Warren G. Harding


What speech on civil rights by Harding was considered controversial at that time?

Harding delivered a speech on October 26, 1921, at Capitol Park in Birmingham, Alabama. He told the Southern audience that the time had come for political equality for blacks. He told the audience, which the New York Times called a conservative estimate of one hundred thousand people, that he would speak frankly to the audience “whether you like it or not.” He did say that social equality was not attainable, but called for political equality for blacks. “I would say let the black man vote when he is fit to vote; prohibit the white man voting when he is unfit to vote.”


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