Pinback button promoting Warren Harding for president, 1920. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
Pledging a "return to normalcy" following the "war to end all wars," Warren G. Harding won the presidency by the greatest electoral margin to that time. The handsome and genial Ohio senator was nominated on the 10th ballot by a deadlocked Republican convention, some say because he "looked presidential." In the tradition of fellow Ohioan William McKinley, Harding eschewed a national tour, instead conducting a "front porch" campaign, speaking at appointed times to a sympathetic press corps. In tune with the electorate, he favored disengagement from Europe’s postwar rebuilding, enforcement of the Treaty of Versailles, and a return to protectionist economic policies. Harding's adminstration was tainted by scandal, however, and he died suddenly while on a tour of the western states in the summer of 1923.
Significantly, the 1920 presidential election was the first in which women were permitted to vote.