Friday, November 21, 2003

Ohio Moments

Florence Harding became first lady

On Nov. 21, 1924, Florence Harding - widow of President Warren G. Harding - died at age 64 in her hometown of Marion, Ohio.

Mrs. Harding was the proverbial woman behind the successful man. She ran the business side of her husband's newspaper, the Marion Star, and she urged him to enter politics. She worked tirelessly for his presidential campaign in 1920. That year, women were granted the right to vote - and she was the first to become first lady after voting for her husband.

Born Florence Mabel Kling to the wealthiest family in Marion in 1860, she studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She later supported herself by teaching piano. She married Harding in 1891.

An energetic and willful first lady, she once said her only hobby was her husband.

Rebecca Goodman

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