Thursday, August 20, 2015

Who's Yer Daddy?

When my father was just a little kid, he was in downtown Baltimore with his dad, and some sort of parade through the streets carried an open car with the President of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, who reached out and shook my dad's hand before hurrying back to the White House to bend his girlfriend over a barrel and show her the fifty states.

(It was in the movie!  Well, it is now!)

You'll usually find Harding's name in any list of the Ten Worst Presidents, although you'll have trouble seeing him at first, as he is hiding behind a Bush.  But enough of that.  The big news about Harding is that, after all these years, it has finally been proven by DNA testing that he fathered a child by a woman not his wife in 1919, before he was president but after he married a woman to whom he had sworn he was sterile, due to a childhood case of the mumps.

I tell you, this guy really covered all the angles.

Nan and
Elizabeth Ann
Nan Britton was a woman from Harding's home town in Ohio. She was never elected to any political office, but she did enjoy many an unsanctified congress with Harding in hotel rooms, lovenests, hideaways, and a White House pantry. She had developed a crush on old Warren and chased him until he caught her.  One of the surefire techniques he employed was writing her 50-page love letters while sitting at his desk on the floor of the US Senate.

All In The Family
But when the child, Elizabeth Ann, was 4, Harding suddenly cashed in all his chips, and Nan and her daughter, who had been taken care of financially by the president, suddenly were out in the cold, a relocation that forced Nan to write a scandalous book to raise money.

The book, entitled "Fifty Shades Of Grey" "The President's Daughter" caused quite a little scandal when it was published in 1927, the height of the Roaring Twenties.  People in the Harding family suffered pulled muscles and sprains as they broke their necks to deny the truth of the child's provenance, but there was no DNA testing in those days.  Although, one look at the wide face and hooded brow of young Elizabeth Ann, and you just know  you've seen that face before.  On the president.

It was the Harding family who recently put it out there for the testing company Ancestry DNA to answer the question once and for all, and tests were done on two Harding descendants and Nan's grandson.

Boom. Nan is vindicated. Although she died in 1991, the truth lives forever.

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