Warren G Harding, the 29th President of the United States, was a senator from Ohio prior to running for presidency. Before becoming a senator, he was also the lieutenant governor of Ohio. Born as Warren Gamaliel Harding, the 29th president had one of the most successful stints in office till then. However, a spree of scandals unraveled after his death discredited his regime and dented his popularity. President Harding is not remembered as one of the finest that the United States has had. Actually, he is cited as one of the worst presidents.
Whatever be the scenario in hindsight, there are certain Warren G Harding major accomplishments that were extremely vital at the time, even though they seem to pale in significance when compared to the Teapot Dome scandal or his affair with Nan Britton, who claimed to be just one of his many mistresses.
1. Before embarking on a political career as an ambitious Republican, he built a successful newspaper, The Marion Star. He got elected to the state senate of Ohio in 1899, went on to become the lieutenant governor and even though he got defeated while running for governor of the state in 1910, he got into the senate in 1914.
2. Warren Harding was the first sitting senator to win the presidency. He didn’t just win but won by a huge margin, defeating Eugene Debs of Socialist Party and James M Cox of the Democratic Party. It was a surprise considering the fact that he was not the default Republican presidential nominee.
3. One of his earliest successes was the Washington Naval Conference in 1921–22. He managed to bring the major nations with significant naval might to agree on what was called the naval limitations program. The program was in place for a decade.
4. Warren Harding passed the federal child welfare program, the first of its kind. He managed to lower taxes, increased the tax base, raised tariffs to create employment and he also managed to successfully negotiate with striking workers in mining and railroad companies, particularly the crisis in Blair Mountain and the Great Railroad Strike in 1922.
5. Warren Harding was vocal against lynching and the violence meted out to African Americans. He did bring in the anti lynching bill only to see it fail at the hands of the Congress.
6. President Harding signed a peace treaty with Austria and Germany post World War I.