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4066D UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

as President. At the time the President's

spirits were good and he had said to his

physicians earlier in the day that he would

feel entirely all right but for the fact that

he felt "so tired." The article spoke in just

terms of the grave problems that had confronted Harding and of his sober, earnest

efforts to solve them. At one place the

President said to his wife: "That's good.

Go on, read some more." Hardly had he

uttered the words when a shudder ran

through his frame, and he was dead. The

cause was a sudden apoplectic stroke;

death was almost instantaneous and probably painless.

His death profoundly affected the entire

country. On the afternoon following, his

body was placed upon a special train to

make the long journey across the continent

to Washington. The casket was so placed

that it was visible through the car window,

and at every hamlet, village, town, and city

throngs assembled to view the passing of the

dead President. At some places the crowds

were so dense that it was necessary for the

train to proceed at a snail's pace in order to

avoid accident, and in consequence it was

many hours late in reaching the capital.

The body was borne to the East Room

of the White House. The funeral services

were held on August 8. At the White

House the ceremonies consisted only of the

reading of the Lord's Prayer, after which

the body was borne in stately procession to

the rotunda of the Capitol. The military

escort was headed by General Pershing on

horseback. The civic procession included

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge as marshal,

ex-Presidents Taft and Wilson, judges of

the Supreme Court, foreign ambassadors,

and other notables. Muffled drums beat,

bands played funeral marches, bells tolled,

and guns boomed as the cortege moved

slowly through a vast "concourse of spectators along the line of march, but there

was a still greater invisible audience, for the

great bulk of the people of the United

States were present in spirit and joined in

the tribute of affection."

At the Capitol the coffin was placed in

the rotunda upon the same catafalque that

had already borne the bodies of Lincoln,

Garfield, and McKinley. Religious ceremonies marked by deep emotion were held,

after which the body was taken to a waiting

train to be conveyed to its last resting place

in Marion, Ohio. There after ceremonies

that were kept as simple and unostentatious

as possible, all that was earthly of Warren

G. Harding was laid to rest in a receiving

vault. Nearby were the mounds that cover

the bodies of his mother and sister, while

around about were the graves of many other

men and women with whom he had been on

terms of friendly intimacy in earlier life.

As a token of respect, there was a

general cessation of business, sports, and

amusements throughout the whole country.

At the moment when the body was placed

in the tomb, street cars stood still, telephones and other utility activities ceased for

several minutes, while taps were sounded

and bells were tolled throughout the land.

Historians may not assign to Warren

G. Harding a place among our very greatest

Presidents. His term of office was too

short for that; his achievements were not of

sufficient magnitude and the years of his

presidency fell in troubled times. He himself laid no claims to greatness; he said that

if he possessed any particular ability it was

that of helping people "to march in step."

However, his geniality, his earnest efforts

for the public good, and the improved conditions resulting in part at least from his

efforts combined to make an impression

upon the general public, and when he died,

worn out by his activities, Americans,

irrespective of race, creed, or political

affiliation, joined in paying him a heartfelt

tribute.

President Harding was the third President to die in office of natural causes, three

others having been assassinated. His death,

following as it did .the breakdown of his

predecessor, Wilson, turned the attention

of the people in a tragic way to the fact that

the duties and responsibilities of the office

had become too heavy for one man to bear,

and in newspapers, magazines, and conversations between individuals many methods

were proposed for lightening his burdens.

In the early days of the Republic,

though the responsibilities of the president