The 29th President of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923), was born on this day on a farm in Marion, Ohio, the son of a doctor and the oldest of eight.
A former newspaper editor and publisher of Scotch-Dutch descent, Harding won by a landslide. He was the first President born after the American Civil War and the first to ride to his inauguration in an automobile.
"America needs not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration," he said and urged Americans to return to a simpler, quieter life after World War I.
The handsome Republican was an accomplished public speaker who spoke with streams of alliteration. He said: "Progression is not proclamation nor palaver. It is not pretense nor play on prejudice..."
He was known for his amiable nature and yielding executive power to Congress and appointed advisors. He counted Henry Ford and Thomas Edison as good friends.
"Success is not founded so much on capital," he said, "as it is on industry, stick-to-itiveness, and ability to do things."
Harding established the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy. "Ambition is a commendable attribute, without which no man succeeds. Only inconsiderate ambition imperils," he said.
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