Hall podcast: How Newspapering Shaped a President

podcastlogoFor the 63rd episode of the Journalism History podcast, host Teri Finneman spoke to author Sherry Hall to mark the 100th anniversary of the Warren Harding election in 1920. Hall shares the little-known stories of Warren Harding‘s role in journalism history and highlights the renovations recently done at the Harding Home Presidential Site in Ohio.

Site Manager of the Warren G. Harding Home & Memorial, Sherry Hall is the author of Warren G. Harding and the Marion Star: How Newspapering Shaped a President.

This episode is sponsored by Taylor & Francis, publisher of Journalism History.

Transcript

Sherry Hall: And I know how much the newspapering meant to him, plus the only journalist to become president, at least so far, you know, something very unique and something that really made him look at the world differently than all the other presidents.

Teri Finneman: Welcome to Journalism History, a podcast that rips out the pages of your history books to reexamine the stories you thought you knew and the ones you were never told.

I’m Teri Finneman, and I research media coverage of women in politics.

Nick Hirshon: And I’m Nick Hirshon, and I research the history of New York sports.

Ken Ward: And I’m Ken Ward, and I research the journalism history of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.

Teri Finneman: And together we are professional media historians guiding you through our own drafts of history. Show transcripts are available at journalism-history.org/podcast. This episode is sponsored by Taylor & Francis, the publisher of our academic journal Journalism History.

After years of war and the 1918 pandemic, Americans were looking for change and better times ahead in fall 1920. They elected Ohio Republican Warren Harding and his wife Florence to the White House after promises of return to normalcy and back to normalcy.

In the 100 years since, the legacy of the Hardings has either been forgotten or, for those who do vaguely remember, their legacy has been marred by scandals both real and imagined that have overtaken their entire collective memory.

In today’s episode, we examine why the Hardings deserve another look and perhaps surprising to our listeners their importance to journalism history. Our first guest, Sherry Hall, is the site manager of the Warren G. Harding Presidential Sites in Marion, Ohio, who also wrote a book titled Warren G. Harding and the Marion Daily Star: How Newspapering Shaped a President. Then be sure to listen to our next episode specifically about Florence as we hear from first ladies expert Katie Sibley of St. Joseph University about Florence’s impact on journalism history.

Sherry, welcome to the show. It’s the 100th anniversary since the Harding election and presidency. He hasn’t been well remembered in history so why do you think people should give him another look now?

Sherry Hall: Well, first of all, thank you for having me on the show. I appreciate that. Strangely enough, President Harding is getting another look right now. In the current times, there are so many stories about Harding that have not been told or not well known and one of those stories is about civil rights.

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And with the talk about Black Lives Matter, with the recent talk about the race massacre at Tulsa, which happened during his presidency, he is really relevant right now, strangely enough, 100 years later.

So, it’s just like any president, you know. When a lot of us learn history, we learn a list of names and dates and that was like the end of the story. So, I think what we see from people now is this desire to kind of look below the surface to see the human of a person and somewhere kind of what made them tick. And that’s what we’re seeing right now with Harding.

Teri Finneman: Why were you interested in writing a book about Warren Harding’s newspaper career?

Sherry Hall: Well, a lot of it was personal for me. I’m a formal journalist, turned historian, and I actually worked for five years at the newspaper that he reestablished in 1884, the Marion Star here in Marion, Ohio.

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And it was towards the beginning of my career, but there was always in our newspaper building, there was an office that had his desk in it. And there was always a desk lamp turned on and you passed that 100 times a day. And this sound really corny, but you really felt like you were carrying the torch on for his newspaper.

I didn’t think a lot about it at the time, but now that I’m immersed in Warren and Florence Harding because I’m the director of the presidential site, you know that really melds two very important parts of my life as the journalism history along with knowledge about this president. And I know how much the, you know, newspapering meant to him, so in a strange way that’s where I feel like I bond with him.

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Plus, the only journalist to become president, at least so far, you know, something very unique and something that really made him look at the world differently than all the other presidents and I really believe that.

Teri Finneman: That’s really fascinating that all these decades later the newspaper was still honoring his memory. Do you know if it still in current times today they still do that?

Sherry Hall: Well, it’s a much smaller operation than when I was there in the early ’80s and like many newspapers the, you know, they have, don’t have very many reporters and that kind of thing. You know, I don’t think it’s the same as it was. They’ve moved to a different location, a much smaller office space that, no, I don’t think they have the connection that those of us who used to work there do.

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Teri Finneman: So Warren Harding first got into the newspaper business in 1884 but had a bit of a rocky start. So, tell us about his first few years trying to get into the business.

Sherry Hall: Well, newspapering at the time was, it was an incredibly hard business, but every town whether it’s a small town or a large town you had a lot of newspapers. Even in a town this small, which when he — in 1884 this was a town of 3,000 people — even here there were about four different newspapers. And there were weeklies and semi-weeklies and monthlies and German newspapers, in Ohio a lot of German newspapers.

And, you know, to have a daily newspaper though in a town as small as this one was, was kind of a really tall mountain to climb because how are you going to fill this newspaper enough to publish a newspaper every day? But he was determined to do it.

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But yeah, he bought this newspaper for $300, had to borrow some money from his father to do it, had two partners, he’s 19-years old, and he says, yes, this is what I’m going to stake my future to is this newspaper. And he is living at home still so his mother is cooking food for he and his, what became just one partner then the third one dropped out pretty quickly.

And they’re sleeping at the newspaper office a lot of the time, especially during the county fair. He’s selling advertisements, he’s collecting stories. He’s setting type and he’s running the press as well, so it’s a very small operation as far as manpower goes. And he’s borrowing money. He had this one printer who was there since the beginning and he would pay him $1.50 a week.

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And then half the time on Monday morning, he would borrow it back again. “So Lou, I need your money back ‘cause I don’t have enough to get through the week here.” So yeah, it was, it was really dicey for a few years.

Teri Finneman: You emphasize that one thing that made Harding unusual for his time was his determination that his newspaper be independent. Now I know that he briefly worked for another newspaper and then there was a situation. So tell us about that story and, and then why independent was so important to him even though he was a Republican.

Sherry Hall: Well, back then newspapers declared their politics and that really happened continuously until really, until the 1960s, you knew what newspaper you’d pick up would be Republican or Democrats as far as their editorial viewpoints were. And back then, it was even more blatant, you said yes, this is a Republican or Democrat or Socialist paper, whatever it was.

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And in Marion at the time, there was a Republican paper, which was called The Independent, even though it was Republican and there was the Democratic Mirror, which was Democrat. Well, Harding’s first reporting job before he bought the Star was a reporter on the Democratic newspaper.

And he was covering the presidential campaign at the time, but he really was a fan of James Blaine, who was the Republican candidate. And he came into the office one day wearing a white plug hat, they call it, that had Blaine’s name emblazoned on it. And his editor, Jim Vaughn, said, “You need to lose the hat because, you know, that’s not our politics.”

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As an 18, early 19-year old Warren got his dander up says, “Nope. I’m not gonna do it. This is who I believe in. I’ll still cover the story the way you want it, but I’m not gonna take off the Blaine hat.” So, then it became a war of stubbornness between the two and Jim Vaughn said, “You need to lose the hat or you’re going to lose your job.” And Warren said, “Fine. I’ll lose my job.”

So he left that job over a plug hat. When he started the Star, he had to kind of weasel his way into the newspaper landscape in Marion. And that was really important because you got the legal ads if you were in the favored party at the time. Okay, legal ads always brought newspapers a lot of extra income. It was, you know, publishing them three times, you know, all these notices, estate notices and legal notices of all kinds, that’s good income.

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Well, since there’s already a Republican newspaper, he said, “Okay, I’m independent, but I’ve got Republican leanings.” And so, the editor of the Republican paper said, “Well, what is that supposed to mean?” And so, he starts out yeah, saying he’s independent, but that doesn’t last really long. Pretty soon he’s saying, “No, I’m gonna officially be Republican now.” But that was just a way to kind of get his foot in the door.

Teri Finneman: The foreword of your book refers to Harding as one of the best newspaper editors of his time and one of his colleagues noted all that Harding had to do was “cover the town for local news, solicit advertising and job work, look after the carrier boys, keep books, help now and then with typesetting, help to put the paper on the press, and devote his spare time to building up the goodwill of the precarious institution.” So lots and lots to do when you’re running your own paper.

Sherry Hall: Right.

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Teri Finneman: But what do you think made him an exceptional newspaper editor?

Sherry Hall: It was definitely, definitely his humanity. And we see this, this is just him. He had the ability, which I think does get lost sometimes even today, of seeing the people behind the news story. He cared about the people he was writing about. Okay, he cared about the townsfolk.

He was a softy in some ways. He — one thing he hated to write about was bad news. He loved to celebrate with people, oh, the birth of a child in a family or some kind of a celebration of some sort. But boy, it was hard for him to write about tragedy.

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Aand I think in a real small town, too, you knew most of these people, so you’re writing about your friends and your neighbors, so it makes it tough. But I think that gave him the ability to look at all sides of a question, which any good journalist should do anyway, but it was also that question of relevancy. How does this issue affect the people who live here?

And sometimes and even in today’s journalism, I do think that gets lost a little bit is, you know, let’s get down to the grassroots here and let’s see, you know, how does this policy affect these people? And he was good at that and it came very naturally to him.

Teri Finneman: As you noted a little earlier, Harding was also exceptional in that he insisted on publishing daily and he also got a telephone for the office in 1885, which was unusual and we could talk a little bit about what people thought about that.

[0:14:00]

Uh, and he also sought out frequent and fresh advertising, which we take for granted today, but was also very different back then and these weren’t norms for the time. So give us some more background on these things.

Sherry Hall: Well, you have to imagine here’s a 19-year old who is telling the gray heads in town, the, you know, for them, for my generation, like we always talked about the people who ran the town were members of the World War II generation, for me. For him, it was the Civil War generation. Those were the businessmen in town. They were the ones who controlled things. They were the men and I don’t say women ‘cause women weren’t in that position then, but they were the men setting the tone for the direction of the town.

So here is this kid going into these businesses and saying, “Hey, I want to talk to you about advertising in the Star.”

[0:15:00]

And by the way, you know you need to update your advertising because you’re advertising for snow shovels and it’s July. Because they didn’t understand. “Oh what, why do I care, I’m just, you know, why do I care what I’m advertising? I’m just trying to tell people yeah, I’m down on the main city block here, they know what I’m selling.”

And he’s like, “No, they don’t. You have to change your advertising.” And so he’s trying to educate his elders and some of them did not take kindly to that at all and who was this, this youngster trying to tell me what to do? And he took a lot of grief because of that, you know, and finally, just through persistence, just kept talking to them and talking to them until he said, you know, and he’s offering them all kinds of advertising deals because, again, advertising fuels newspapers.

[0:16:00]

You have to have advertising. You can’t just live on your editorials; you can’t live on that financially. So advertising was going to mean do or die for this newspaper. But it, it was an uphill battle, but he was determined to make this work.

And then he had to convince the town: Why do we even need a daily newspaper? Uh, at that time the subscribers to newspapers, especially in small town America, which most towns were small at that time, they’re passing the newspaper, the weekly or the semi-weekly around to their neighbors and friends. And then, in another week, okay, now we’re ready for a fresh edition, you know, we’ve – and, and so, why do we need a daily?

So imagine the pressure on this kid to come up with fresh news all the time because he’s doing something nobody had done in this town ever was try to produce a daily newspaper.

[0:17:00]

You know, it’s something we take for granted so much today even if you discount newspapers, but you’re turning on, you know, the cable news and all this stuff. We have this constant barrage of news and you know back then they’re doing it in a much more primitive manner. It was hard to put out a newspaper.

Teri Finneman: And then they really thought the telephone in the office was weird back, back then, too, right?

Sherry Hall: Yeah. Warren always wanted to be, make the office as progressive as he could. He called Marion, he wanted it to be a progressive city, so the telephone right along with this, his viewpoint of, you know, you gotta keep up with society, basically.

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So he and his partner, [Frank] “Jack” Warwick got into a big argument about whether a telephone was necessary in the newspaper office. Warren saying, “Well, yes, people can call us with news tips and, and all kinds of things.” It didn’t matter that most people don’t have a telephone yet in their house, some businesses downtown did, but he’s not going to have all that many people to call or who’s going to call in because a telephone wasn’t considered a necessity at that point. And his business partner Jack Warwick, was saying, “You know, this is crazy idea. This is an unnecessary expense. We’re barely making it the way we’re doing this.”

And so, they had a brief falling out about it, but Warren won. He got his telephone. His telephone number at that time was 11, [chuckling] and then in later years the Star’s number was 51.

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So you know, all these things we take for granted, you know, that was in his mind, a big step forward into this more modern society.

Teri Finneman: You know, as you talk about the times, one of the quotes from your book that I thought was really interesting is, “Many of the downtown businessmen crowded around the Star counter every day to plunk down their two cents and snatch papers just off the press.” And I just thought that was such an amazing sentence to have in the book about, you know, just the connection, community connection that people used to have with their newspaper.

Sherry Hall: Oh absolutely. You know, and you know, you didn’t have home delivery, you know, of everything at that time and businessmen, they’d stop by and pick up the newspaper like you said, two cents. And once again, it wasn’t terribly cheap for in those times, you know, the value of money changes. But while they were in the newspaper office, they’re going, you know, chat up the young editor.

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They’re going to ask him what’s going on. He’s going to pump them for any information. You know, it’s their shooting the breeze, it’s a way of cementing relationships, and so there is yes, a very tight relationship with your newspaper in your town. And you know, and I can even remember when I was in the newspaper business there were some people who worked downtown who will come in and pick up their paper. They didn’t have it necessarily delivered and they certainly didn’t look at it online. But that was part of their daily routine. They gotta stop by and get a newspaper fresh off the press.

Teri Finneman: One of the things that is so fascinating about the Hardings, and, and why we’re including this in the Journalism History podcast, is not only his importance in journalism history but also really pubic relations history.

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Because you know, this is a guy who had the newspaper background and now was on the other side of it trying to get press coverage. And so, you discuss that during his presidential campaign “he bonded with the reporters covering him and would sit on the press house porch, light a cigar, and say, ‘Shoot!’ to let them know that they could begin asking him questions.”

So talk about his relationship with the press during his campaign and while he was president.

Sherry Hall: Well, he certainly understood what it felt like to be a reporter. He’d been in that spot himself for many, many years. And for the campaign he ran for president in 1920, [it] was called a front porch campaign. It was the fourth one in American history all done by Ohio-born presidents. I can’t answer why exactly. I don’t think it was planned that way. It’s just how it came out. But Harding’s was the last one we had.

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And the idea of the front porch campaign was he was going to use that as his home base. He was going to give speeches from his front porch and people were going to come to him. So exactly opposite of what we do today, of course.

Well, one of the things that he insisted on right before the campaign started in late July of 1920 was a press house, which was a little cottage. It’s still on our site today, that was built in two days’ time ‘cause he says these journalists covering the campaign need a place to work.

And so, he had it built, and it was equipped with typewriters. There were two telegraph lines that were run in there for the wire services. If you had Associated Press, a version of United Press International, it wasn’t called quite that then. But this became the hub of all the news coming out of Marion about the campaign.

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And he loved to go back and hang out with the journalists at the press house. This was a different time; this was a time in which he could talk off the record and he knew his comments weren’t going anywhere. But we used to call doing that deep research, you know, you would talk to somebody off the record just so you understand a situation better. And then you’d switch back to on the record and say if you needed them to for a story.

But you know, he didn’t’ have any problem trusting these journalists. This is how things were done, you could switch back and forth between on the record and off the record. And these journalists, there are about 17 of them from mostly the large metropolitan newspapers. A lot of, several New York papers, Philadelphia Inquirer, the wire services.

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The big papers were here because the small ones could not remotely afford to pay for a reporter’s room and board while they were covering a campaign for three, four, or five months. So it’s mostly the bigger papers that were here. And these were arguably some of the best journalists in America at that time in history. I’ve researched every one of them. They, some of them went on to phenomenal careers. Some of them deviated into other careers, but these were the biggest journalistic voices in America at this time.

Teri Finneman: Anybody we would recognize, can you give us a few names?

Sherry Hall: One of them was Raymond Clapper. He went on to World War II. He’s a very famous war reporter, and he actually went down in a plane in the South Pacific.

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William Buell of the Plain Dealer was another one. There’s probably nobody we’re going to recognize today, but these were very, very accomplished journalists. And the Cox campaign – Harding’s opponent was James Cox, who was then sitting governor of Ohio. Now he had journalists, too, intertwined with his campaign, but they’re going to be representing Democratic newspapers. So Harding’s are reporting back predominantly to Republican newspapers unless there was wire services.

So you’re not going to have great investigative reporting coming out of either camp. They’re just, they’re gonna, they’re going to report on the speeches Harding or Cox are giving, they’re gonna write a lot of color stories, you know, the behind the scenes, which is my favorite part.

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And describe what’s going on, how the campaign is functioned. They’re here or they’re stationed here so they gotta fill their pages and so they’re not just gonna cover a speech. They’re gonna find other tidbits to cover. And that is so valuable to us as historians to rely upon those journalistic accounts of what life was like during the campaign.

Teri Finneman: So an interesting point in your book that’s, that’s really kind of sad to think about is that Harding, evidently, planned to return to working for the newspaper after the presidency. But instead, of course, he ended up dying in office in 1923. What were his original retirement plans?

Sherry Hall: It’s a pretty neat idea, actually. He was to the point by 1923 that he didn’t want all the day-to-day worries of running a newspaper.

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And he’s starting to think about what life is going to be like after he is done with the presidency. I think he had full intent of running for a second term. I don’t think it crossed his mind that they wouldn’t, but so he’s looking at, you know, in 1928 as he’s finishing up his stint as president then, he doesn’t want to worry about the cost of newsprint. He doesn’t want to worry about installing a new press. He doesn’t want to go back to that.

So he makes arrangements in June of ’23 to sell the Star. Now people have wanted to buy the Star for decades. They recognized that it was one of the best, what they call an Inland newspaper. That would have meant a small-town newspaper. They called them Inland newspapers.

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And it was recognized that he had a very good product and it was, it was said to be the most financially solvent of any of the Inland newspapers for the size of this town in the nation. So this was considered a good buy. And he’d always turned down other requests to purchase the Star, but this time he gets an offer he doesn’t feel he can refuse and he sells the newspaper to three newspapermen, he’d known them for a long time so he felt, you know, this is like giving away his baby. You know he has to feel that it’s in good hands. He’s not going to sell this to anybody.

And he feels that these guys are going to still maintain the quality of the newspaper that he has started and nursed through the years.

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And they’re going to keep the soul of the newspaper intact, very important to him. So he makes arrangements to sell it, he redoes his will right before he goes on a trip across the Western states, Canada, and Alaska. He called it the voyage of understanding. And that’s the trip on which he died.

Well, he redid his will before he left for that trip to account for this sale of the newspaper. After he dies, it’s supposed to go through, the sale, by the end of the year, but so technically, because he dies, the whole deal could have been off, but they decide they’re going go forward with it.

What the original plans were was when he finished his presidency, he would become an associate editor and he would write editorials. He loved to write editorials.

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And so, he could expound upon what was going on in Washington or in current events and pick up his pencil, he always wrote with pencil stubs on a thick, scratch paper, he’d done that for decades. And he could just sit on his front porch whether here or he was going to refurbish also this farm where he had been born in the big town of Blooming Grove, Ohio, the next county over. He was going to put in nine holes of golf on the property and sit on the porch and write editorials. He thought that sounded like heaven.

Um, and imagine if you’re the owners of this newspaper and you have a former president contributing editorials, that was kind of a nice selling point.

Teri Finneman: One of the reasons we wanted to talk to you is the Harding Home and Memorial in Ohio there has undergone some extensive work, including restoration of the Harding home, the press house, and the grounds to their 1920 appearances

[0:31:00]

as well as the construction of the Warren G. Harding Presidential Center adjacent to the Harding home. So tell us about the changes that visitors will see and why someone who hasn’t been there before should check it out.

Sherry Hall: Well, this is the most change that has occurred at this presidential site since 1926. In 1926, the Harding home, which was the home of Warren and Florence Harding during their 30-year marriage, that’s when it opened to the public. And it’s been open continuously ever since.

Well, we never had enough space. We have more than 5,000 original objects that belong to the Hardings so there never was enough space or anything, and even in 1926 the private group who ran the Harding home, their dream was to build a presidential museum.

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Okay and they never had the money to do it. Well, in 1979 that private group really financially couldn’t go on anymore and they gave the site to the state of Ohio so it belongs to the state of Ohio. It’s operated by the Ohio History Connection, which is the new name of the Ohio Historical Society. So, we are state-owned rather than federal-owned.

So one of the things that we knew we had to do was to restore the Harding home to how it looked in 1920 being especially we had the centennial of 1920 coming up and the 100th anniversary celebrating his election win, the famous front porch campaign. So a huge year in this site’s history.

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So that work started two and a half year ago. The home emptied out and it was a good year of just research about the home, about using old receipts, fortunately, Florence Harding was a very organized woman. We have a lot of household receipts, letters, mentions of what the house was like. Very few photos. There’s only a couple of the interior of the house, but we had architects also as, as they always put it, seeing what the house told them.

Then you put it all together and we would come up with the direction of the restoration. So that is now just a few finishing pieces of that going on, but the house is going all re-wallpapered, all using little scraps of wallpaper that were found under molding and behind radiators.

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And it’s all handmade into new wallpaper. So we really get a good glimpse of Mrs. Harding’s taste in decorating. We already had a lot of original furniture and everything so we’re just putting it in that context of 1920 that this is during the campaign, the most famous time in this house’s history. And what did it look like and what was going on? What was, what was life like here during that campaign?

And then at the same time, as if that project wasn’t enough, we broke ground two years ago on the Warren G. Harding Presidential Library and Museum. A new structure and it’s built adjacent to the Harding home, kind of behind it. So it’s all in the same kind of compound.

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It’s very unusual to go back and how do we say, pick up an old president and do a presidential library for him. Most of the — when we hear presidential libraries, it’s the outgoing president, maybe in the final year doing private fundraising to establish the library. And so, this is a very unusual event, but it’s one, like I said, that they knew in 1926 this is what they needed. So I feel like we’ve just gone full circle and we’re accomplishing what always was seen as a subsidy here.

And you know, at the very beginning of this interview, we talked about, you know, Harding’s reputation and people didn’t and the still don’t know a lot about him. This really helps us tell that full story for the first time. And in the presidential library, which is a beautiful building, we have an exhibit gallery so people can learn in context of the times in which the Hardings lived.

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And, and see what was going on. What did Americans think in 1920? What was, what were their concerns? And there’s a lot of parallels to today. So, 100 years later, some of the things that are on our plates today as a society were on the plates of Americans in 1920.

So it gives us an opportunity to kind of dive deep and to really expound on okay, what was on this president’s plate when he was inaugurated on March 4, 1921? What did he do? How did he solve problems? And where did all these stories come from about scandals and all this stuff? What’s true and what’s not? Well, we explain it all.

So our purpose is not to tell you what to think about Warren and Florence Harding but is to give you the facts in which to base your opinion.

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So between the new presidential library and the restored Harding Home and the Harding Memorial, which is a mile and a half from the other two sites, where the Hardings are buried, you know, we’re so fortunate, we’ve got three presidential sites all in the same small town.

So it’s, you know, it’s an opportunity, I think, for people to really see what the Hardings were about. I think they’ll be surprised. I think they’re gonna hear a lot of things they’ve never ever heard in their life before about this president. They’re gonna learn about how the newspaper business affected this man as president. What, you know, it’s one of the things that in my book I talk about is he is in editor mode as president.

[0:38:00]

He is looking at issues from many different directions as just like an editor or a reporter would do. He listens more than he talks as a good journalist does. So I do see him conducting himself in a very different way as he explores issues than many of our presidents have.

Teri Finneman: So I think that’s kind of good and to just go off that a little bit, overall then, why do you think Warren Harding is important in journalism history?

Sherry Hall: In his time in history, in 1920 when he runs for president, he’s not only one journalist running for the presidency, there were two, and that second person was his opponent, James Cox. Cox owned the Dayton Daily News in Ohio. He’s sitting Ohio governor. He owned the Springfield News.

[0:39:00]

He would go on to create Cox Communications, and we’ve all heard of that today. So these are two Ohio journalists running against each other. Very, very different kind of election. And that’s really significant. It, first of all, underscores the importance of newspapering in society at that time. Newspapering at that time is really at its pinnacle. This is how you’re going to get news. It’s the only way you’re going to get news. Radio, it debuts the night of the election, KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh broadcast the election results to an audience that’s not that far away.

But then radio technology takes off in the ’20s. But it’s still seen as kind of an entertainment. It’s not really a news source yet.

[0:40:00]

You’re going to pick up a newspaper to see not only what was, what’s going on, but you know, these are broadsheets, the name, they were exactly what they were said. These were the ones you need two hands to hold and they’re huge big pages of just columns and columns of news.

This is your entire way you’re getting the news at that time. But you had some remarkable journalists working there as I kind of alluded to throughout America bringing people the news. And it just, I think the fact that journalists rose to that political pinnacle really underscores how important newspapering was at that time. Um, you know it’s never happened again. I don’t know if we’ll ever have a journalist aspire to be president again, I kind of doubt it.

[0:41:00]

But two of them in one year that’s, that’s incredible. And the fact they’re both from Ohio really shows the importance of Ohio at the time. It was a swing state at that time in history. A Republican president never won the presidency without getting Ohio. So I think it tells two stories there, the importance of not only Ohio in the political arena but that importance of the newspapering industry.

Teri Finneman: All right. Well thanks so much for joining us today.

Sherry Hall: Oh, I very, very much enjoyed being with you.

Teri Finneman: Thanks for tuning in and additional thanks to our sponsor, Taylor & Francis, the publisher of our academic journal Journalism History.

Until next time, I’m your host Teri Finneman signing off with the words of Edward R. Murrow, good night, and good luck.

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