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Warren G. Harding

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Warren G. Harding Famous memorial

Original Name
Warren Gamaliel Harding
Birth
Blooming Grove, Morrow County, Ohio, USA
Death
2 Aug 1923 (aged 57)
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial
Marion, Marion County, Ohio, USA GPS-Latitude: 40.573126, Longitude: -83.1226233
Memorial ID
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29th United States President, U.S. Senator. Elected President of the United States on his 55th birthday, Warren Gamaliel Harding served only 29 months, but put his mark on American History. The oldest of eight children, he was raised in the rural farmland of Ohio, settling in the town of Marion. His father was Dr. Tryon Harding, Sr., a school teacher, farmer, physician, and newspaper man; and his mother was Phoebe Elizabeth Dickerson Harding, a licensed midwife. At the age of 14, Harding enrolled at Ohio Central College in Iberia, and, three years later, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. While at the college, he started a newspaper with the trade he had learned firsthand from his father. After dismissing other prospective professions, he purchased the local bankrupted newspaper, "The Marion Star," and, with a "rags to riches" story, became a successful newspaper man. Becoming the editor of the newspaper made him interested in politics. He became a conservative Republican, opposing the League of Nations. At the age of 22, he was a delegate to the 1888 Republican State Convention representing Marion County, and continued to be one until becoming President. By making numerous speeches with his powerful voice at the convention, he made a name for himself in Ohio. On July 8, 1891, he married Florence Kling DeWolfe, a wealthy businessman's daughter, who was a divorcee, five years his senior with a son; they had no children. She became an invaluable advisor for him at the newspaper as well as on his journey to the White House. Harding's health was poor with several hospitalizations at Dr. Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan for "neurasthenia." His wife managed the newspaper while he was away. He ran for county auditor in 1895, but was defeated. In 1899, he was elected to the Ohio State Senate; in 1903, to Lieutenant Governor; but then had an unsuccessful run for Governor in 1910. He delivered the nominating address for President Taft at the 1912 Republican Convention. In 1914, he was elected to the United States Senate, but missed more sessions than he attended including key debates on prohibition and women's suffrage. At the 1916 Republican Convention, he gave the speech which included, "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." This thought has echoed through the years in others' political speeches. Over the years, his speeches in general have been critiqued and a topic of political conversations. The speeches were easy to hear as he neither crossed an opponent nor gave details for taking action. Being tall, handsome, poised and well-dressed, he gave the illusion of being powerful and intelligent. His Ohio supporters encouraged him to run for the 1920 Republican nomination for President. With a deadlock vote for the other candidates, the Republican Party compromised "in a back room decision" and turned to him to run for the office. He was paired with Vice-Presidential candidate Calvin Coolidge in a campaign promising a "return to normalcy" following World War I (WWI). He won with an unprecedented landslide of 60 percent of the popular vote; the largest majority any Presidential candidate had ever received. He promised to choose the best minds to advise him and did appoint some good men, who were mainly personal trust-worthy friends and Ohio supporters, to his cabinet. To his surprise and being somewhat naive, some had their own corrupted agendas, thus his brief administration became known for its scandals and greed. The Teapot Dome Scandal, involving greed in Wyoming oil fields, was a major one in his administration, ruining several prominent men that he had appointed. Other scandalous subjects questioned his ancestry and his relationships with women, but DNA testing done in 2015 has put all earlier insinuations on these subjects to rest. Taking a rest from all the Washington, D.C. stress, the President took a spring trip to Alaska and the western states. While on the trip, the President asked his trustworthy Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, "If you knew of a great scandal in our administration, would you, for the good of the country and the party, expose it publicly or would you bury it?" Hoover urged publishing it, but fearing political repercussions, Harding hesitated to act. On his way home, the President complained of abdominal pain, which was thought to be "food poisoning." He was seen by two physicians, with one saying he had an enlarged heart. He seemed to rally after resting at the San Francisco Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, but later in that evening, Harding suddenly died from either a heart attack or a stroke; no autopsy was performed. Vice President Coolidge succeeded Harding as President as a result of his death. Harding died before knowing all the details and outcomes of his corrupt administration's greedy acts, but the public did learn the truth over the years. Several of his appointees went to trial for defrauding the government, with a couple, including a cabinet member, serving prison sentences. There were also a couple colleagues who committed suicide. To prevent any possible embarrassment, many of his personal papers were burned directly after his death. Including their beautiful home in Marion, Harding left an estate of $850,000. Even with his blemished administration, he did have some accomplishments: He eliminated wartime controls and slashed taxes, established a federal budget system, restored the high protective tariff, advocated equal rights for African-Americans, signed peace treaties to formally end World War I, and imposed tight limitations upon immigration from eastern and southern European countries. He was the first President to own a radio, the first to make speech over the radio, the first to visit Alaska, and the first to ride to his inauguration in a car. When women got the right to vote, he was the first President that they could elect. He was a Mason and a trustee of the Trinity Baptist Church in his hometown. He was a musician claiming, "I played every instrument but the slide trombone and the E-flat cornet." He lost the White House china in a poker game, and was known to serve alcohol in the White House during the Prohibition Era. He spoke at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1922. He wrote two books with the assistance of Fredrick E. Shortemeier: "Rededicating America" in 1920 and "Our Common Country" in 1921. By 1923, the postwar depression seemed to be giving way to a new surge of prosperity, and newspapers hailed Harding as a wise statesman carrying out his campaign promise: "Less government in business and more business in government." History has not been kind in judging this President; his lack of judgment in choosing cabinet members was President Harding's downfall. Harding County, New Mexico is named after him (the county was formed on the day of his inauguration). Even with his scandalous 29 months, President Harding deserves the respect that comes with his office.
29th United States President, U.S. Senator. Elected President of the United States on his 55th birthday, Warren Gamaliel Harding served only 29 months, but put his mark on American History. The oldest of eight children, he was raised in the rural farmland of Ohio, settling in the town of Marion. His father was Dr. Tryon Harding, Sr., a school teacher, farmer, physician, and newspaper man; and his mother was Phoebe Elizabeth Dickerson Harding, a licensed midwife. At the age of 14, Harding enrolled at Ohio Central College in Iberia, and, three years later, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. While at the college, he started a newspaper with the trade he had learned firsthand from his father. After dismissing other prospective professions, he purchased the local bankrupted newspaper, "The Marion Star," and, with a "rags to riches" story, became a successful newspaper man. Becoming the editor of the newspaper made him interested in politics. He became a conservative Republican, opposing the League of Nations. At the age of 22, he was a delegate to the 1888 Republican State Convention representing Marion County, and continued to be one until becoming President. By making numerous speeches with his powerful voice at the convention, he made a name for himself in Ohio. On July 8, 1891, he married Florence Kling DeWolfe, a wealthy businessman's daughter, who was a divorcee, five years his senior with a son; they had no children. She became an invaluable advisor for him at the newspaper as well as on his journey to the White House. Harding's health was poor with several hospitalizations at Dr. Kellogg's Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan for "neurasthenia." His wife managed the newspaper while he was away. He ran for county auditor in 1895, but was defeated. In 1899, he was elected to the Ohio State Senate; in 1903, to Lieutenant Governor; but then had an unsuccessful run for Governor in 1910. He delivered the nominating address for President Taft at the 1912 Republican Convention. In 1914, he was elected to the United States Senate, but missed more sessions than he attended including key debates on prohibition and women's suffrage. At the 1916 Republican Convention, he gave the speech which included, "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." This thought has echoed through the years in others' political speeches. Over the years, his speeches in general have been critiqued and a topic of political conversations. The speeches were easy to hear as he neither crossed an opponent nor gave details for taking action. Being tall, handsome, poised and well-dressed, he gave the illusion of being powerful and intelligent. His Ohio supporters encouraged him to run for the 1920 Republican nomination for President. With a deadlock vote for the other candidates, the Republican Party compromised "in a back room decision" and turned to him to run for the office. He was paired with Vice-Presidential candidate Calvin Coolidge in a campaign promising a "return to normalcy" following World War I (WWI). He won with an unprecedented landslide of 60 percent of the popular vote; the largest majority any Presidential candidate had ever received. He promised to choose the best minds to advise him and did appoint some good men, who were mainly personal trust-worthy friends and Ohio supporters, to his cabinet. To his surprise and being somewhat naive, some had their own corrupted agendas, thus his brief administration became known for its scandals and greed. The Teapot Dome Scandal, involving greed in Wyoming oil fields, was a major one in his administration, ruining several prominent men that he had appointed. Other scandalous subjects questioned his ancestry and his relationships with women, but DNA testing done in 2015 has put all earlier insinuations on these subjects to rest. Taking a rest from all the Washington, D.C. stress, the President took a spring trip to Alaska and the western states. While on the trip, the President asked his trustworthy Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, "If you knew of a great scandal in our administration, would you, for the good of the country and the party, expose it publicly or would you bury it?" Hoover urged publishing it, but fearing political repercussions, Harding hesitated to act. On his way home, the President complained of abdominal pain, which was thought to be "food poisoning." He was seen by two physicians, with one saying he had an enlarged heart. He seemed to rally after resting at the San Francisco Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California, but later in that evening, Harding suddenly died from either a heart attack or a stroke; no autopsy was performed. Vice President Coolidge succeeded Harding as President as a result of his death. Harding died before knowing all the details and outcomes of his corrupt administration's greedy acts, but the public did learn the truth over the years. Several of his appointees went to trial for defrauding the government, with a couple, including a cabinet member, serving prison sentences. There were also a couple colleagues who committed suicide. To prevent any possible embarrassment, many of his personal papers were burned directly after his death. Including their beautiful home in Marion, Harding left an estate of $850,000. Even with his blemished administration, he did have some accomplishments: He eliminated wartime controls and slashed taxes, established a federal budget system, restored the high protective tariff, advocated equal rights for African-Americans, signed peace treaties to formally end World War I, and imposed tight limitations upon immigration from eastern and southern European countries. He was the first President to own a radio, the first to make speech over the radio, the first to visit Alaska, and the first to ride to his inauguration in a car. When women got the right to vote, he was the first President that they could elect. He was a Mason and a trustee of the Trinity Baptist Church in his hometown. He was a musician claiming, "I played every instrument but the slide trombone and the E-flat cornet." He lost the White House china in a poker game, and was known to serve alcohol in the White House during the Prohibition Era. He spoke at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1922. He wrote two books with the assistance of Fredrick E. Shortemeier: "Rededicating America" in 1920 and "Our Common Country" in 1921. By 1923, the postwar depression seemed to be giving way to a new surge of prosperity, and newspapers hailed Harding as a wise statesman carrying out his campaign promise: "Less government in business and more business in government." History has not been kind in judging this President; his lack of judgment in choosing cabinet members was President Harding's downfall. Harding County, New Mexico is named after him (the county was formed on the day of his inauguration). Even with his scandalous 29 months, President Harding deserves the respect that comes with his office.

Bio by: Linda Davis


Inscription

WARREN GAMALIEL HARDING

The twenty ninth President of the United States
Born November 2, 1865 Died August 2, 1923



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: Apr 25, 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID:
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/445/warren_g-harding: accessed ), memorial page for Warren G. Harding (2 Nov 1865–2 Aug 1923), Find a Grave Memorial ID 445, citing Harding Memorial Park, Marion, Marion County, Ohio, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave.