The Most Scandalous President

You've always heard Harding was the worst President. Sex in the White House. Bribes on Capitol Hill. Was he really that bad?

Everyone who knows anything at all about American history believes that Warren G. Harding was our worst President—Harding, the affable fool from Marion, Ohio, who, after passing two utterly undistinguished terms as state senator and one as lieutenant governor, went to the U.S. Senate in 1914 and, having done little but get along with people, came out of the deadlocked 1920 Republican National Convention headed for the Presidency. His friend the politico Harry M.

The Presidential Follies

An old, familiar show is back in Washington. There’s a new cast, of course, but the script is pretty much the same as ever. Here’s the program.

WHEN THE IRAN-CONTRA STORY BROKE LAST NOVEMBER, A NUMBER OF public figures as well as news commentators put the revelations in a historical context. Walter Mondale said in a New York Times interview: “It was all so knowable. Did they really think they could get away with it—violate the law and nobody would care?...They were so full of hubris....” Read more »

An Epitaph For Mr. Lincoln

The curiously troubled origin of a brief and fitting inscription

On February 9, 1911, Congress approved a bill authorizing construction of a monument to Abraham Lincoln in the nation’s capital. The notion of building such a memorial had long moved many people for varied reasons. The Republican party naturally wanted to honor its greatest hero. Millions of Americans saw a memorial as a way of finally announcing the end of sectional animosities as the Civil War receded into history.Read more »

The Businessman And The Government

Corruption, Yesterday and Today

The recent spate of revelations of bribery by American corporations of government officials, domestic and foreign, has left many with a sense that the business ethics of the nation are going to hell in a handbasket.Read more »

… And Some Were Saved

In his somewhat sardonic book of political sketches, Masks in a Pageant, William Allen White had a chapter on Warren Gamaliel Harding in which he recorded incidentally one of Harding’s “primrose detours from Main Street.” It had come to garish light in the summer of 1920, when the Republican presidential candidate returned to Marion from his nomination at the convention in Chicago. Local pride had laid out a triumphal way from the railroad station through the town center to the Harding house on Mt.Read more »

How Some Were Burned…

Controversy, the inevitable result, of secrecy and suppression, still swirls about the life and Presidency of Warren Gamaliel Harding, who came to the White House in 1921 in the bright sunlight of landslide victory and left it in death, shadowed by scandal, less than three years later. Of how all these things happened, of what sort of man Harding really was, historians know much less than they would like to.

The Strike That Made A President

When Boston’s police walked out, a great city erupted in violence. By doggedly doing nothing, Governor Coolidge emerged as a national hero

Had it not been for the Boston police strike of September, 1919, Calvin Coolidge probably would have become just another in the succession of Republican governors of Massachusetts, his name no more remembered than that of his predecessor, Samuel McCall, or his successor, Channing Cox. But the curious and chance circumstances of that event suddenly made him known all over America.

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