Warren G. Harding: Wikis


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Warren G. Harding

In office
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
Vice President Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by Woodrow Wilson
Succeeded by Calvin Coolidge

In office
March 4, 1915 – January 13, 1921
Preceded by Theodore E. Burton
Succeeded by Frank B. Willis

In office
January 11, 1904 – January 8, 1906
Governor Myron T. Herrick
Preceded by Harry L. Gordon
Succeeded by Andrew L. Harris

In office

Born November 2, 1865(1865-11-02)
near Blooming Grove, Ohio
Died August 2, 1923 (aged 57)
San Francisco, California
Birth name Warren Gamaliel Harding
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Florence Kling Harding
Children Marshall Eugene DeWolfe (stepson)
Alma mater Ohio Central College
Occupation Businessman (Newspapers)
Religion Baptist

Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States, serving from 1921 until his death from a heart attack in 1923. A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate (1899–1903) and later as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1903–1905) and as a U.S. Senator (1915–1921).

His conservative stance on issues such as taxes, affable manner, and campaign manager Harry Daugherty's 'make no enemies' strategy enabled Harding to become the compromise choice at the 1920 Republican National Convention. During his presidential campaign, in the aftermath of World War I, he promised a return to "normalcy". In the 1920 election, he and his running-mate, Calvin Coolidge, defeated Democrat and fellow Ohioan James M. Cox, in what was then the largest presidential popular vote landslide in American history since the popular vote tally began to be recorded in 1824: 60.36% to 34.19%.

Harding headed a cabinet of notable men such as Charles Evans Hughes, Andrew Mellon, future president Herbert Hoover and Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, who was jailed for his involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal. In foreign affairs, Harding signed peace treaties that built on the Treaty of Versailles (which formally ended World War I). He also led the way to world Naval disarmament at the Washington Naval Conference of 1921–22.

Because of the Teapot Dome scandal and other scandals in his administration, polls of historians and scholars consistently rank Harding as one of the worst Presidents.


Early life

Warren G. Harding was born November 2, 1865, in Corsica (now Blooming Grove), Ohio.[1] Harding was the eldest of eight children born to Dr. George Tryon Harding, Sr. (1843–1928) and Phoebe Elizabeth (Dickerson) Harding (1843–1910). His mother was a midwife and later obtained her medical license, and his father taught at a rural school north of Mount Gilead, Ohio. One of Harding's great-grandmothers may have been African American.[2] When Harding was a teenager, the family moved to Caledonia, Ohio in neighboring Marion County, when Harding's father acquired The Argus, a local weekly newspaper there. It was at The Argus that Harding learned the basics of the journalism business. He continued studying the printing and newspaper trade as a college student at Ohio Central College in Iberia, during which time he also worked at the Union Register in Mount Gilead.

After graduating, Harding moved to Marion, Ohio, where he and two friends raised $300 with which to purchase the failing Marion Daily Star, the weakest of the growing city's three newspapers. Harding revamped the paper's editorial platform to support the Republican Party, and enjoyed a moderate degree of success. However, his political stance put him at odds with those who controlled Marion's local politics. Thus when Harding moved to unseat the Marion Independent as the official paper of daily record, he met with vocal resistance from local figures, such as Amos Hall Kling, one of Marion's wealthiest real estate speculators.

Warren and Florence Harding pose in their garden.

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, when Harding was 24, he suffered from exhaustion and nervous fatigue. He spent several weeks at the Battle Creek Sanitarium to regain his strength, ultimately making five visits over fourteen years.[3] Harding later returned to Marion to continue operating the paper. He spent his days boosting the community on the editorial pages, and his evenings "bloviating" (Harding's term for "informally conversing") with his friends over games of poker.

On July 8, 1891, Harding married Florence Kling DeWolfe, the daughter of his nemesis, Amos Hall Kling. Florence Kling DeWolfe was a divorcée, five years Harding's senior, and the mother of a young son, Marshall Eugene DeWolfe. She had pursued Harding persistently until he reluctantly proposed. Florence's father was furious with his daughter's decision to marry Harding, forbidding his wife from attending the wedding and not speaking to his daughter or son-in-law for eight years.

The couple complemented one another, 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. 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.[4]

Harding was a Freemason, raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on August 27, 1920, in Marion Lodge #70, F.& A.M., in Marion, Ohio.

Political career

As an influential newspaper publisher with a flair for public speaking, Harding was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 1899. He served four years before being elected Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, a post he occupied from 1903 to 1905. His leanings were conservative, and his record in both offices was relatively undistinguished.[citation needed] He received the Republican nomination for Governor of Ohio in 1910, but lost to incumbent Judson Harmon.

U.S. Senator

In 1912, Harding gave the nominating speech for incumbent President William Howard Taft at the Republican National Convention,[5] and in 1914 was elected to the United States Senate, becoming Ohio's first senator elected by popular vote. He served in the Senate from 1915 until his inauguration as President on March 4, 1921, becoming the first sitting senator to be elected President of the United States. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama are the only three men to have been elected president while serving as a United States senator.[6]

Joseph Nathan Kane's book, Facts About the Presidents, stated that Harding was "the second President elected while a Senator." This becomes a matter of semantics. On January 13, 1880, the Ohio legislature appointed James A. Garfield, who was then a Congressman from Ohio, to the U.S. Senate for the term beginning March 4, 1881 (at that time, senators were elected by state legislatures rather than directly by the citizens). He won the Presidential election on November 2, so on that date he was at once Congressman, Senator-elect, and President-elect. Garfield accepted the Presidential election and soon afterwards relinquished his other offices. He never sat in the Senate seat, as his term was not to begin for another four months.

Because of the technicality, Harding continues to be generally considered the first "truly" sitting Senator to become President, Kennedy being the second. For example, George Will referred to Harding that way in his Newsweek commentary in the issue of June 16, 2008, p. 60, in pointing out that the two presumptive candidates in the 2008 race were both sitting senators.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell became the latest of numerous political pundits and ordinary voters who suggested that Warren Harding's electoral success was based on his appearance, essentially opining that he "looked like a president." Gladwell argues that peoples' first impression of Harding tended to be so favorable that it gave them a fixed and very high opinion of Harding, which could not be shaken unless his intellectual and other deficiencies became glaring. Gladwell even refers to the flawed process by which people make decisions as 'Warren Harding Error'.

Election of 1920

Harding's home in Marion, from which he conducted his "front porch" campaign

Relatively unknown outside his own state, Harding was a true "dark horse" candidate, winning the Republican Party nomination due to the political machinations of his friends after the nominating convention had become deadlocked. Republican leaders meeting in Room 404 of the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago discussed Harding as a possible compromise candidate. This was only one of many informal meetings taking place at the time and, contrary to popular stories, there is little evidence of a deal having been struck in this "smoke-filled room". Rather, since the three leading candidates were unable to gain a majority, the effort was made to assemble a majority for one of the remaining candidates. The first attempt was made with Harding, as "best of the second raters", who won on the tenth ballot. Before receiving the nomination, Harding was asked whether there were any embarrassing episodes in his past that might be used against him. Despite his longstanding affair with the wife of an old friend, Harding answered "No", and the Party moved to nominate him, only to discover later his relationship with Carrie Fulton Phillips.

In the 1920 election, Harding ran against Democratic Ohio Governor James M. Cox, whose running-mate was Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt. The election was seen in part as a referendum on whether to continue with the "progressive" work of the Woodrow Wilson Administration or to revert to the "laissez-faire" approach of the William McKinley era.

Harding ran on a promise to "Return to Normalcy", a seldom-used term he popularized. The slogan called an end to the abnormal era of the Great War, along with a call to reflect three trends of his time: a renewed isolationism in reaction to the War, a resurgence of nativism, and a turning away from the government activism of the reform era.[citation needed]

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, Lillian Russell, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford were among the conservative-minded luminaries to make the pilgrimage to his house in central Ohio. Business icons Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone 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.

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 legislation that made him more popular with that demographic: the ratification of the 19th Amendment 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 and Irish, also voted for Harding in the election in reaction to their perceived persecution by the Wilson administration during World War I.

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" would classify a person with any African ancestry as black, and black people in the South 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."[7] Historian and opponent William Estabrook Chancellor publicized the rumors, based on supposed family research, but perhaps reflecting no more than local gossip.[7] The rumors may have been sustained by a statement Harding allegedly made to newspaperman James W. Faulkner on the subject, which he perhaps meaning to be dismissive: "How do I know, Jim? One of my ancestors may have jumped the fence."[8] If the rumors are ever proven to be true, by some definitions Harding would be considered to be the first African-American president.[2]

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 the nation's first commercial radio station, KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Harding received 60% of the national vote and 404 electoral votes, an unprecedented margin of victory. Cox received 34% of the national vote and 127 electoral votes. Campaigning from a federal prison, Socialist Eugene V. Debs received 3% of the national vote.

Presidency: 1921–1923

Inauguration of Warren G. Harding, March 4, 1921

The administration of Warren G. Harding followed the Republican platform approved at the 1920 Republican National Convention, which was held in Chicago.

Harding calmed the 1919-1920 Bolshevik scare and released election opponent, Socialist leader Eugene Debs, from prison. Debs had been convicted under charges brought by the Wilson administration for his opposition to the draft during World War I.[9] Despite many political differences between the two candidates, Harding commuted Debs' sentence to time served.[10]

Harding pushed for the establishment of the Bureau of Veterans Affairs (later organized as the Department of Veterans Affairs), the first permanent attempt at answering the needs of those who had served the nation in time of war.[citation needed] He created the Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)), becoming the first president to have the executive branch take a role in federal expenditures.[11]

(from left to right) President Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Representative Joseph Gurney Cannon, and Senator Philander C. Knox during the 1921 presidential inauguration

In April 1921, speaking before a joint session of Congress, Harding called for peacemaking with Germany and Austria, emergency tariffs, 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, a great merchant marine and a department of public welfare.[citation needed] He also called for measures to bring an end to lynching, but he did not want to make enemies in his own party and with the Democrats, and did not fight for his program.[12] Harding was the first president to take questions from reporters and enter them into a pool to answer at press conferences.[13] He would time the sessions so that reporters could meet morning deadlines.[13]

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

Major events during presidency

Harding addresses a joint session of Congress, Coolidge and Gillett seated behind.

Administration and cabinet

Official portrait of President Harding
The Harding Cabinet
President Warren G. Harding 1921–1923
Vice President Calvin Coolidge 1921–1923
Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes 1921–1923
Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon 1921–1923
Secretary of War John W. Weeks 1921–1923
Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty 1921–1923
Postmaster General Will H. Hays 1921–1922
  Hubert Work 1922–1923
  Harry S. New 1923
Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby 1921–1923
Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall 1921–1923
  Hubert Work 1923
Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace 1921–1923
Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover 1921–1923
Secretary of Labor James J. Davis 1921–1923

Supreme Court appointments

The Taft Court, 1925

Harding appointed the following justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:

Civil Rights

In a speech in 1921, Harding advocated civil rights for all Americans, including African Americans. He suggested appointing African Americans to federal positions and signed an anti-lynching bill. Harding also advocated the establishment of an international commission to improve race relations between whites and African Americans; however, strong political opposition by the Southern Democratic bloc prevented any of these initiatives from coming to fruition. The Ku Klux Klan 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.[14]

Harding supported Congressman Leonidas Dyer's federal anti-lynching bill, known as the Dyer Bill, which passed the House of Representatives on January 26, 1922. The bill was defeated in the Senate by a filibuster.[15] Harding had previously spoken out publicly against lynching on October 21, 1921.[16] He also advocated suffrage for women. Congress had not debated a civil rights bill since the 1890 Federal Elections Bill.

Historian Wyn Craig Wade, in his 1987 book The Fiery Cross, suggested that Harding allegedly had ties with the KKK, 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, beyond that it was scant at best. Historians generally discount the allegation.[17]

Administrative scandals

Upon winning the election, Harding appointed many of his longtime allies to prominent political positions. 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. It is unclear how much, if anything, Harding himself knew about his friends' illicit activities.

The most infamous scandal was the Teapot Dome affair, which shook the nation for years after Harding's death. The scandal involved Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, who was convicted of accepting bribes and illegal no-interest personal loans in exchange for the leasing of public oil fields to business associates. (Aside from the bribes and personal loans, the leases were fully legal.) In 1931, Fall became the first member of a Presidential Cabinet to be sent to prison after conviction on charges.[18]

Thomas W. Miller, head of the Office of Alien Property, was convicted of accepting bribes. Jess Smith, personal aide to the Attorney General, destroyed papers and then committed suicide. Charles R. Forbes, Director of the Veterans Bureau, skimmed profits, accepted high kickbacks, and directed underground alcohol and drug distribution. He was convicted of fraud and bribery and drew a two-year sentence. Charles Cramer, an aide to Forbes, committed suicide.

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 late in his presidency, "but my damn friends, they're the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!"[19]


Funeral procession for President Harding passes by the front of the White House.
Harding's tomb in Marion

In June 1923, Harding set out on a cross-country "Voyage of Understanding," in which he planned to meet ordinary people and explain his policies. During this trip, he became the first president to visit Alaska.[20] Rumors of corruption 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. At the end of July, while traveling south from Alaska through British Columbia, he developed what was believed to be a severe case of food poisoning. Scholars have surmised that, given subsequent events, it was more likely that he had had an inferior-wall myocardial infarct (heart attack).[21] He gave his final speech to a large crowd at the University of Washington stadium at the University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington. A scheduled speech in Portland, Oregon was canceled.

The President's train continued south to San Francisco. Arriving at the Palace Hotel, Harding developed a respiratory illness believed to be pneumonia, but which may have been cardiogenic pulmonary edema.[22] Harding died suddenly in the middle of conversation with his wife in the hotel's presidential suite,[23] at 7:35 p.m. on August 2, 1923. The president's physician – Dr. Charles E. Sawyer (a homeopath, and friend of the Harding family) – opined that Harding had succumbed to a stroke, but that conclusion was erroneous. The president had abruptly lost his pulse. This was likely due to a cardiac arrhythmia; no localizing neurological deficits were present beforehand.[24] In retrospect, scholars believe that Harding had shown physical signs of cardiac insufficiency with congestive heart failure in the preceding weeks.[25][26]

Naval medical consultants who examined the president in San Francisco concluded that he had suffered a heart attack. Reflecting Dr. Sawyer's formal statement to the press, however, the New York Times of that day stated, "A stroke of apoplexy was the cause of death." Harding had been overtly ill for one week before his death.[27]

Mrs. Harding refused permission for an autopsy. Some people speculated that the President had been the victim of a plot, possibly carried out by his wife. Gaston B. Means, an amateur historian and gadfly, noted in his book The Strange Death of President Harding (1930) that the circumstances surrounding the president's death led some to suspect he had been poisoned. Means' accusation was later discredited.

Harding was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge. He was sworn in by his father, a Justice of the Peace, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.

Following his death, Harding's body was returned to Washington. His casket was held in the East Room of the White House pending a state funeral at the United States Capitol. White House employees were quoted as saying that the night before the funeral, they heard Mrs. Harding talking for more than an hour to her dead husband.[citation needed]

Harding was entombed in the receiving vault of the Marion Cemetery, Marion, Ohio, in August 1923. Following Mrs. Harding's death on November 21, 1924 from renal failure, she was temporarily buried next to her husband. Their remains were reinterred in December 1927 at the newly completed Harding Memorial in Marion, dedicated by President Herbert Hoover in 1931. The lapse between the 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 are the only two presidents to have predeceased their fathers.[28]

Personal life

The extent to which Harding engaged in extramarital affairs is somewhat controversial. It has been recorded in primary documents that Harding had an affair with Carrie Fulton Phillips; Nan Britton wrote The President's Daughter in 1927, documenting her affair and the alleged child, Elizabeth Ann, with Harding.

Rumors of the Harding love letters circulated through Marion, Ohio, for many years. However, their existence was not confirmed until 1968, when author Francis Russell gained access to them during his research for his book, The Shadow of Blooming Grove. The letters were in the possession of Phillips. Phillips kept the letters in a box in a closet and was reluctant to share them. Russell persuaded her to relent, and the letters showed conclusively to Russell that Harding had a 15-year relationship with Phillips, who was then the wife of his friend James Phillips, owner of the local department store, the Uhler-Phillips Company. Mrs. Phillips was almost eight years younger than Harding. By 1915, she began pressing Harding to leave his wife. When he refused, she left her husband and moved to Berlin with her daughter Isabel. However, as the United States became increasingly likely to be drawn into World War I, Mrs. Phillips moved back to the U.S. and the affair reignited. Harding was now a U.S. Senator, and a vote was coming up on a declaration of war against Germany.[citation needed]

Phillips threatened to go public with their affair if the Senator supported the war, but Harding defied her and voted for war, and Phillips did not reveal the scandal to the world. When Harding won the Republican presidential nomination in 1920, he did not disclose the relationship to party officials. Once they learned of the affair, it was too late to find another nominee. To reduce the likelihood of a scandal breaking, the Republican National Committee sent Phillips and her family on a trip to Japan and paid them over $50,000.[citation needed] She also received monthly payments thereafter, becoming the first and only person known to have successfully extorted money from a major political party in the United States.

The letters Harding wrote to Phillips were confiscated at the request of the Harding heirs, who requested and received a court injunction prohibiting their inclusion in Russell's book. Russell in turn left quoted passages from the letters as blank passages in protest against the Harding heirs' actions. The Harding-Phillips love letters remain under an Ohio court protective order that expires in 2023, 100 years after Harding's death, after which the content of the letters may be published or reviewed.

Warren G. Harding

Besides Phillips, Harding also allegedly had an affair with Nan Britton, the daughter of Harding's friend Dr. Britton of Marion. Britton's claim that he had fathered her child was widely circulated in the years just after Harding's death. This is often repeated as a "fact" about Harding, but it has not been proven to the satisfaction of most historians. Robert H. Ferrell's 1998 reappraisal of Harding, The Strange Deaths of Warren G. Harding, found no evidence of an illegitimate child.

Nan Britton's obsession with Harding started at an early age when she began pasting pictures of Senator Harding on her bedroom walls.[citation needed] According to Britton's book The President's Daughter, she and Senator Harding conceived a daughter, Elizabeth Ann, in January 1919, in his Senate office. Elizabeth Ann was born on October 22, 1919. Harding never met Elizabeth Ann but paid large amounts of child support.[citation needed] Harding and Britton, according to unsubstantiated reports, continued their affair while he was President, using a closet next to the Oval Office for privacy. Following Harding's death, Britton unsuccessfully sued the estate of Warren G. Harding on behalf of Elizabeth Ann. Under cross-examination by Harding heirs' attorney, Grant Mouser (a former member of Congress himself), Britton's testimony was riddled with inconsistencies, and she lost her case. Britton married a Mr. Christian, who adopted Elizabeth Ann. In adulthood, Elizabeth Ann married Henry Blaesing and raised a family. During most of her life she shied from press coverage about her alleged birthright, and refused requests for interviews in her later years. She died on November 17, 2005, in Oregon.

Speaking style

Although a commanding and powerful speaker, Harding was notorious for his verbal gaffes, such as his comment "I would like the government to do all it can to mitigate, then, in understanding, in mutuality of interest, in concern for the common good, our tasks will be solved."[29] His errors were compounded by his insistence on writing his own speeches. Harding's most famous "mistake" was his use of the word "normalcy" when the more common word at the time was "normality." Harding decided he liked the sound of the word and made "Return to Normalcy" a recurring theme. Critic H. L. Mencken disagreed, commenting on Harding's inaugural address, "He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash." Mencken also coined the term "Gamalielese" to refer to Harding's distinctive style of speech, a mocking reference to Harding's middle name rather than a reference to any of the Biblical characters named Gamaliel.[30] Upon Harding's death, poet E. E. Cummings said "The only man, woman or child who wrote a simple declarative sentence with seven grammatical errors is dead."[29]


A statue honoring Harding on a speech he delivered on relations between the United States and Canada in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

See also


  1. ^ The Biography of Warren. G. Harding
  2. ^ a b Gage, Beverly (April 6, 2008). "Our First Black President?". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/magazine/06wwln-essay-t.html. Retrieved December 13, 2009. 
  3. ^ Knott, Bill (2006-01-26). "The Nearly Adventist President". Adventist Review. Seventh-day Adventist Church. http://www.adventistreview.org/article.php?id=307. Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  4. ^ "Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr (1957). The Age of Roosevelt: The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933. Heinemann. p. 50. 
  5. ^ Warren G. Harding bio from White House
  6. ^ Chan, Sewell; and Richard Pérez-Peña (2007-01-22). "If Clinton Should Win, Who Would Take Her Place?". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980CE0DC1F30F931A15752C0A9619C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  7. ^ a b Russell, Francis (1968). The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding and His Times. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 39–40, 403-405. ISBN 0070543380. 
  8. ^ Adams, Samuel Hopkins (1939). Incredible Era: The Life and Times of Warren Gamaliel Harding. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 280. 
  9. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 41. ISBN 0465041957. 
  10. ^ "Eugene V. Debs". Time (magazine). November 1, 1926. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,722648,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 
  11. ^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 222. ISBN 0465041957. 
  12. ^ Murray (1969)
  13. ^ a b Rouse, Robert (March 15, 2006). "Happy Anniversary to the first scheduled presidential press conference - 93 years young!". American Chronicle. http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/6883. 
  14. ^ "Warren G. Harding". marionhistory.com. The Marion County Historical Society. http://www.marionhistory.com/wgharding/harding-2.htm. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  15. ^ Leonidas Dyer (1922). "Anti-Lynching Bill". womhist.alexanderstreet.com. Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender. http://womhist.alexanderstreet.com/lynch/doc1.htm. Retrieved November 14, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)". kipnotes.com. Business History. http://www.kipnotes.com/Warren%20G.%20Harding.htm. Retrieved November 14, 2009. 
  17. ^ Straight Dope Staff Report: "Was Warren Harding inducted into the Ku Klux Klan while president?"
  18. ^ Hakim, Joy (1995). War, Peace, and All That Jazz. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 37–40. ISBN 0-19-509514-6. 
  19. ^ American Decades. 6. The Gale Group. 2001. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3468300836.html. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  20. ^ President Harding's 1923 Visit to Utah by W. Paul Reeve History Blazer July 1995
  21. ^ Culić V, Mirić D, Eterović D. "Correlation between symptomatology and site of acute myocardial infarction", Int J Cardiol 2001; 77: 163-168.
  22. ^ Heard BE, Steiner RE, Herdan A, Gleason D: "Edema and fibrosis of the lungs in left ventricular failure", Br J Radiol 1968; 41: 161-171.
  23. ^ Carl Nolte (2009-12-16). "Palace Hotel's birthday key ticket to free stay". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/12/16/BASR1B4SER.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0ZseuS1M7. 
  24. ^ Ferrell RH: Ill-Advised: Presidential Health & Public Trust, Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1992; pp. 1-87. ISBN 0826208649
  25. ^ Ibid.
  26. ^ "The Health & Medical History of President Warren Harding". doctorzebra.com. http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/g29.htm. Retrieved December 22, 2009. 
  27. ^ "Harding a Farm Boy Who Rose by Work". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/1102.html. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "Nominated for the Presidency as a compromise candidate and elected by a tremendous majority because of a reaction against the policies of his predecessor, Warren Gamaliel Harding, twenty-ninth President of the United States, owed his political elevation largely to his engaging personal traits, his ability to work in harmony with the leaders of his party and the fact that he typified in himself the average prosperous American citizen." 
  28. ^ Facts About the Presidents, Joseph Nathan Kane
  29. ^ a b Stephen Pile, The Book of Heroic Failures (Futura, 1980) p.180.
  30. ^ Gamaliel and Gamalielese, October 18, 2006.


  • Adams, Samuel Hopkins (1939). Incredible Era: The Life and Times of Warren Gamaliel Harding. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 
  • Anthony, Carl S. Florence Harding: The First Lady, the Jazz Age, and the Death of America's Most Scandalous President. (1998)
  • Dean, John W. Warren G. Harding (The American Presidents Series). Times Books, Henry Holt and Company, LLC, 2004
  • Downes Randolph C. The Rise of Warren Gamaliel Harding, 1865–1920. Ohio University Press, 1970
  • Ferrell, Robert H. The Strange Deaths of Warren G. Harding, Columbia:MO, University of Missouri Press, 1998
  • Fine, Gary Alan. "Reputational Entrepreneurs and the Memory of Incompetence: Melting Supporters, Partisan Warriors, and Images of President Harding." American Journal of Sociology, 1996 101(5): 1159-1193. Issn: 0002-9602 Fulltext: in Jstor and Ebsco
  • Grant, Philip A., Jr. "President Warren G. Harding and the British War Debt Question, 1921-1923." Presidential Studies Quarterly, 1995 25(3): 479-487. Issn: 0360-4918
  • Hakim, Joy (1995). War, Peace, and All That Jazz. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 29–33. ISBN 0-19-509514-6. 
  • "An International Problem", Marion Daily Star, October 26, 1921.
  • Kenneth J. Grieb; The Latin American Policy of Warren G. Harding 1976 online
  • Malin, James C. The United States after the World War 1930. online, detailed analysis of foreign and economic policies
  • Morello, John A. Selling the President, 1920: Albert D. Lasker, Advertising, and the Election of Warren G. Harding. Praeger, 2001.
  • Murray Robert K. The Harding Era 1921-1923: Warren G. Harding and his Administration. University of Minnesota Press, 1969
  • Payne, Phillip. "Instant History and the Legacy of Scandal: the Tangled Memory of Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon, and William Jefferson Clinton", Prospects, 2003 28: 597-625. Issn: 0361-2333
  • Pietrusza, David (2007). 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents. New York: Caroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 0786716223. 
  • Russell, Francis (1968). The Shadow of Blooming Grove: Warren G. Harding and His Times. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 39–40, 403-405. ISBN 0070543380. 
  • Sinclair, Andrew. The Available Man: The Life behind the Masks of Warren Gamaliel Harding 1965 online full-scale biography
  • "Social Equality Impossible for Negro, Says President, Pleading for Fair Treatment", Atlanta-Journal Constitution, October 27, 1921.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Woodrow Wilson
President of the United States
March 4, 1921–August 2, 1923
Succeeded by
Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by
Harry L. Gordon
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Andrew L. Harris
United States Senate
Preceded by
Theodore E. Burton
United States Senator (Class 3) from Ohio
March 4, 1915 – January 13, 1921
Served alongside: Atlee Pomerene
Succeeded by
Frank B. Willis
Party political offices
Preceded by
Charles Evans Hughes
Republican Party presidential candidate
Succeeded by
Calvin Coolidge
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Unknown Soldier of World War I
Persons who have lain in state or honor
in the United States Capitol rotunda

August 8, 1923
Succeeded by
William H. Taft


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy...

Warren Gamaliel Harding (2 November 18652 August 1923) was the 29th President of the United States, serving from 1921 to 1923, when he became the sixth president to die in office, most likely due to heart disease.



  • 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
  • America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality.
    • Speech in Boston, Massachusetts (24 May 1920); Harding is often thought to have coined the word "normalcy" in this speech, but the word is recorded as early as the 1850s as alternative to "normality".
  • Practically all we know is that thousands of native Haitians have been killed by American Marines, and that many of our own gallant men have sacrificed their lives at the behest of an Executive department in order to establish laws drafted by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. ... I will not empower an Assistant Secretary of the Navy to draft a constitution for helpless neighbors in the West Indies and jam it down their throats at the point of bayonets borne by US Marines.
    • Speech during Warren Harding's 1920 presidental campaign, critizing Woodrow Wilson's Haitian policies; quoted in Democracy at the Point of Bayonets (1999) by Mark Penceny, p. 2
  • 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


  • It is my conviction that the fundamental trouble with the people of the United States is that they have gotten too far away from Almighty God.
    • Relayed by Bishop William F. Anderson as a remark by a friend of Harding, in "Pictures Harding as Man of Prayer" (2 April 1922) New York Times


  • I don't know much about Americanism, but it's a damn good word with which to carry an election.
    • Actually an exchange between journalist Talcott Williams and Sen. Boies Penrose (1919)
      • What is Americanism?
        Damn if I know, but it's going to be a damn good word with which to carry an election.

External links

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Simple English

Warren Gamaliel Harding
File:Warren G Harding portrait as senator June

In office
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
Vice President Calvin Coolidge
Preceded by Woodrow Wilson
Succeeded by Calvin Coolidge

Born November 2, 1865
Near Blooming Grove, Ohio
Died August 2, 1923
San Francisco, California
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse Florence Kling Harding

Warren G. Harding (November 2, 1865August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States (Republican Party). Before becoming president, he was a senator and the assistant governor of Ohio. Before he was in government, he was an important newspaper manager. He was the president from 1921 to 1923.

After World War 1, he was elected on the promise to return the United States back to normal. He supported limited government in the economy. During his term, he lowered taxes and believed that the economy should not be regulated too much.

Warren G. Harding made the mistake of appointing his friends to high political positions. In result, they corruptly abused their power for their personal gain and several scandals happened during his presidency (Harding himself was innocent).

He died of a heart attack in 1923 while he was the president. His vice president Calvin Coolidge became president after he died.

Historians generally consider him one of the worst presidents due to his lack of political skill.

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