Most historians brand former President Warren Harding as the worst American president to take the Oval Office. He wasn’t known to be a decisive president, nor was he a deep thinker. But did you know he upheld his responsibility in safeguarding the United States Constitution?
President Warren Harding is responsible for saving the Constitution. It was improperly stored in the files at the State Department and was in bad shape. Harding had it preserved in a glass case to avoid further deterioration.
Who was Warren Harding?
Warren Gamaliel Harding was born on November 2, 1865, in Corsica, Ohio. He was the eldest child of George Tryon Harding and Phoebe Dickerson Harding, whose ancestry included English, Scottish and Dutch lineages. His father was a farmer but became a physician. Harding attended local schools in Ohio before enrolling at Ohio State College.
Harding dabbled in different business ventures, and in. By 1884, he purchased a local weekly newspaper that wasn’t doing well. He devoted his time and effort to the newspaper and transformed the Marion Star into a successful daily paper after he married Florence Kling De Wolfe, who helped him with the paper.
Though Harding was not known as an intellectual, he found himself invited to join leading corporate boards and fraternal organizations, which led him to become part of the Republican party. Harding was known to look like a leader. He was always well-dressed and well-groomed, becoming popular with the public.
Harding was then elected as a state senator in 1899 then as lieutenant governor in 1903 but was unsuccessful in winning the governorship in 1910. Harding also aligned with the conservative wing of the Republicans. He was known to strongly oppose the membership of the US in the League of Nations but was known to support legislation that would benefit businesses.
In 1920, he became the presidential nominee for the Republicans. He won over the public with his looks and well-rehearsed speeches. These, along with Harding’s call for a return to normalcy as opposed to President Woodrow Wilson’s call for sacrifice during the first world war, propelled him to take on the highest position in the US government. Harding won the election in a landslide.
Harding appointed his cabinet members personally. He chose outstanding leaders but also mistakenly selected crooked politicians who wanted to make money. Unfortunately, Harding was a notoriously poor judge of character as he expected integrity from the members he chose.
Harding only held the office for two years, dying of a heart attack or a stroke after surviving the scandals brought about by his cabinet members. He did, however, save the US Constitution. The president found out that it was poorly kept in the State Department. He ordered a glass case to protect it and avoid further deterioration. (Source: Britannica)
Hardy charmed the country, getting elected by an unprecedented 60% popular vote. His call for Americans to resume a more uncomplicated life after the war was well accepted. But this was not what Harding was known for.
Harding was known to be the worst president in modern history due to the corrupt advisors and cabinet members he chose. His Secretary of Interior, Albert B. Fall, was convicted and was the first cabinet member to be imprisoned. Fall was convicted of accepting a $100,000 bribe.
Harding was also the sixth president to die in office when historians report that his death was due to exhaustion from conducting a national tour to reassure the public after the scandals became public. (Source: Our White House)