presidents

1920 primary

In summer of 1920 the United States Congress had just proposed the 19th Constitutional Amendment, giving women the right to vote, and was waiting for the states to ratify it. In the mean time the presidential election was still in full swing. Through out the states no candidate earned major support. Both parties had to go to their conventions without a major front runner.

Republicans:

The republican party was Had many front running candidates during the state primaries. The least of which was Warren G. Harding. He only won his home state of Ohio. Many other candidates, including Hiram Johnson, Leonard Wood, and Frank Lowden, had gotten more popular votes and won more delegates. By the time of the June 8th convention no candidate had won a majority of the delegates.

Over nine ballots the party was deadlocked. As the story goes in a “smoke filled back room” of the Blackstone Hotel the republican leaders decided to nominate the Senator from Ohio to make sure and win that state away from the democrats who were expected to nominate Ohioan James Cox. Being the 3rd largest number of electoral votes Ohio was a major battleground state. On the tenth Ballot the next day the republican party had chosen a candidate. They hoped a former newspaper editor from western Ohio could win them the office. The man they chose was the  Senator from Ohio, Warren G. Harding. His running mate was Massachusetts Governor, and future president, Calvin Coolidge.

Democrats:

The Democrats at the time held the White House with Woodrow Wilson, who had beaten Ohioan William Howard Taft. Having won the Great War, Wilson had tried to stop the next major war by forming the League of Nations ( an early version of the United Nations.)  The stress of the war and the fight for the League exacerbated the president’s health problems.  On October 2, 1919 he suffered a stroke. By February of the next year it was publicly known. Wilson believed he was a shoe in for a third term. Democratic officials knew they needed a new candidate for president.

After a weak showing in the state primaries no candidate was a front runner for the office by June 28th.  Wilson was still hopeful and blocked candidates hoping to make himself the default choice. Democrats considered  William Gibbs McAdoo and  Alexander Mitchell Palmer, both in Wilson’s cabinet. After 44 votes the party finally decided on a candidate. They hoped a former newspaper editor from western Ohio could win them the office. The man they chose was the Governor of Ohio, James M. Cox. His running mate was the assistant Secretary of the Navy, and future president, Franklin Roosevelt.

More information: 

The Library of Congress collection on 1920 elections has many a great selection of memorabilia and recordings from the candidates and campaigns. The songs, sample ballots and speeches are a great way to see how elections were held in the past.

Repost: CRYPTOZOHIO: Cemeteries

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Ever since Settlers have been moving into Ohio they have had a need to take care of their dead. The most popular option has been to bury them in local cemeteries. As the cemeteries filled up stories of strange happenings have been told. These are just a few of the more popular ones from Ohio’s  most well know cemeteries.

DO NOT GO INTO A CEMETERY UNLESS ALLOWED! As with all cemeteries respect for the past, present, and future is required. If you want to go at night take a tour.

Cincinnati’s Spring Grove:
One of the United State’s largest cemeteries with over 700 acres of land. This along with the other of Ohio’s large rural garden cemeteries is a great place to walk around. But be careful, this place is said to be haunted. One such story is of a bust in section 100 that is said to have human eyes follow visitors as they pass. The Deter memorial is said to visited by to glowing white dogs. Other stories include the groundskeepers seeing hand and fingers sticking out of the ground as they mow.

Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery:
With a president, one of the riches men ever, and the untouchable man who helped bring down Al Capone, the history of Lakeview is everywhere. James Garfield  was shot only four months after his inauguration as America’s 20th president. It took over two months for him to succumb, not to the bullet, but to the poor care he was given by his doctors. At the time people commented that he had  already left his body and gone wandering around at times. Even after his burial this is said to be the case. The cemetery also houses it share of Weeping Angles and moving statues. The most famous is “The Angel of Death Victorious.” The Collinwood Memorial, where 10 unknown children from the Collinwood school fire are buried, is also located here. Probably the most eerie stories from the place are that of the moving tombstones.

Columbus’s Green Lawn Cemetery:
Home to many famous Ohioans, and not just politicians. The most famous haunted site in the 360 acre grounds is Hayden Mausoleum. A knock on its doors is said to be returned, or even more, by one of its residents. James Snook, Olympic medal pistol shooter, and murderer haunts the grounds.

Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery:
Most of the cities most famous residents are buried here. From the Wright brothers to James Ritty the names just seem to pop up around every corner. So do the less famous and more infamous. Some even say the residence themselves seem to pop up. The most famous is that of Johnny Morehouse. Morehouse was a boy who drown in the local canal. His dog tried to save him but was too late. For several days the dog was said to watch over the boys grave site. Since then the dog has been said to return to watch over the site from time to time. The cemetery also houses a lady in white ghost who is said to haunt the tops of the hill near her grave. A more modern teen girl is also said to inhabit the hillsides. Victims of Jack the Strangler , The Cincinnati Ripper, and many who made their own victims all rest uneasily throughout the grounds. The electric chair is responsible for quite a few of the graves, even as the story goes, one who helped to build it.

Memorial Day Road Trips

On the final Monday in May America takes the time to honor those who died in service to its armed forces. This tradition started in 1868 when former Civil War soldiers decided to decorate the graves of fallen veterans. While the custom is a long held tradition around the world, this time was different. So many soldiers had died in the recent Civil War, and so many families effected, that having a single day to do this helped to bring larger importance to the act. It wasn’t until 1971 with the enactment of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that the day created a yearly 3 day weekend.

To honor the veterans who gave it all here are some road trip ideas that have a military background. Some can be completed in one day some might take two. A great site to learn more about Ohio historical places and come up with you own trips is http://touringohio.com

Northwest Ohio and the War of 1812:

Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site  – Fallen Timbers was the site of a major battle between American Indians and the newly formed United States of America. At the treaty of Paris in 1783 Britain gave the USA all of the land east of the Mississippi River. This include the Ohio Country. The American Indian tribes living in the area felt that they had no representation in the matter and that the land was still theirs. This led to the Battle of Fallen Timbers. At this battle American Soldiers fought the natives who were supplied by British from Fort Miamis. The defeat of the American Indians led to the Treaty of Greenville (see Garst Museum Below).

Fort Meigs – This fort with stood 2 attacks from the British and defended the Ohio country during the War of 1812. This is a full standing fort with a visitors center.

Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Library and Museum: The home and Museum of The former Civil War General and 19th President. For more information see our review.

Southwest and the Civil War

William Henry Harrison Tomb – The resting place of the 9th President and Ohio Indian Wars Veteran. He was the first president to die in office and is still the short serving person to have held the office. See our review here

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – This museum is dedicated not only to the Underground Railroad and the struggle of American Slaves, but the struggle of all people for equality, even in modern times. The museum is a powerful testament to the struggles that lead to the Civil War.

William Howard Taft National Historic Site: The birthplace and boyhood home of the 27th President. Governor of the Philippines following the Spanish American war, Secretary of War, and Commander in Chief gives this site some great military background.  See our review here

Land of Grant Grant Birthplace and Grant Boyhood home and School House – The 18th President and commander of the Union armies during the civil war. Visit where he was born, grew up and learned. See our review here.

West

Fort Jefferson – The site where St. Clair retreated after his defeat.

Garst Museum – Dedicated to the history of Darke county this museum tells the story of the Treaty of Greenville and the role it played in shaping Ohio. A nice large museum with lots of artifacts from the area. See our review here.

Fort Recovery – The site of the two largest and most important American Indian battles, The Defeat of St. Clair and the Battle of Fort Recovery. St. Clair had 900 of his 1200 men killed, about 1/4 of the US army. It is also the site of the fort that was built after the battle. It was this fort that allowed the US to win the next battle and led to the signing of the Treaty of Greenville.

Northeast

Fort Steuben – Built to protect the surveyors of the northwest Territory. The Fort has a visitor center, full wood fort and large grounds surrounding it.

Fort Laurens – Site of the only Revolutionary War battle in the state.

McCook house – Home of the “Fighting McCooks.” Major Daniel McCook and his 9 sons and 6 nephews fought before and mostly during the Civil War.

The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum – The Tomb of William McKinley, the 25th President, and commander and chief during the Spanish-American War. Next to the tomb is the Library and Museum which house exhibits on the natural world, Stark County, and the life of the president. See our review here. 

CRYPTOZOHIO: Cemeteries

Cryptozohio - Stories from the Depths

Ever since Settlers have been moving into Ohio they have had a need to take care of their dead. The most popular option has been to bury them in local cemeteries. As the cemeteries filled up stories of strange happenings have been told. These are just a few of the more popular ones from Ohio’s  most well know cemeteries.

DO NOT GO INTO A CEMETERY UNLESS ALLOWED! As with all cemeteries respect for the past, present, and future is required. If you want to go at night take a tour.

Cincinnati’s Spring Grove:
One of the United State’s largest cemeteries with over 700 acres of land. This along with the other of Ohio’s large rural garden cemeteries is a great place to walk around. But be careful, this place is said to be haunted. One such story is of a bust in section 100 that is said to have human eyes follow visitors as they pass. The Deter memorial is said to visited by to glowing white dogs. Other stories include the groundskeepers seeing hand and fingers sticking out of the ground as they mow.

Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery:
With a president, one of the riches men ever, and the untouchable man who helped bring down Al Capone, the history of Lakeview is everywhere. James Garfield  was shot only four months after his inauguration as America’s 20th president. It took over two months for him to succumb, not to the bullet, but to the poor care he was given by his doctors. At the time people commented that he had  already left his body and gone wandering around at times. Even after his burial this is said to be the case. The cemetery also houses it share of Weeping Angles and moving statues. The most famous is “The Angel of Death Victorious.” The Collinwood Memorial, where 10 unknown children from the Collinwood school fire are buried, is also located here. Probably the most eerie stories from the place are that of the moving tombstones.

Columbus’s Green Lawn Cemetery:
Home to many famous Ohioans, and not just politicians. The most famous haunted site in the 360 acre grounds is Hayden Mausoleum. A knock on its doors is said to be returned, or even more, by one of its residents. James Snook, Olympic medal pistol shooter, and murderer haunts the grounds.

Dayton’s Woodland Cemetery:
Most of the cities most famous residents are buried here. From the Wright brothers to James Ritty the names just seem to pop up around every corner. So do the less famous and more infamous. Some even say the residence themselves seem to pop up. The most famous is that of Johnny Morehouse. Morehouse was a boy who drown in the local canal. His dog tried to save him but was too late. For several days the dog was said to watch over the boys grave site. Since then the dog has been said to return to watch over the site from time to time. The cemetery also houses a lady in white ghost who is said to haunt the tops of the hill near her grave. A more modern teen girl is also said to inhabit the hillsides. Victims of Jack the Strangler , The Cincinnati Ripper, and many who made their own victims all rest uneasily throughout the grounds. The electric chair is responsible for quite a few of the graves, even as the story goes, one who helped to build it.

Happy Centennial National Parks

Today marks the 100th birthday of our National Parks Service. The parks service started in 1916. The first park was established in Ohio in 1923.  From that day forward the parks have been one of the great attractions in the state. The parks have something for everyone.

A Brief Timeline of National Parks Service in Ohio

1923 –Hopewell Culture: Started as part of the Mound City Group National Monument. It is fitting that this was the first park because it is dedicated to the history of Ohio’s earliest inhabitants

1966 – Perry’s Victory & International Peace MemorialA monument to the Commander of the Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812. Also memorializes the war as the last conflict between the United States, Britain, and Canada.

1969 – William Howard Taft National Historic Site: The boyhood home, and later family home, of the 27th president of the United States.

1980 – David Berger National MonumentA monument to one of athletes killed at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
North Country Scenic Trail: Established as one of the longest of the 11 scenic trails. In Ohio it connects to the Buckeye Trail and runs through Hocking Hills, one of Ohio’s most hiked areas.
James A Garfield National Historical Site: The Home of 20th President James A Garfield. Considered the first Presidential Library in America.

1992 – Dayton Aviation HeritageCelebrates the history of flight and the two Dayton Brothers who solved the problems of getting man in the air. Is spread out in 5 different locations through out Dayton.

1999 – Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis: The site of the battle of Fallen Timbers, the final battle in the Northwest Indian War, and the site of Fort Miamis, a British fort built to stop Gen. Wayne, which he eventually held.

2000 – Cuyahoga Valley: Originally created as a recreational area in 1974, Cuyahoga became a National park in 2000. This park celebrates the history of the people, canals, and nature of the northwestern Ohio valley.
First Ladies National Historical Site: Built in the home of Ida McKinley, this site is dedicated to the history of the wives of the Presidents of The United States.

2004 – National Heritage AreaIncorporated just after the Centennial of Flight this large area of western Ohio houses the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, and Woodlawn Cemetery (with the graves of Paul Lawrence Dunbar and The Wright Brothers)

2013 – Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers: So new that it is not even finished opening yet. The Monument is dedicated to one of the most famous Buffalo Soldiers and first African-American national park Superintendent.

175 years Later: The Death of William Henry Harrison and the Crisis of Office

On April 4th 1841 William Henry Harrison became the first person to die while serving as President of the United States of America. This created problem for our nation.  Was  Vice-president John Taylor the new president? The constitution states “In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President”

The question had arisen, “Did Tyler gain the office of president, or just the powers of it?” Harrison’s cabinet believed that it was just the powers. Tyler said that it was the full office. He took the oath of office to end the debate. It was his choice to be strong that set a precedent that has been used over the next 175 years.

175 years later: William Henry Harrison

William H Harrison Tomb

William H Harrison Tomb

On April 4th 1841, 175 years ago this day, William Henry Harrison became the first person to die while serving as President of the United States of America. This was a tragedy. Having only served 30 days in office, the shortest of any president, Harrison had little time to do much more than create a cabinet.

William Henry Harrison’s funeral took place in the east room of the Executive Mansionpresidential-funerals-william-henry-harrison (as the White House was called at the time). Being the first time a president had died in office, no procedure was in place for a ceremony. The president deserved a formal ceremony with the pomp and circumstance befitting of such a high office. The procedures would set a precedent that was to be followed for other presidents who were to die in office. The mansion was draped in black, The United States Marine Band played as the casket was placed on a large funeral car and driven to Congressional Cemetery to be placed in a public viewing vault.

In June of 1841 the time had come to move William Henry Harrison’s body  to North Bend, just west of Cincinnati, Ohio. His body was transported down the Ohio River on a procession of black draped barges. On July 7 he was formally interned in a simple tomb.

William Henry Harrison’s legacy stretched far beyond just his death. His presidency , however, did not. The precedents established would go on to help a nation morn after the lose of a president, either by the hand of man or the hand of nature. As Vice President John Taylor was to show, the nation had lost a person it had not lost the office.

Ohio’s Great 8: Warren G Harding

Warren G. Harding was the 8th person from Ohio to become President of the United States of America, the 29th overall. Born  November 2, 1865. The Civil War had just ended and the long stretch of Ohio presidents was beginning at the time. Harding was born in Blooming Grove, Ohio. His birthplace is now only marked with a sign.

Harding went to school at Ohio Central College and started the school newspaper while there. Newspapers were to play a big part in the rest of his life. While he was a senior his family moved to Marion, Ohio.  After school Harding saved up money to buy a failing newspaper, The Marion Star.

Warren G. Harding used to papers train pass to visit the 1884 Republican National Convention. While there he met many famous reporters of the time. His paper, however, was taken over by the sheriff while he was away. After he got his paper back harding decided to turn it into a nonpartisan paper. This pleased the advertisers of the democratic Marion County and the republican Marion, Ohio. Harding was starting to show that he had an eye for politics.

Harding soon married Florence Kling, the daughter of his rival. This marriage was a boon for the Marion Star as Florence took over the papers financial.  Mrs. Harding’s work behind the scenes would be one of the major factors leading Warren to the presidency. Some say even up until his death.

During the 1896 election Warren G. Harding made a name for himself while campaigning statewide for William McKinley. At the time the strategy for an Ohioan running for office was the Front Porch Campaign, where in the candidate would stay at home receiving visitors and send out others to do his campaigning. This was a perfect opportunity of up and coming young politicians to get a chance to meet the public. Harding used this opportunity as a stepping stone to State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, and finally in 1914, U.S. Senator.  A position held until the 1920 elections.

1920 was the biggest year of the 20th century for Ohio politics.During the presidential campaign Harding floundered in the early primaries. He finally gained the republican nominate on the tenth vote of the republican convention. his opponent in the general election was fellow western Ohio newspaperman, and sitting governor, James Cox. Cox’s running mate was Franklin D Roosevelt. With little to separate the candidates, the campaign came down to the issues. Harding took to the Ohio style Front Porch Campaign. The home and porch is now a museum. Cox used a more active style. On August 18th 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote. This meant that the 1920 presidential election was the first national election that women would vote in.

Teapot Dome at the time of the scandal

March 4, 1921 Warren G. Harding was inaugurated as 29th President. While not a fan of the League of Nations, he formally ended World War I with the signing of Knox-Porter Resolution. Harding did many things during his presidency but he is most remembered for his scandals. The Teapot Dome Scandal was the worst of time. The scandal involved the lease of oilfields for low rates without competitive bidding. In the end Hardings first Secretary of the Interior Albert Falls was sent to prison for one year. Hardings Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty was thought to be in league with bootleggers. Harding also had trouble with Charles Forbes, the head of the Veterans Bureau. Forbes was found to have taken kickbacks and selling off property for personal gain.

Most of the scandals didn’t come to light during Hardings presidency however. During a trip to San Fransisco Warren G Harding began failing on July 27, 1923. On August 2, 1923 the president suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. His final resting place is  in his memorial in Marion Ohio. He wife rests next to him.

Harding -2015 ror

While he may have been forgotten as a president Harding’s influence on an era has not. Both Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey have used his presidency and it’s scandals as a major story line. If it had not been for Nixon he may still be known as having one of the biggest scandals and everything would be known as “dome” instead of “gate.”

PS. The 1920 campaign saw the first widespread use of telemarketing in a presidential campaign.

Ohio’s Great 8: William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft was the 7th person from Ohio to become president. He became the 27th President of the United States of America. The first Ohioan to become president after the Civil War to not have served. Born September 15, 1857 near Cincinnati. His birthplace is a National Park not far from the resting place of William Henry Harrison and the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison.

He spent a pretty uneventful youth in Cincinnati. He went to Woodward High School. He graduated 2nd in his class from Yale University.  Finally, he gained a law degree from Cincinnati Law School.

After the Spanish American War Taft was named the first civilian Governor of the Philippines. After serving 1 term he was named Secretary of War, a position once held by his father under President Grant. While Secretary America was given construction rights to the Panama Canal.

In the 1908 election William Howard Taft ran against William J. Bryan, who had previously lost twice to Ohioan William McKinley. Taft beat Bryan hands down in what was one of the most uneventful campaigns of any Ohioan.

During his Presidency many things were accomplished. Taft, a Republican, was a progressive and fought cooperations his whole presidency. Taft created the United States Chamber of Commerce.  In 1909 he implemented cooperate income tax and prepossessed what would become the 16th amendment, allowing the government to tax income.
Taft would run again in 1912, against not only the Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson, but also former President Roosevelt. William Howard Taft was not a great campaigner and lost to both of his competitors. This lose was not the end of his political career. On  June 30th, 1921 Ohioan and President Warren G. Harding nominated Taft to Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Many important rulings were handed down under his tenure. Carroll v United States, which made searches of vehicles without a warrant legal,  still resonates today.

In the end his many health problems would catch up to him. He died of cardiovascular disease on March 8, 1930. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was the first president and the first Chief Justice to be buried in the cemetery.

Taft’s headstone

P.s. Taft was a huge fan of Baseball. He was the first president to throw out a ceremonial pitch. To commemorate this the Nationals have made him a mascot. Follow him on twitter @NatsBigChief27.

Did he get stuck in a bathtub? The myth is that he did, but the truth is that he probably did not. The rumor started after a comment in a book by the former White House usher.