Harding Memorial

The Harding Tomb is the burial location of the 29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Kling Harding. It is located in Marion, Ohio at the southeast corner of Vernon Heights Boulevard and Delaware Avenue.

Begun in 1926 and finished in the early winter of 1927, the structure is built of white marble. Designed by Henry Hornbostel, Eric Fisher Wood and Edward Mellon, the structure is 103 feet in diameter and 53 feet in height. The open design honors the Hardings’ wishes that they be buried outside.

At their deaths, the bodies of the Hardings were entombed in the “receiving vault” of the Marion Cemetery. Once the Harding Memorial was completed in 1927, the bodies were reinterred in the Memorial’s sarcophagus and it was sealed. Because Harding's reputation was damaged by personal controversies and presidential scandals, the Harding Memorial was not officially dedicated until 1931 by President Herbert Hoover.

Ownership of the Harding Memorial was transferred from the Harding Memorial Association to the Ohio Historical Society in the 1980s. A full restoration was undertaken in the mid-1980s.

The memorial is also important in American history because it is the last of the elaborate presidential tombs, a trend that began with the burial of President James A. Garfield in 1881 in Lake View Cemetery. Since President Calvin Coolidge, Harding's successor, presidents have chosen burial plot designs that are simpler, or combined those with their library sites.

A popular myth with the residents of Marion is that Harding's dog Laddie Boy is buried in the memorial with him. The dog is actually buried in Boston, Massachusetts.

President Hoover's dedication

On June 16, 1931 President Herbert Hoover gave a speech at the official dedication ceremony of the Warren G. Harding memorial. The following are excerpts from Hoover's eulogy for Harding.

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