Warren G. Harding Front Porch Photograph

Edmonton Studio1920

Ohio History Connection

Ohio History Connection
Columbus, United States

These photographs, which measure 6.5" by 5.5" (17 by 11 cm), show Warren Harding addressing a crowd gathering at the front porch of his home in Marion during the 1920 "front porch" campaign. The first image shows Warren and Florence Harding waving to a crowd of supporters. The other three images show Warren Harding making speeches from his front porch. Harding ran his 1920 presidential campaign from the front porch of his Victorian house in Marion, Ohio. People came from all over Ohio and the United States came to hear him speak. Frequently, his speeches were then printed in newspapers and recorded on phonograph for the rest of the country. Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923) was born in Corsica (now called Blooming Grove), a small town in Morrow County, Ohio. Harding graduated from Ohio Central College in Iberia at the age of sixteen. His family moved to Marion, where Harding taught school and briefly studied law. He worked occasionally as a reporter for a local paper before buying the Marion Star in 1884. Within five years, the Star was one of the most successful small-town newspapers in the state. Harding became popular as the leader of the Citizen's Coronet Band, which played at political rallies, and for his skill as an orator. Willing to follow the lead of political bosses, Harding advanced rapidly in Ohio politics, serving as state senator and lieutenant governor. In 1914 Harding was elected to the U. S. Senate. He launched his famous "front porch" 1920 presidential campaign from the porch of his Victorian home in Marion, Ohio. He won the presidency with sixty percent of the popular vote, promising a "return to normalcy" following the wave of reforms begun during Theodore Roosevelt's administration. As President, Harding appointed several friends to federal office who proved untrustworthy. His administration was tainted by corruption, and the infamous "Teapot Dome" scandal (in which Harding's Secretary of the Interior leased a U.S. petroleum reserve to a private oil company) nearly destroyed his presidency. After he died in office in August 1923, other scandals were uncovered, further tarnishing Harding's reputation. First Lady Florence Harding (1860-1924) was born Florence Mabel Kling in Marion, where her father was a successful businessman. Her first marriage ended in divorce in 1886. In 1891, she married Warren G. Harding and went to work in the circulation department of her husband's newspaper. Florence Harding was a strong supporter of her husband's political career. As First Lady, Harding reopened the White House to the public; it had been closed when previous president Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke. The couple had no children.


  • Title: Warren G. Harding Front Porch Photograph
  • Creator: Edmonton Studio
  • Date: 1920
  • Location: Marion (Ohio)
  • Subject Keywords: Presidents and Politics, Presidential elections
  • Contributor: Ohio History Connection
  • Rights: Online access is provided for research purposes only. For rights and reproduction requests or more information, go to http://www.ohiohistory.org/images/information
  • External Link: http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/ref/collection/p267401coll32/id/5228

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