President Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923), twenty-ninth President of the United Sates, born on a farm near Corsica (Blooming Grove), Morrow County, Ohio, and educated at Ohio Central College. He was editor of the college paper and, on leaving school in 1882, taught for a year and then entered the printing trade, becoming first compositor and then pressman. He later became a reporter and editorial writer at the Marion Star and in 1884 purchased this newspaper. He acted as it editor and increased its circulation, and after it had developed into a profitable business, transferred ownership of it to the Harding Publishing Company. He himself became president of this company, but gave many shares of stock to his employees.
Warren G. Harding was elected Ohio State senator in 1900 and re-elected in 1902, and was elected lieutenant governor in 1904; he was defeated as candidate for governor in 1910. In 1914 Warren Harding ran against his political patron Joseph B. Foraker in the Republican primaries for U.S. senator, and having won the nomination was elected with a plurality of more than 100,000 votes over his Democratic opponent. In the Senate Warren Harding favored protective tariffs and the arming of American merchant ships during World War I; after the war he opposed the entry of the United States into the League of Nations, and advocated reduction of excess-profits taxes. In the National Convention of the Republican Party in 1920, Warren Harding was nominated for the Presidency of the United States on the tenth ballot. He did little traveling, conducting a front porch campaign from his home. His platform consisted largely of two planks: United States isolation from European politics, and specifically from the League of Nations; and a quick return to peace time economic and political conditions, epitomized as "back to normalcy". His opponent, James M. Cox, advocated continuance of Woodrow Wilson's policies and United States entry into the League of Nations. Warren Harding was elected by an enormous majority: more than sixteen million popular votes to nine million, and 404 electoral votes to 127.
The principal international events of Warren Harding's administration were the establishment of peace with Germany, rejection of membership by the United States into the League of Nations, although President Harding advocated American participation in the World Court, and the calling of an international conference in Washington to discuss limitation of naval armaments. In domestic affairs the administration was marked by corruption in offices of many Presidential appointees, notably the secretary of interior, Albert Bacon Fall, who was accused and convicted of having accepted a $100,000 bribe in connection with the leasing of the Teapot Dome and Elk Hills oil reserves.
In July, 1923, President Harding undertook a tour of the western United States and Alaska. On the return trip he was taken ill at Grant's Pass, Oregon; he was removed to San Francisco where he died on August 2.