four First Ladies posing

Warren G. Harding Symposium

Pictured left to right: Helen Herron "Nellie" Taft, Florence Harding, Ellen Wilson, and Edith Galt Wilson

Taft, Wilson and Harding: First Ladies of Consequence    
July 19-20, 2024

Join us as the Warren G. Harding Symposium presents Taft, Wilson and Harding: First Ladies of Consequence on July 19-20, 2024 in Marion, Ohio.  This exciting event will feature outstanding scholars and historians focusing on a remarkable group of American First Ladies, each of whom faced difficult challenges and were able to leave an indelible mark on a fascinating era in the United States presidency.  

Helen Herron “Nellie” Taft was one of her husband’s most astute and trusted advisors and was influential in many presidential decisions.   She also gave the Taft administration a particular social brilliance.  Ellen Wilson, the first wife of President Woodrow Wilson, played a major role in his career.  She significantly changed the traditional role of the First Lady through her efforts to improve housing conditions for African Americans in Washington, D.C.  Edith Galt Wilson was the president’s second wife.  When her husband suffered a severe stroke, she functionally ran the Executive Branch of the government for the remainder of his presidency.  Florence Harding was strong-willed and popular and had a major impact on her husband’s business and political careers.  As First Lady, she opened the White House and grounds to the public and advocated for the rights of women and veterans.

The Warren G. Harding Symposium is a joint venture of The Ohio State University at Marion, the Ohio History Connection, and the Harding Presidential Sites.

Complete information concerning the symposium can be found on this webpage. Registration must be completed online using the format below. Registration is open. If you have questions regarding registration please email Jodi Somerlot at or call 740-725-6340.