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ERIC Number: ED173862
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
President Harding and the Washington Disarmament Conference--A Question of Historical Verisimilitude.
Whitaker, W. Richard
In 1921, during the course of a news conference, President Warren G. Harding misinterpreted the provisions of one of the treaties then under consideration by delegates to the Washington Disarmament Conference. His error was corrected in a few hours, but this incident was blown out of proportion by those who were convinced that Harding was an inept president. It was said that this misstatement led directly to the use thereafter of written questions in presidential news conferences and that Harding was ordered (by Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes) to stop taking oral questions from reporters. This version is still finding its way into journalism and mass communications texts and illustrates the difficulty of ascertaining historical truth in the face of conflicting evidence. In fact, Harding had started requiring written questions three weeks earlier, not due to any ineptness on his part, but because so many correspondents were accredited to the Conference and this was the only means of adequately dealing with them. The Conference incident was the first major stumbling block in Harding's up-to-then good relations with the press. He quickly recovered and continued to take both written and oral questions from reporters--at times he even allowed himself to be quoted directly. (Author)
Publication Type: Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Harding (Warren G)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (62nd, Houston, Texas, August 5-8, 1979) ; Best copy available