Presidents of the 1920's

Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
From Ohio

Warren G. Harding is best known for his slogan promising a "return to normalcy" for the American people. He wanted to get back to normal, the way things were before the Progressives and World War I. To him, and to most Americans, normal meant Isolationism and more laissez-faire Capitalism. He won the 1920 election by a landslide.

Biography of Warren G. Harding Learn more about Harding's background and personality in this short video.

During his Presidency, the United States continued to stay out of the League of Nations. He raised the tariff to protect American business from foreign competition.

Harding, however, is often ranked as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. A group of historians and politicians ranked him 38th in a C-SPAN survey (see the whole list here). That's because his presidency was rocked by corruption and scandals, caused mostly by Harding's own friends. His group of friends became known as the Ohio Gang, because he brought most of them to Washington with him from Ohio. The worst scandal was known as the Teapot Dome Scandal. The scandal involved Harding's Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, and some secret deals that he made to make a profit off of oil discovered in Teapot Dome, Wyoming.

Harding died suddenly of a heart attack in August, 1923 while in San Francisco. He was president less than two years.

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