Harding Dies in Office



President Harding died in bed in San Francisco in the Palace Hotel. He was thought to have been sick with pneumonia a few days before. Doctors pronounced that his death was due to a stroke, it was probably a heart attack. Harding's death occurred before the full scope of the scandals that had taken place during his administration became known..

President Harding had become aware of the scandals that had taken place in his administration. He is largely believed not to have known about their scope but is quoted as saying I fear what my friends are doing not my enemies. To get away from it all, Harding took a trip with his wife to Alaska. He also hoped to rest. It was clear that he was not a well man. Visitors noted how quickly he tired. Despite his wishes to rest the trip was a grueling one with many stops to speak to crowds. For two weeks he toured Alaska and then on the way back spoke in Vancouver, becoming the first US President to visit Canada. He spoke to a crowd of 50,000 there.

Harding then went on to Seattle where he spoke at the University on July 27th. That evening in bed he complained of chest pains. The next day Harding traveled by train to San Francisco, and temporarily felt better. He arrived in San Francisco and went to the Palace Hotel where he once again felt poorly. The doctors thought he had pneumonia. On August 2nd he felt well enough to sit up in bed. That evening as his wife was reading to him, he suddenly convulsed in bed and died. In retrospect, it is clear he had a heart attack followed by one or two more that killed him. At the time there was no treatment. He was 57 when he died.

At the time Harding was well liked, and 9 million people lined the rails between San Francisco and Washington as his casket was brought to DC for the funeral and then finally to Marion Ohio, his hometown for burial.