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Warren G. Harding: The 29th President

Harding won the presidential election of 1920.

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Warren G Harding was born November 2, 1865, on a farm in Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Central College in 1883 and worked as a reporter until 1884.

He became the 29th president of the United States after winning what was at the time the greatest landslide in American history in 1920. He won 60% of the popular vote and won the Electoral College 404-127. He was a Republican who wanted less government in business and more business in government. But his term was full of scandal because of corrupt cabinet members. Still, he did manage some great accomplishments before his early death while still in office.

The Oval Office

Harding believed in the high protective tariffs, but he was opposed to President Woodrow Wilson’s plan for the League of Nations. He advocated for a “return to normalcy” after the end of World War I.  His campaign platform, “Less government in business and more business in government,” was a popular promise that helped push his way towards becoming the next commander in chief. This was also the first election in which women were able to exercise their right to vote after the 19th Amendment was ratified in August 1920.

Harding did have some notable accomplishments, like cutting taxes and establishing an office to hold the government accountable for its spending. Unfortunately for Warren though, some of his cabinet was responsible for the Teapot Dome Scandal, the worst scandal of the decade. It was also the first time a cabinet member served time in jail for committing a felony while in office.

In the summer of 1923, during a cross-country tour of the nation, Harding was so depressed and unsure what to do about the situation, he talked to his Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover. While Hoover suggested publishing the problem, Harding was afraid of political repercussions and did not say anything.

During that tour, the president is believed to have suffered a heart attack on August 2 and died at a San Francisco, CA hospital. Millions of people across the country gathered along the railroad tracks as Harding’s body was returned to Washington D.C. His home in Marion, OH later became a National Historic Landmark, which is open to the public.

National Correspondent at and Kelli Ballard is an author, editor, and publisher. Her writing interests span many genres including a former crime/government reporter, fiction novelist, and playwright. Originally a Central California girl, Kelli now resides in the Seattle area.

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