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eBay Up for sale is an awesome 8 x 10" full color photo print of a hand oil tinted photograph featuring 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding, 1920. This is a high-resolution (320 dpi/ 2,560 x 3,200 pixel) 8" x 10" vintage image, hand oil tinted and photo processed onto Fuji Film Archival Photo Paper. Fuji Film Archival Photo Paper is the highest quality paper and photo processing available. Fuji guarantees it not to fade for up to 70 years!   President, Warren Gamaliel Harding 1920   Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States (1921–1923). A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate (1899–1903), as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (1904–1906) and as a U.S. Senator (1915–1921). He was also the first incumbent United States Senator and the first newspaper publisher to be elected President. It was Harding who first used the phrase "Founding Fathers," including it in his keynote address to the 1916 Republican National Convention.His conservatism, affable manner, and make-no-enemies campaign strategy made Harding the compromise choice at the 1920 Republican National Convention. During his presidential campaign, in the aftermath of World War I, he promised a return of the nation to "normalcy". 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. In the 1920 election, he and his running mate, Calvin Coolidge, defeated Democrat and fellow Ohioan James M. Cox in the largest presidential popular vote landslide (60.36% to 34.19%) since popular vote totals were first recorded in 1824.President Harding rewarded friends and political contributors, referred to as the Ohio Gang, with financially powerful positions. Scandals and corruption, including the notorious Teapot Dome scandal, 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.Historians have traditionally been resistant to giving Harding good presidential reviews due to the multiple federal department scandals during his administration; as a result, Harding has received low rankings as President. His reputation, however, has increased among some historians for his conservative financial policies, fiscal responsibility, and his endorsement of African American civil rights. Harding's creation of the Budget Bureau was a major economic accomplishment that reformed and streamlined wasteful federal spending. In 1998, journalist Carl S. Anthony stated Harding was a "modern figure" who embraced technology and culture and who was 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 political, educational, and economic equality inside the Solid South.Early lifeChildhood and educationWarren 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 school north of Mount Gilead, Ohio and also acquired a medical degree and started a small practice. It was rumored in Blooming Grove that one of Harding's great-grandmothers might have been African American. Harding's great-great grandfather Amos claimed that a thief, who had been caught in the act by the family, started the rumor as an attempted extortion. Eventually, Harding's family moved to Caledonia, Ohio, 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.Career in journalism and marriageUpon 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, 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.On July 8, 1891, Harding married Florence Kling DeWolfe, the daughter of his nemesis (and hers as well), Amos Hall Kling. Florence Kling DeWolfe was a divorcée, 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.Political careerOhio emergenceHarding 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 economic stability, 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, 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, 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 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 had 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; 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.U.S. SenatorIn 1912, Harding gave the nominating speech for incumbent President William Howard Taft, 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. 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 and Barack Obama followed in this pattern. (James A. Garfield was at the time of his presidential election a non-incumbent senator-elect.)Presidential election of 1920Republican nominationIn 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. 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 unique ability to draw vital Ohio votes. Also at the forefront of a throng of candidates for the nomination were Hiram Johnson, Frank Lowden and Herbert Hoover. 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 one-half 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 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 hatpins. 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 electionIn 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 rejection of the "progressive" ideology of the Woodrow Wilson Administration in favor of the "laissez-faire" approach of the William McKinley 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, along with a call to reflect three trends of the time: a renewed isolationism in reaction to the War, a resurgence of nativism, and a turning away from government activism.On July 28, 1920, Harding's general election campaign manager, Albert Lasker, 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, Lillian Russell, Douglas Fairbanks, and Mary Pickford were among the 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 had 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 that 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 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 8ZZ (later KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and 8MK (later WWJ) in Detroit, which carried the election returns, as did the educational and amateur radio station 1XE (later WGI) at Medford Hillside MA. Harding received 60% of the national vote, the highest percentage ever recorded up to that time, and 404 electoral votes. 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. The Presidential election results of 1920, for the first time in U.S. history, were announced live by radio. Harding was the only Republican presidential candidate to ever defeat Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt 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.Presidency: 1921–1923The 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 Mrs. Harding 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 approved at the 1920 Republican National Convention, which was held in Chicago. 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. Author Wayne Lutton asked, "Was Harding really a failure?" Historian and former White House Counsel John Dean's reassessment of Harding stated his accomplishments included income tax and federal spending reductions, economic policies that reduced "stagflation", 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), 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 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, an enlarged merchant marine and a department of public welfare. He also called for measures to end lynching, 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 better with the press than any other previous President, being a former newspaperman. 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. Before Harding's election, the nation had been 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; bootleggers confiscated tens of thousands cases of whiskey through bribery 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., 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 placed Harding at number 34 and a 2009 C-SPAN survey ranked Harding at 38.In 2010, a Siena College 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 1919–1920 Bolshevik scare 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, he was 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.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 Fairgrounds on July 4, and left the following morning for other speaking commitments.Domestic policies and economyBureau of the Budget and Veterans BureauConsidered 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 Charles 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 nearly 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's Federal Hospitalization Bureau, along with three other bureaus that dealt with veteran affairs. Harding regrettably appointed Colonel Charles R. Forbes, 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 and ultimately the Department of Veterans Affairs.Postwar recession and recoveryOn 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 historian Thomas Woods contends that the tax cuts ended the Depression of 1920–1921—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) 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:Robert Gordon, a Keynesian, admits, "government policy to moderate the depression and speed recovery was minimal. The Federal Reserve authorities were largely passive. ... Despite the absence of a stimulative government policy, however, recovery was not long delayed." Kenneth Weiher, an economic historian, notes, "despite the severity of the contraction, the Fed did not move to use its powers to turn the money supply around and fight the contraction." He then briskly concedes that "the economy rebounded quickly from the 1920–1921 depression and entered a period of quite vigorous growth."However, Paul Krugman demonstrates that the monetary base expanded significantly from 1922 to 1925, and that this expansion was accompanied by a reduction in commercial paper rates. Allan Meltzer agrees that the rising real money stock motivated wealth owners to invest.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.Foreign policiesPresident Harding was very specific in commenting on the appointment of Secretary of State Charles E. Hughes, that the secretary would be the sole spokesman for the State Department (as opposed to the Wilson administration). The U.S. Senate had refused to ratify the Treaty of Versailles in both 1919 and 1920 because it required the U.S. to endorse the League of Nations. Hughes worked behind the scenes to formally make peace with former enemies Austria and Germany. This was known as the Knox–Porter Resolution; its peace treaties were signed with both countries, passed by Congress on July 1, and signed by Harding on July 2, 1921, officially ending World War I for the U.S.Washington arms conference and treaties 1921–1922President Harding spearheaded, with the urging of the Senate, a monumental global conference, held in Washington, D.C., 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. 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 twelve 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 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.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.Administrative scandalsUpon 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 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 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 DomeThe 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. 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, Albert B. Fall, 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 unsuspecting 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 for actions while holding office. Paradoxically, while Fall was convicted for taking the bribe, Doheny was acquitted of paying it.Justice departmentHarding'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, 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, 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 trafficking was rampant at the Atlanta Penitentiary 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. Daugherty, 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, 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 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. 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. SmithDaugherty's personal aide 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 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 to 60,000 cases of whiskey were sold to bootleggers at a net worth of $750,000 to $900,000. Smith also supplied bootleg whiskey to the White House and the Ohio Gang house on K Street concealing the whiskey in a briefcase 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. 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' bureauCharles 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 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, 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, 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, Brigadier General 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. 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" 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 at Indianapolis 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, California. The 325-acre land tract was only estimated to be worth $8,000. Maj. Gen. John F. O'Ryan 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 bureauOn June 13, 1921, President Harding appointed Albert D. Lasker chairman of the United States Shipping Board. 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, head of the Office of Alien Property, 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, 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 deathIn 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.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, believed getting away from Washington 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 as having chest pains radiating down his left arm.St. Louis, Kansas, DenverDuring Harding's western travels, historian Samuel H. Adams 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 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, SeattlePresident Harding, as his physically demanding schedule continued, boarded a naval transport ship, the USS Henderson, and voyaged to Alaska. During four days at sea, Harding was unable to rest and regain strength. 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.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, 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, Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, and Secretary of Agriculture Henry C. Wallace, ("The Three Bears" as Herbert Hoover called themselves) in order to cut the bureaucracy in their respected departmental jurisdictions of the territory. According to author, Douglas Brinkley, 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 by the USS Henderson on July 7, 1923. Harding and his presidential party first visited Metlakatla, and Ketchikan (July 8), Wrangell (July 9), President Harding continued on to Juneau (July 10), Skagway and Glacier Bay (July 11). The President then cruised to Seward (July 13). They then proceeded to travel by Presidential railway car and automobile. Harding visited Snow River on the Kenai Peninsula, Anchorage (July 13), Chickaloon, Wasilla and Willow (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(July 15). On July 15, 1923, President Harding drove in the golden spike on the north side of the steel Mears Memorial Bridge 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 (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, British Columbia; 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. President Harding met with British Columbia Premier John Oliver and Mayor of Vancouver Charles Tisdall at the Hotel Vancouver. Harding spoke in front of 50,000 people at Stanley Park 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, Washington, President Harding's transport ship, USS Henderson, accidentally rammed into the USS Zeilin (DD-313), 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 Scouts in the Pledge of Allegiance. President Harding gave his final speech to a large crowd of 25,000 people at the University of Washington 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 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. Harding's scheduled speech in Portland was canceled.Death in San Francisco, state funeral and memorialThe President's train continued south to San Francisco. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover sent a telegram from Dunsmuir, California, to his friend Dr. Ray L. Wilbur, asking Wilbur to meet and to personally evaluate the President. Arriving at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, Harding developed a respiratory illness believed to be pneumonia. 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 that momentarily helped relieve his heart condition and sleeplessness. On Thursday, the President's health appeared to be improving, so 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 p.m. 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 in the preceding weeks. Naval medical consultants who examined the president in San Francisco concluded he had suffered a heart attack.Harding was succeeded as President by Vice President Calvin Coolidge, who was sworn in while vacationing at Plymouth Notch, Vermont, by his father, a Vermont notary public. The story about Harding's body being laid in state in San Francisco City Hall before being returned to Washington appears to be 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 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 pending a state funeral, which was held on August 8, 1923, at the United States Capitol. 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, on August 10, 1923. Following Mrs. Harding's death on November 21, 1924 (from renal failure), she was buried next to her husband. Their remains were re-interred December 20, 1927, at the newly completed Harding Memorial 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. Harding was survived by his father Dr. George Tryon Harding, who died on November 19, 1928. Harding and John F. Kennedy 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 deathPresident Harding's sudden death led to theories that he had been poisoned or committed suicide. Suicide appears unlikely, since Harding was planning for reelection in 1924. Rumors of poisoning were fueled, in part, by a book called The Strange Death of President Harding, in which the author (convicted criminal, former Ohio Gang member, and detective Gaston Means, hired by Mrs. Harding to investigate Warren Harding and his mistress) suggested that 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. 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 destroyedImmediately after President Harding's death, Mrs. Harding returned to Washington, D.C., 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, Mrs. Harding hired a number of secretaries to collect and burn 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.  Photograph taken in 1920 & was Hand Oil Tinted by artist Margaret A. Rogers   You can't get this colorized version of this photo anywhere else!I have the exclusive rights to the sales of this image.Photographs are also available in larger sizes from  8x12" to 11x14", 12x16", 12x18", 16x20", 20x26" & 20x30".Email me for a price quote. I'd be happy to create an auction just for you. FREE Shipping to anywhere in the United States Thank you for viewing my auction. Please check out my other photos!Good luck with your bidding. ( Vintage Photos, My Vintage Photos, MyVintagePhotos, Photographs )

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