Warren G. Harding

Warren Gamaliel Harding (November 2, 1865 – August 2, 1923) was the 29th President of the United States (1921–1923). During his presidential campaign, in the aftermath of World War I, he promised a return of the nation to “normalcy”. This “America first” campaign encouraged industrialization and a strong economy independent of foreign influence.

On May 12, 1921, just two months into Harding’s presidency, violence was initiated near Matewan. The miners cut down telephone and telegraph lines and trained their guns on the mines, strike breakers and buildings. This was know as the Three Day’s Battle; some 10,000 rounds were fired. Ephraim Morgan, Governor of West Virginia, pleaded in person to Harding for federal military support. Harding, who was keeping track of the situation, would only send in troops if state militia could no longer handle the striking miners.

On August 1, Sid Hatfield, a prominent Union organizer and Matewan chief of police, was assassinated by mining company agents. On August 28, four days of fighting broke out on a 15 mile front at Blair Mountain. President Harding, having issued two proclamations to keep the peace. Federal troops arrived on September 2, forcing the miners to flee to their homes and hostilities ended on September 4. After the battle, 985 miners were tried and imprisoned for crimes against the State of West Virginia. Many were tried for treason, but most were acquitted.

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Published in: on April 24, 2011 at 10:37 pm  Comments Off on Warren G. Harding  
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