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Florence Kling Harding

( Wife 29 th President of the United States.)

Comments for Florence Kling Harding
Biography Florence Kling Harding
(August 15, 1860 - November 21, 1924) wife of 29 th U.S. President. Flossie was the first wife of the President, which had a bodyguard.
Harding was not the first president who had a mistress. But he had the "happiness" to be the first president, the mistress who wrote memoirs and published them in 1927. The book caused a scandal and became a bestseller.
Four years after the death of Harding's book appeared Nan Briton called "Daughter of the President," in which she describes in detail an affair with Harding. When they met, she was 16 years, Harding has been a senator. Their relationship lasted until 1923.
Nan Briton was beautiful, graceful and early mature girl. Once, when the senator arrived in New York, they spent the night in Manhattan, but the idyll violated two detectives who broke into the room and caught them in no uncertain situation. Harding got off lightly and $ 20 for silence, and when the detectives left, admitted that he would pay and $ 1000, just not to spoil a political career.
In 1919, Nan Briton gave birth to daughter Elizabeth. Her father, she called Harding. Some biographers have questioned his paternity, claiming that he was sterile. The court rejected the claim Nan Briton inheritance Harding, as she was unable to produce any convincing evidence. However, some Kaston B. Means stated that on behalf of Mrs. Harding, he stole the documents to prove paternity.
Nan wrote that one day she visited Harding at his office in the Senate, where they came close, and as a result she became pregnant. In addition, Nan claimed that Harding never even seen his daughter Elizabeth, eagerly listened to reports about its development and looked at pictures. She often visited him in the White House, and he always gave her a few hundred dollars for a child. Sometimes the money passed through the officer of the Presidential Guard.
At the White House, they made love in a small room next to his cabinet, which is usually served as a dressing room for guests. At the door Harding exhibited protection and said to them that would be occupied, and nobody, including his wife, did not dare to enter the cabinet.
. In his revealing book, Nan has such an anecdote: "One day in 1921, wife of Harding, Flossie, driven by some women's instinct, decided to enter the office at precisely the moment when there was Nan
. One dedicated to the officers of the Life Guards, Jim Foliations, explained that he has no right to put her under the direction of the President. If he violates the order, it will lose seats. Secretly, he sent word to the President about the impending danger. Shortly thereafter, adjusting his tie, Harding left the office.
This book Nan Briton devoted to all single mothers and their children. She emphasized that published his memoirs in order to draw attention to the neglect of the rights of illegitimate children. Initially, there was not one publisher who would agree to take the book. And finally when the manuscript was accepted in one of the publishers from printing stole matrix and returned them to the publisher only after a trial. Obstructed exhibitions and film, written by the book Nan Briton.
In the twenties Harding became too burdensome for the Republican Party. The reason there have been numerous scandals, not only with his personal life, but also corruption.
Nan Briton was not only mistress Harding. For ten years he maintained intimate relations with Carrie Phillips, wife of his friend James Phillips, a former businessman from Marion. This affair ended in 1920 and became known only after the death of Harding, which were discovered more than two hundred love letters to Carrie Phillips, referred to as "Sis" who signed the "Constant". Attempt to publish the letter was not successful. Harding's heirs filed a lawsuit against the owner of letters and in 1971 made a court decision banning their publication until 2014.
According to many historians, Warren G. Harding was the most pathetic president in U.S. history. And his wife, Florence, was one of the most unfortunate of the First Lady, perhaps, not quite true.
Florence Kling was born August 15, 1860 in Marion, Ohio. She was the daughter of a banker Elyos Kling, the richest man of the town. Flossie has received a good education at a private school, took riding lessons, and studied at the Conservatory of Cincinnati to play the piano.
Flossie was a sociable person. They came to young people, but among the potential suitors her no one liked. Finally, she fell in love with Henry De Wilf, who was called Tit. In March 1880 Flossie and Titus fled from the house, secretly married, and after six months of their son was born. Marital happiness did not last too long. Titus was an irresponsible man who drank and did not care about the family. Two years later he left his wife and child and disappeared in the Wild West, never giving themselves felt.
Flossie decided to return to his native city of Marion. Pride would not allow her to seek help from parents, and she gave music lessons for 50 cents per hour. Thanks to them and the financial support of parents and husband she lived with her son.
In 1886, Flossie got a divorce. On her husband's death she learned only many years later. Father forgive her disappearance from home, and when I saw that the daughter herself has, invited her to return. Her son, Eugene, he admitted his grandson who adopted and cared about his upbringing. But despite all this, the relationship between father and daughter remained tense. Both were stubborn, with a great desire for independence, often quarreled.
Ten years after his return to Florence, Marion met with Warren G. Harding. She lived near him and often saw him strolling down the main street. Harding was tall, good-looking women admired them. Perhaps he never would pay attention to the slim and not very nice Flossie, though in 1890 she did not agree with "accidental" meeting, having found his younger sister to give her music lessons. According to him, Harding, the owner is not very popular provincial newspaper "Marion Star, was not considered a suitable match for the daughter of the richest man in town. And when the thirty-year Flossie against his will married Harding, he spent seven years did not talk to her. Only after the Harding began to climb up the ladder of political career, he changed his opinion about it.
The wedding took place July 8, 1891. Warren was 25 years old, Florence - 30. Flossie's father did not attend the wedding ceremony, came only a mother, Louise Kling, and that without the knowledge of his father.
Harding built a house for a family of four, but their family did not increase. Said that Flossie did not want any more children and swallows "the little white pill" in order not to get pregnant. The son was left to live with her parents, and she almost never saw him. He was at that time was 11 years old. When he grew up, married and had had children, she did not recognize grandchildren, completely devoid of maternal feelings.
Harding was peaceful and good-natured man, his wife, on the contrary, loved to command. She radiates energy, command of all. Harding called her "The Duchess" and this name stuck to it.
Very soon, Harding became the nominal owner of "Marion Star, and the leadership of this newspaper for 14 years carried Flossie. "I have come to the editor for a few days to help, and stayed there for 14 years," - she recalled later. During her reign discipline and order. All the staff she held in her hands. Never pay anyone was increased. At the same time, Harding unnoticed from his wife played with the editorial staff of poker for high stakes. If they lost, he was behind her appointed them higher salaries. To its credit, Flossie justice, it is not only strictly followed the work of employees, but she worked hard. If the editorial was the dirty floor, she was not afraid to roll up their sleeves to wash it.
Flossie first invited young boys distribute newspapers and she has organized their work. If anyone of them did not work very hard, then without unnecessary ceremonies received from her a slap. Under her leadership, circulation of newspapers has increased rapidly. Among the paperboy was and Norman Thomas, later repeated the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party USA. On the former boss, he wrote: "Mrs. Harding was then the real boss. It was a woman of remarkable mentality, it is not very interested in many things and not particularly empathetic. But she had a strong will and even kindness. Her husband was just an extra, although it was considered a good guy. All loved him more than his wife. Yet it was she succeeds newspaper Marion Star. Flossie kept pushing her husband's political career. She advised him how to dress, to make a good impression, he found a tailor who sewed for him fashionable and elegant suits. Harding soon became regarded as the most elegant politician. In 1905, Flossie fell ill and she removed the kidney. After that she never managed to restore power, moreover, has changed her appearance. Harding found solace in other women, Flossie anticipated this and tried not to "lose sight of him, but he was able to find ways and means of escape from her. Being a jealous wife, . Florence Harding had resorted to the well-known old recipe, . whereby wives could keep their husbands from love affairs on the side: "Always in the kitchen must have enough to eat, . and never allow her husband to travel alone.,
. In 1898, Harding chose Ohio State Senator
. In 1902 he became Deputy Governor of the State. In 1914, Flossie forced her husband to take part in elections for the post of senator in the federal parliament in Washington, and even found him support among influential Republican politicians, Ohio. Harding won the election, and in 1915 they moved to Washington
Flossie was very proud of the fact that his wife is a senator. She liked to meet receptions with prominent politicians, to take part in various activities. Together with her husband visited the best houses, where representatives of the Washington society gathered to play poker, although she did not play. We are pleased to present at the seances of high society.
As wife of a senator and then president, she paid great attention to the exterior. Never forgetting that she was older than her husband, tried to smooth over this difference appearance and behavior.
. When one of the most influential American politicians Dofeti Harry Harding began to promote the candidacy for the presidential elections in 1920, with Flossie initially had great doubts about the favorable outcome of this venture
. She was not sure that her husband actually nominated, and then all the money invested in this campaign, you may lose. But Dofeti knew whom he must persuade: "Harding loves her and respects her opinion ... If it would support his candidacy, he will fight. But if she would object, it is unlikely to do anything against her will. "

There were moments when Harding doubted the possibility of his candidature. He called in Ohio and told his representatives that he intends to withdraw from the fight. Accidentally in the room was Flossie and heard his words. She quickly snatched the phone from the hands of her husband and cried: "Warren, what do you delaeshN borbyN Never Quit, and certainly not before the end of convention party!" Think about his friends in Ohio. Harding, as always, followed the advice of his wife. Some of his biographers believe that the president of the United States, he was only due to aging spouses at the very moment. She personally took part in the Congress on the nomination of candidates, watched the behavior of the delegates and gave a final evaluation of her husband's chances in this fight. Flossie willingly spoke to reporters and once even agreed to let her words recorded, which was unusual for the wives of politicians. When asked whether she supported women's equality, said: "Yes, I suffragette."

Flossie believed guessing. In May 1920 she went to a famous fortune teller Madame Mercy in Washington and asked about the horoscope of a man who was born Nov. 2, 1865 at two o'clock. Madam Mercy predicted that this man is a great statesman and will be president of the United States, but before the end of his presidency he will not survive. In addition, he became confused in many love relationships.

Regarding her husband's novels, it is difficult to say how Flossie was in the know. The prediction of his presidency was far more important to her.

Harding was nominated by the Republican Party only after the tenth round. Immediately before the vote, the party bosses Harding was invited to an interview and asked whether in his career of any circumstances that might create some difficulties to him, if his candidacy will be called. At some point he thought of his mistress Nan Briton, about her child and about the rumors circulated by competing newspaper "Marion Star, Harding family that allegedly implicated in the mischief. But then confidently said that his life is pure as snow. Once Flossie said: "If he is president, then over his head, I see only one word - a tragedy, and despite this, she decided to take an active part in election campaign. It took from it a certain tension, as Harding traveled around the country. Speech to the voters of the various states he spoke from the veranda at home in Ohio. Flossie has numerous guests, with speeches appealed to women, tried to convince voters that she and her husband - average, ordinary Americans. And when Harding yet decided on a little trip to the United States, she went with him.

Flossie did not like to be photographed. When Doferti ordered a large booklet with a biography of Harding and his wife, Flossie and asked to be photographed, she refused. Then Doferti brought her some old, terrible picture and said that he will place it in the brochure, if it refuses to make a new, beautiful shot. Only then did she let herself be persuaded.

Harding won the election. This was the first election in which women voted. Commentators stressed that for the majority of the votes, he should be grateful to the fair sex.

March 4, 1921, the day of bringing Harding under oath, Edith Wilson and Florence Harding set a precedent. For the first time in the history of the United States of the former and the new first lady arrived at the ceremony in one car.

When Harding entered the White House, Flossie constantly repeated that she and her husband, "ordinary people". It was well accepted in society and benefit from them from the cold intellectual arrogance Wilson. Flossie flung the door open the White House, Mrs. Wilson closed. She invited guests, she met a group of tourists who visited the residence. When attendants draped windows, to curious tourists could not look into the White House, Flossie cried: "Let them look if they are interested, this is also their White House."

. One Washington-based reporter wrote that the spouse Harding shook the hands of tens of thousands of tourists
. Before Flossie no First Lady does not behave. The first day of 1922 after five hours Harding shook hands 6576. His wife, who stood during the ceremony with her husband, was forced to change hands, as the law already swollen from congratulations. Historians have noted that Harding and wife of taking daily average of 400 to 3000 guests. All this gave the president more and more popular, but has made no changes in the critical assessment of his work by historians.

. Florence willingly visited the wounded veterans of the First World War, brought them cigarettes, sweets and other gifts, resulting in her constantly bombarded with letters of different requests
. She met with many representatives of women's organizations and was an honorary member of the progressive organization "National Women's Party". From March 1921 to August 1923 she participated in 120 events of the White House. This has contributed to its popularity. Most people liked the it, but the Washington elite considered it a provincial upstart. Its described as "ordinary, simple, old-fashioned woman, but it was a she and she wanted to be. She was proud that she represented in the White House, Main Street, the main street of a small American town. When she was shopping, it showed reporters all purchased items.

Flossie was the first wife of the President, which had a personal protection. Because of her activism to her was put in charge of Harry Baker.
Florence made no secret of the fact that had influence on the decisions of her husband. Once she was so straight and said: "I know what's best for president. I brought him to the White House. If he listens to me, he's fine, if my advice lightly, it hurts himself ". Once Harding complained "My wife is all too often interferes in the affairs of government, but it has an accurate idea of how the government should cope with its responsibilities". In one cartoon couple Harding was presented quite significantly, as "Head of State and Mr Harding". Foreign Minister Charles Evans Hughes, described Florence as "the most loyal adviser to her husband, while he himself Harding thought she was" brave friend who knows my weakness and always worthwhile, however, on my side. "

. Harding's wife is much more decisive than her husband, expressed against Wilson's policy towards the League of Nations
. She also objected to the release from prison the leader of the Socialist Eugene Debs, who later was nevertheless pardoned by the president. Flossie gave her husband a lot of advice and personal issues, correcting his speech, even speech during the inauguration. "I'm only a hobby - it's my husband" - she said once. Flossie accompanied him on all important events. It was also at the opening of the Lincoln memorial, and when the president gave a single gram of radium by Marie Curie-Sklodowska, and when the anniversary of the armistice on Nov. 11, 1921 at the cemetery in Arlington, honored the Unknown Soldier.

. Despite the prohibition law, Flossie was preparing drinks for the husband and his friends often gathered at the White House on his favorite game of poker.

. She had a notebook, which carry the names of ever offended her people or those who fell in her favor
. Thus received a list of personal enemies.

Florence could not stand the Vice-President Coolidge and his wife. When the widow of a senator from Missouri, gave a magnificent house of the vice-president of the United States for an official residence, the Congress was ready to adopt a law providing funds for the maintenance of the residence. "And you think I'm going to Coolidge entered a domN They are enough rooms in the hotel" - angry Flossie. And the law was not approved.

Florence often lay in a hospital. In September 1922, her health has deteriorated sharply due to renal. Doctors assume the worst. Harding was so depressed that he could not cope with the duties of the President. For the first time is not kept secret illness of the First Lady. In the United States were different churches worship for the recovery of Mrs. Harding. Duties of the First Lady took the Grace Coolidge, wife of vice-president.

In 1923, Harding made a six-week trip. He visited Alaska, Canada and California. On the way back from Alaska to train the president was walking along the west coast of North America. Harding complained of various pains, particularly in the stomach. Have been abolished under all previous stop trains between Seattle and San Francisco. San Francisco physicians have appointed Harding strict bed rest.

. Evening, August 2, 1923 Florence, her husband read an article about him published in the Evening Post, entitled "A serious view of a serious man.

. Suddenly, at half past seven the president had convulsions
. Now there were doctors, but it was too late. President dead. He was 57 years old. Presumably the cause of death was considered a heart attack or brain hemorrhage. Florence forbade an autopsy, so the exact cause of death has not been established. Mrs. Harding refused to allow and remove death mask wife. Instantly crawled different rumors. They said that the president had committed suicide since learned that the brewing scandal, in which he implicated. Accused and friend of President, the Attorney General Harry Doferti allegedly killed Harding. In one of the rumors all the blame for his death was blamed on wife. In 1930, Gaston B. Means published a sensational book titled "Amazing death of President Harding". In it he suggests that Harding was poisoned by his wife, upon learning of his love affairs. Historians have no evidence either murder or suicide. The only thing there is no doubt that he died in a politically opportune moment. Initially about him sincerely mourned, and then, when they were found numerous irregularities in the public eye Harding has been completely discredited.

The body of the president put on a catafalque in the White House. On the eve of the burial Flossie sat long at the tomb of her husband. "Warren, now you no longer able to harm" - she said and laid a bouquet of flowers on the coffin.

She could not know that the biggest scandals of his presidency breaks out only after the death. During the funeral, she stayed calm and dignity.

Marriage divorced Florence - or, as it was called, Flossie - with Harding was a strange connection, a mystery, which involved many historians. Good-looking, clever and a little passive Harding does not fit a simple, plain, not at all attractive, but incredibly vain and aggressive Flossie. Hardly anyone of his biographers Harding found in this marriage should be a sensual connection. On the other hand, none of them could not with reasonable certainty to explain why Harding married a widow, known evil tongue. Many have hinted that he married for her money.
The fact remains that the marriage lasted 32 years old and significantly influenced the career Harding. When her husband's life Flossie sometimes complain of his ingratitude, that he can not appreciate all that she had done for him.
After the death of her husband Flossie returned to Marion. Last months of her life she spent in the struggle for the good name of the deceased, destroyed part of the correspondence, which could compromise its. For the first time in the history of the United States President and his wife died during his presidency. Florence Harding died after a year and 111 days after the death of her husband, 21 November 1924. She was 64 years.
December 20, 1927, both were exhumed and transferred to a special mausoleum, construction of which cost $ 800 000 dollars. Grand opening of the tomb took only 16 June 1931. Until then, none of the prominent politicians of the Republican Party has expressed readiness to attend the solemn act to honor Harding, and during the consecration of the mausoleum, no one had the courage to speak about him only good.


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