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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

The New President: 1921

The New President: 1921

"Harding inauguration, 1921." Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Lost at sea?

There are Army, Navy, and Marines evident in this photo; but where is the Coast Guard? (The Air Corps was part of the Army in 1921).

The "revolution" President Harding referred to was World War I and the Bolshevik revolution, something he did not want to see happen upon our shores. His acknowledgement of women's recently won right-to-vote was rather eloquent:

"With the nation-wide induction of womanhood into our political life, we may count upon her intuitions, her refinements, her intelligence, and her influence to exalt the social order. We count upon her exercise of the full privileges and the performance of the duties of citizenship to speed the attainment of the highest state."

Hi-Res Inauguration 2009

Here's another comparison:

analog glass plate vs. digital high resolution.

You hat lovers will really get off on Cheney, Bush 41, and Aretha!

Cal!

Calvin Coolidge is in the topper about the sixth from Harding's left in the front row. Both of them look like they've just swallowed pickle juice.

Sure There Are

There are lots of bare heads in this photo. I've highlighted a handful of them. And of course there's Harding.

I see one!

Hatless man sighted. Far right, facing the camera in the audience, looking slightly distraught and/or addled. I'm guessing he's a godless communist and responsible for the decline of the union.

There sure are a lot of hat enthusiasts on Shorpy, aren't there?

[We are also very interested in feet, shoes and bricks. - Dave]

Hardly Obama

Hard to think of a more inapposite comparison:

Harding vs. Obama
Conservative vs. Progressive
Nativist vs. Multiracial
Good Old Boys vs. Inclusive
Cronyistic vs. Meritocratic
Backroom deals vs. Transparency
Isolationist vs. Global
Paternalistic vs. Diverse
Small-minded vs. Visionary

And perhaps until recently, the worst US president vs. ?

And to compare their inauguration speeches...well there's a world of difference (even if all such speeches seem to be cut from the same cloth)

In his rambling inauguration speech (http://www.usa-presidents.info/inaugural/harding.html) Harding declares:
"If revolution insists upon overturning established order,
let other peoples make the tragic experiment. There is no place for it in America."

Harding barely acknowledged in the speech the freshly-won right of women to vote in 1921, turning a critical milestone in American history into a minor footnote.

What would he have said to the revolution that happened today in America?

Harding and Obama? An abyss separates them, thankfully.

And thanks for the picture.

[Blah blah blah. What about HATS? - Dave]

Hats

In the crowd, no. On the dais yes, including both Harding and someone who looks like Coolidge. But it was a nice March day as opposed to today, when hats might have been welcome to keep at leas some heat in their bodies.

Where are the women?

And not a lot of women attending. I guess politics was mostly a man's thing back then!

Hats

I don't see a bare head in this photo.
Those were the days, huh?

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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