WARREN HARDING FOR MARIONMADE!
Newspaper publisher, Senator, President of the United States. This is how Warren G. Harding is usually described. But, there is one title missing, Marionite. Before he was President, Senator, or a famous publisher, Warren Harding was simply a citizen of Marion. Well, perhaps not simply. Warren Harding was not a passive resident of Marion, but a passionate one.
As the publisher and editor of the Marion Star, Harding knew the business of the community and encouraged local business owners, investing in the ones he believed would help Marion grow. Through his editorials, Harding encouraged Marion residents to think big about their city, keep it clean, and work to make it better. Harding’s office, and indeed his home were always open to anyone with an idea to share for a new business or to make Marion a better place to live.
And, after Harding went to Washington to become the 29th President, he did not forget his roots. He had the Marion Star delivered to the White House, not just to keep an eye on his newspaper, but to keep up with what was going on back home. He often invited friends from Marion to come visit the White House, wanting to share the experience with home. Harding realized, and mentioned it often, that Marion made him who he was, and he valued where he came from, rarely forgetting to mention his home town when giving a speech.
According to Harding Presidential Site manager Sherry Hall, “I think he liked being part of the fabric of the community (Marion) and he felt valued and gave it back.” So, while Warren Harding did some great things in his life, newspaper publisher, Senator, President, those were jobs he had. Who he was, and how he identified himself, was as a resident of Marion, Ohio.