1926 Rotary Stamps
1 ½¢ Warren G. Harding
First Day of Issue: August 27, 1926
First City: Washington, D.C.
Quantity Issued: 2,226,000
Overlooked by Collectors
In 1926, the last private coil company (Schermack) ordered 1 1/2¢ imperforate sheets. By mistake, the stamp was printed on a rotary press instead of a flat plate press. The spacing between the panes was not acceptable for the Schermack Co. and the stamps were returned.
Never distributed to any post office, #631 could be purchased only through the Philatelic Agency in Washington, D.C. For this reason it was overlooked by most collectors of the time. Today, it can be difficult to find.
Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding was born on November 2, 1865, on a farm in Corsica, Ohio. In 1882 Harding became a teacher, serving for a term in a one-room schoolhouse. Harding later remarked that teaching was “the hardest job I ever had.” From there, Harding went on to read law and sell insurance before entering a career in journalism, working for the Marion Democratic Mirror. In 1884, Harding was fired from his job for supporting James G. Blaine, the Republican candidate for president. With the help of two friends, Harding managed to buy a bankrupt newspaper, the Marion Star, for $300. Harding’s life changed when he married Florence Kling DeWolfe, the daughter of prominent banker. Harding nicknamed his ambitious wife “Duchess.” Her dominating personality helped the couple make the Star a financial success.
Florence Harding was a factor in Harding’s entry into politics as a Republican state senator in 1898. Harding went on to become lieutenant governor in 1903, but lost the governor’s election seven years later. After further encouragement from his wife and the political strategist Harry M. Daugherty, who Harding met while in state politics, he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1914.
Newspapers began mentioning Harding as a potential candidate for the presidency in 1919. Harding replied that the Senate was “far more to my liking than the presidency possibly could be.” But Daugherty, with the help of Harding’s wife, urged him on, and he received the Republican nomination. A return to “normalcy” was the theme of Harding’s campaign, most of which he conducted from the front porch of his home in Marion. In an overwhelming victory (the largest presidential popular vote landslide since 1824) Harding was elected America’s 29th President.
As President, Harding rejected the League of Nations, instead establishing a separate peace agreement with Germany and Austria that put an end to World War I. Harding also arranged the Washington Naval Conference, the first disarmament conference in history. From this conference, several treaties were created that brought about an era of peace before the rise of the Japanese Empire and World War II. Although his presidency is more often remembered for the scandals of his cabinet, Harding started America’s first child welfare program and addressed the issues of striking workers in the mining and railroad industries.