Warren G. Harding's Presidency

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What is Warren G. Harding known for?

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Warren G. Harding served as the 29th president of the United States from 1921 until his death in 1923. His legacy has been stained with corruption and scandal ever since he passed away. He is widely regarded as being one of the worst presidents in American history. He was a member of the Republican Party.

By all accounts, President Harding was a decent man on a personal level. He was the first US president to ever communicate via the radio, a relatively new technology at the time. Astoundingly, he reportedly wore size 19 shoes, which are very large for a man of his stature. Also, he was the first president to be elected after women secured the right to vote under the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.

He appointed several close people to his cabinet and administration who turned out to be corrupt public officials. They were interested in using their positions to make money rather than serving the citizens. Although Harding's administration had a couple of bright moments of accomplishment—such as when it helped to establish the first budget system for the federal government and when it cooperated with other countries to cease the arms race—the administration was at the center of multiple scandals. Those scandals surfaced most prominently around the time of Harding's death in 1923.

One particularly egregious scandal was the Teapot Dome Scandal. The government owned oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming. The reserves were kept in case of an emergency. Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall, who was a greedy individual, decided to clandestinely sell some of the reserves to oil companies to enrich himself personally while serving in his official capacity. Albert Fall accepted money and a herd of cattle in exchange for the oil. Ultimately, he went to jail for these acts.

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