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Descendants panel featured at symposium reception

The opening reception of the 2024 Warren G. Harding Symposium will provide participants the opportunity to explore the Harding Home, Press House and Harding Library & Museum, enjoy plenty of food and beverages, and attend a panel discussion involving descendants of three First Ladies.

The reception is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday, July 19 at the Warren G. Harding Presidential Sites. Participants should check in at the Harding Library & Museum when arriving at the event. Persons interested in registering may review the symposium schedule and pricing at go.osu.edu/harding or by calling 740-725-6340. The registration deadline for all Symposium events is July 15th. 

The 2024 Harding Symposium theme is “Taft, Wilson and Harding: First Ladies of Consequence.”  The Descendants Panel will involve former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, great-grandson of First Lady Helen “Nellie” Taft; Cary Fuller, grand-nephew of First Lady Edith Wilson; and Dr. Richard Harding and Dr. Warren G. Harding III, grand-nephews of First Lady Florence Harding.

“The Descendants Panel gives us a chance to hear family stories about these First Ladies and to learn about their personalities as we gain a sense of them as real people,” Harding Presidential Sites Manager Sherry Hall said. “I think our attendees will enjoy hearing behind-the-scenes stories about these women, as well as the similarities and differences among them.”

On Saturday, July 20, the Annual Presidential Wreath Laying will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the Harding Memorial Presidential Gravesite. This poignant ceremony will be led by Major General John C. Harris Jr. of the Ohio National Guard Joint Force Headquarters on behalf of President, Joe Biden. Similar ceremonies occur at every presidential gravesite each year to acknowledge the service each has performed for the nation. The event is free of charge.

At 1 p.m., a series of workshops is planned in Morrill Hall at The Ohio State University at Marion about the featured First Ladies. Dr. Rafaele Fierro, contributor to the book, Helen Herron Taft: Forgotten Impact of a Memorable First Lady, will speak first, followed by Rebecca Boggs Roberts, author of Untold Power: The Fascinating Rise and Complex Legacy of First Lady Edith Galt Wilson. Harding Sites Researcher Jonathan Andersen will speak about First Lady Florence Kling Harding.

At 6:30 p.m., dinner wraps up the symposium, with Hall speaking about Florence Harding: An Enduring Legacy.