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William L. Harding: Wikis


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This article refers to the former Iowa Governor. Please see William Harding for other men with the same name.

William Lloyd Harding (October 3, 1877 – December 17, 1934) was from Sioux City, Iowa and the 22nd Governor of Iowa from 1917 to 1921.

Born in 1877 in Sibley, Iowa, Harding opposed extending voting rights for women and road improvements. He garnered support from German-American voters who did not like Woodrow Wilson's pro-British positions in order to win election.

One of his more infamous acts was to issue the Babel Proclamation in 1918. This act, which is widely believed to have been unconstitutional, forbade the use of foreign languages in public, over the telephone, in school, and in religious services. It came about due to the large Anti-German sentiment during the First World War. In addition to the Babel Proclamation, his time in office was marred by other scandals. In addition to his hostility towards people of German descent, he was also hostile towards other ethnic groups, such as Iowans of Norwegian descent. He is buried in a mausoleum at the Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City, Iowa.


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Political offices
Preceded by
George W. Clarke
Governor of Iowa
January 11, 1917 – January 13, 1921
Succeeded by
N. E. Kendall


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