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Tuesday, June 09, 2009
SELECTED SPEECHES BY WARREN G. HARDING
29th President of the United States
CORONET RECORDS LP 7018 Circa 1950s/60s
Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio November 2, 1865, the son of a country doctor. An attractive and personable young man, he was to become known for his fluent oratory, and the convincing and direct way by means of which he expressed his sometimes political and always patriotic thoughts on current matters. He composed his own speeches, entirely, usually in his own handwriting.
Mr. Harding's first political speech was delivered when he was only seventeen. Invitations to speak followed and he became a popular speaker for political meetings over an ever widening area. At the age of nineteen, he became editor of the Marion Daily Star, which he had purchased with Jack Warwick and another partner for $500. Two years later at the age of twenty-one, these activities coupled with his editorials brought him increasing recognition and he became a member of the Marion, Ohio Republican County Committee. In 1888 he attended his first national convention and campaigned with William McKinley for the election of the Party's nominee, Benjamin Harrison. Later, he and McKinley often shared the same platform and thus began a long friendship between the two future presidents.
Warren G. Harding was a man of impressive and handsome appearance. A dignified, but smiling speaker, his pleasant voice and platform manner made him a popular choice whether he spoke at large or small political rallies, on the Chautauqua circuit, or before national gatherings. His carefully researched speeches presented the political issues of the time as he conceived them. In 1902, he was chosen to give the eulogy for President McKinley by the Ohio legislature. In 1912, Harding gave the nominating speech for William H. Taft and was elected United States Senator in 1914. He was the permanent chairman of the Convention in 1916 that nominated Charles Evans Hughes. It was largely through his speeches over a period of years and his loyalty to the Republican Party, of which he also played the role of conciliator, that led to his nomination and election to the presidency in 1920 on his thirty-fifth birthday.
As President, he continued writing and delivering his speeches. Most of those presented in this record album are from speeches he made while in office on the occasions indicated by their titles. He was indefatigable in his dedication. It is recorded that on June 28, 1923 he made as many as seven short speeches in a thirteen hour span.
During the summer of 1923, President Harding left on a speaking tour which took him to Alaska and Canada. His last speech was delivered in Vancouver, Canada July 26, 1923 to mark the peaceful relationship of the United States and Canada and the unguarded international border which we prize. From this speech, is taken the following touching quotation: "What an object lesson of peace is shown today by our two countries to all the world. No grim faced fortifications mark our frontiers, no huge battleships patrol our dividing waters....Our protection is in our fraternity, our armour is our faith....and the compact is not of perishable parchment, but of fair and honourable dealings which, God grant, shall continue for all time."
He would have continued his messages to the American people on his way home had his trip not been cut short by a heart attack occasioned by his strenuous travels...he died in San Fransisco August 2, 1923. So well loved was the President by the American people that his sudden death was felt as a deep personal loss by fellow citizens with whom he had the closest personal rapport.
The transfer of the Harding papers to the Ohio Historical Society in 1963 made possible the cataloguing of manuscripts and letters of President Harding. These worn manuscripts--including many of his early speeches as a United States Senator-are in his own handwriting and constitute an important legacy in American history.
We are indeed fortunate to have the living voice of Warren G. Harding as he delivered his beautiful and persuasive speeches. They were recorded during the days of acoustical recording, without the benefit of the marvels of electronics, and certainly not always under the best of circumstances.
The voice dedicating this record to the young people of America is that of Dr. George T. Harding III, nephew of the President. This limited edition of one-thousand records has been presented by the Hardings to the Harding Memorial Association of Marion and the Ohio Historical Society of Columbus.
Organization and production of this record would have been impossible without the generous help of members of the Harding family and most particularly of Dr. and Mrs. George T. Harding III, who furnished the pictures and helped prepare the written material on this record jacket.
THE CORONET RECORDING CO. 4971 NORTH HIGH STREET COLUMBUS, OHIO
LIBERTY UNDER LAW HIGH WAGES FOR HIGH PRODUCTION AN ASSOCIATION OF NATIONS ENDURING POPULAR GOVERNMENT AMERICANISM
Editor's note: ho hum. It's nice to hear the man but I can't agree with the back record cover that he delivered beautiful and persuasive speeches. He's eloquent but also humdrum. Well...at least he wrote his own speeches.
I came across this record on a few blogs and managed to track down some audio from WFMU's site. I would love to hear more from this honky-tonkin' caterwaulin' queen. Listen to the tracks below and I think you will too!