: These photographs show Warren Harding with Al Jolson during the 1920 "front porch" campaign. Jolson (1886-1950) was a singer and entertainer, especially well known for the 1927 film the Jazz Singer, the first talking picture. The first image shows Warren Harding on the far left and Jolson on the far right, standing next to Florence Harding. In the second image, Jolson is talking to the crowd on the Harding's front porch, while Harding stands in the background. Warren 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. His speeches were often recorded on phonograph and printed in newspapers around 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 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. View on Ohio Memory.
: Om1523_1506773_009 Subjects
: Presidents and Politics; Presidential elections; Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923; Jolson, Al, d. 1950; Harding, Florence Kling, 1860-1924; First ladies; Porches Places
: Marion (Ohio); Marion County (Ohio)