Who Was Warren G. Harding?

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11395

Everybody has opinions about whether a president is, or was, good or bad, but most people agree Harding was the second-worst president in history (as of 2016)! Watch and read about the 29th president!


United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Warren G. Harding was the 29th president of the United States, but only served for two years of his four-year term. He died while in office, making him the sixth president to die while serving. In 2015, it was also discovered that Harding fathered a child with his mistress. Harding's presidency was full of scandal, and he was surrounded by advisors who were not very honest or trustworthy. What happened during Harding's presidency that left him with a negative reputation?

According to U.S. News and World Report, Warren G. Harding was the second worst president in the history of the United States (as of 2016).

WOW! Can you imagine being labeled the 2nd worst president? Even horrible presidents contribute something to the history of the United States (positive and negative). Find out what contributions Harding made to the United States during his presidency.

"Corrupt," "dishonest," and "scandalous" are all words used to describe Warren G. Harding and his presidency. As you research and learn about all of the United States presidents, you will see some are regarded as honest, good people who worked to better the American lifestyle and economy. Every once in a while, there is a president who historians believe was not acting in the best interests of the people. Warren G. Harding was one of those presidents.

Foreign relationships are critical to the United States, because one country cannot stand alone and expect to prosper and be self-sustaining without international allies. When the leader of a country is dishonest or unethical, it can tarnish the reputation and credibility of the entire nation. This is what happened during the Harding administration, causing conflict among Congress, the presidency, and the American people.

Consider the election of 2016 and the conflict that arose during the election process between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

  • Is conflict always a bad thing?
  • Are there any positive outcomes from conflict?
  • How can conflict result in a positive outcome?

Consider how sometimes, when done with respect, conflict can make people think about something in a different way. You may have an opinion on something, like what color to paint the playground basketball court, but after listening to someone else and their reasons for their color choice, you may change your mind. This is an example of how conflict and a difference of opinion can help make change. The number one requirement for this to happen is mutual respect and the ability to communicate with respect.

As you explore Warren G. Harding's presidency, make a list of positive contributions he made to the United States during his lifetime. Write three or more facts about Warren Harding after watching this Warren Harding*** video by American Presidents and reading Fun Facts on Warren Harding, from Fun-Facts:


As you think about Harding's presidency and the facts you discovered in your research, take a look at the next section where you can compare your list to one provided for you.

You will use this information in the Got It? section.

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