Site search

Site menu:

Find Out More

Subscribe to Email Updates

Archives

Categories

Contact Us

Tag: warren harding

Was Harding’s mistress a spy? The National Archives knows and tells.

Today’s post comes from Miriam Kleiman of the National Archives Public Affairs Staff.

I’ve worked at the National Archives for many years and have always been content with our 13 Presidential libraries (Hoover through Bush 43). Sure, I’ve thought wistfully about a Washington, Adams, or Lincoln Library. But only recently did I long for a Warren G. Harding Library to be part of NARA!

Warren G. Harding. (111-P-1627, National Archives Identifier 530676)

Warren G. Harding. (111-P-1627, National Archives Identifier 530676)

Our neighbors down the road at the Library of Congress recently shared online more than 1,000 pages of love letters from Warren Gamaliel Harding to his longtime paramour, Mrs. Carrie Fulton Phillips.

I’ve read letters between John and Abigail Adams, and between Harry and Bess Truman. And while interesting, those seem G-rated in comparison to the wild, impassioned, heated, salacious letters (the early 20th-century version of sexting) from Warren to Carrie.

Is this news?

Historic Presidential affairs are not news; we’ve long heard of Harding’s carnal appetite. He boasted to a group of reporters: “It’s a good thing I’m not a woman. I would always be pregnant. I can’t say no.” Even during his Presidency, there were reports of mistresses, dalliances with young aides, and even illegitimate children.

But many of the affairs of other past Presidents didn’t leave a paper trail.

What is unique about this affair is the newly available extensive … [ Read all ]

Do presidents age more rapidly?

Today in 1923, President Warren G. Harding died suddenly of a stroke in San Francisco. Just after midnight, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President by his father on the other side of the country in Vermont.

Harding was the sixth president to die in office, and the second in a row to have a stroke. Woodrow Wilson has suffered a massive stroke in Colorado in October 1919, and sequestered himself in the White House (with rare exception) until the end of his presidential term.

Being president, it seems, is a dangerous business. Harding was the twenty-eighth president of the United States. Statistically speaking, the odds of dying in office back then were one in four.

These days, being the president is slightly less risky (two in eleven), but the stresses are the same. A doctor at the Cleveland Clinic, Michael Roizan, MD, has done the math: it seems presidents age two years for every year they are in office, due to the stress of the position.

Few presidents had more stress than Abraham Lincoln. Take a look at the two photos below. One was taken in 1860, before Lincoln became president, the other is the last known portrait of Lincoln in 1865.

Mathew Brady photo of Lincoln, Feb 27, 1860. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

Mathew Brady photo of Lincoln, Feb 27, 1860. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

Alexander Gardner's photo of Lincoln, April 10, 1865, Library of Congress

Alexander Gardner's photo of Lincoln, April 10, 1865, Library of

[ Read all ]