, participating in the worldwide Scouting movement. Because of the large age and development span, many Scouting associations have split this age group into a junior and a senior section...

    s that once saluted the image of Harding – were relocated to the headquarters of the Chief Seattle Council
    Chief Seattle Council
    Founded in 1919, Camp Parsons is the oldest continuous running Boy Scout camp west of the Mississippi River and one of the oldest continually running Boy Scout camp in the United States on its original location. It sits on Jackson Cove, part of the Hood Canal, on the Olympic Peninsula, just north...

     of the Boy Scouts.
  • Montana Highway 2 over Pipestone Pass
    Pipestone Pass
    Pipestone Pass is a mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of Montana in the United States. It sits on the continental divide in Silver Bow County, Montana, 10 miles south of Butte, Montana in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest at a height of 6,347 ft .The Chicago, Milwaukee, St...

     near Butte, Montana
    Butte, Montana
    Butte is a city in Montana and the county seat of Silver Bow County, United States. In 1977, the city and county governments consolidated to form the sole entity of Butte-Silver Bow. As of the 2010 census, Butte's population was 34,200...

     is named "The Harding Way" in his honor.

  • Harding Icefield
    Harding Icefield
    The Harding Icefield is an expansive icefield located in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. It is also partially located in Kenai Fjords National Park. It is named for United States President Warren G...

     in Southcentral Alaska
  • Harding Elementary in Kenilworth, New Jersey
    Kenilworth, New Jersey
    Kenilworth is a Borough in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 7,914.Kenilworth was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 13, 1907, from portions of Cranford and Union Township, based on the...

    .
  • Harding Township, New Jersey
    Harding Township, New Jersey
    - Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there were 3,180 people, 1,180 households, and 940 families residing in the township. The population density was 155.6 people per square mile . There were 1,243 housing units at an average density of 60.8 per square mile...

     - Named in 1922 for the incumbent President.
  • Harding Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the US state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small portion of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857...

  • In a neighborhood of Ketchikan, Alaska
    Ketchikan, Alaska
    Ketchikan is a city in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska, United States, the southeasternmost sizable city in that state. With an estimated population of 7,368 in 2010 within the city limits, it is the fifth most populous city in the state....

    , north of the original townsite (or present-day downtown), three adjoining streets were named Warren, G and Harding following Harding's visit to the city.
  • The railroad car in which Harding toured Alaska's "Westward" is on display at Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Fairbanks is a home rule city in and the borough seat of the Fairbanks North Star Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska.Fairbanks is the largest city in the Interior region of Alaska, and second largest in the state behind Anchorage...

    , directly inside the main entrance to the park. The car is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places
    National Register of Historic Places listings in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska
    This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska.This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States...

    .

See also


Media portrayals

  • Backstairs at the White House – Television episode 1.2, Warren G. Harding played by George Kennedy
    George Kennedy
    George Harris Kennedy, Jr. is an American actor who has appeared in over 200 film and television productions. He is perhaps most familiar as the convict Dragline in Cool Hand Luke , airline troubleshooter Joe Patroni in the Airport series of disaster movies from the 1970s and...

    , 1979.
  • The Prez: A Ragtime Scandal-- A musical centered on the historial life events of Warren G. Harding: played by Larry Marshall. Hosted by Capital Style Magazine at the National Press Club on C-SPAN
    C-SPAN
    C-SPAN , an acronym for Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, is an American cable television network that offers coverage of federal government proceedings and other public affairs programming via its three television channels , one radio station and a group of websites that provide streaming...

    , February 18, 1999.
  • The American President – Season One, Episode 8, Voice of President Harding: Benjamin C. Bradley, 2000.
  • Carter Beats the Devil
    Carter Beats the Devil
    Carter Beats The Devil is a historical mystery thriller novel by Glen David Gold-Plot introduction:The 1920s was a golden age for stage magic and Charles Carter is an American stage magician at the height of his fame and powers. At the climax of his latest touring stage show, Carter invites United...

     – A novel by Glen David Gold wherein the climax of his latest touring stage show, Carter invites United States President Warren G. Harding on to stage to take part in his act, 2001.
  • Boardwalk Empire – Television episode 1.8
    Hold Me in Paradise
    "Hold Me in Paradise" is the eighth episode of the first season of the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire, which premiered 7 November 2010. It was written by staff writer Meg Jackson and directed by Brian Kirk...

    , Warren G. Harding played by Malachy Cleary, 2010.
  • Momma's Boys – A historical play that centers around eight previous Presidents of the United States from Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

     in a humorous and dramatic discussion of their lives. Warren G. Harding played by Matthew Parker. 2011
  • Mentioned in the 'SyFy
    Syfy
    Syfy , formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel and SCI FI, is an American cable television channel featuring science fiction, supernatural, fantasy, reality, paranormal, wrestling, and horror programming. Launched on September 24, 1992, it is part of the entertainment conglomerate NBCUniversal, a...

    ' TV show Sanctuary (episode Requiem) when Helen Magnus
    Helen Magnus
    Doctor Helen Magnus is the series protagonist and central character of the Canadian fantasy-science fiction television series Sanctuary. She is portrayed by Amanda Tapping...

     says that he was an abnormal ("You don't think a normal person would choose a job that impossible?").
  • Al Stewart's song 'Warren Harding' (from his 1973 album 'Modern Times') satirizes the predicament of the President by contrasting his fall with the rise of an immigrant bootlegger.

Documentary

  • Cronkite Remembers 1997 Part 1 – Walter Cronkite
    Walter Cronkite
    Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

     describes his early years growing up in Missouri selling newspapers. In 1923, Cronkite showed a Kansas City
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

     newspaper to a friend that announced Warren G. Harding had died in office.
  • History Channel – The Presidents 2005 Part 6, 1913–1945, Part 2/5 – The History Channel covers the life and American Presidency of Warren G. Harding.

Harding audio and film links


Primary sources


External links


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