Dr. Howard Markel

  • Funeral of US President Warren G. Harding. Horse drawn coffin in procession outside of the White House. Photo from Library of Congress
    August 2, 2015   BY Dr. Howard Markel 

    At 7:20 p.m. on the evening of Aug. 2, 1923, President Warren G. Harding’s wife, Florence, was reading the “Saturday Evening Post” to him in the presidential suite of San Francisco’s Palace Hotel. The article in question was about Mr. Harding and appeared to please him because he was last heard to utter, “That’s good, go on.” Immediately thereafter, he shuddered and dropped dead onto his bed. Continue reading

  • President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Medicare Bill at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. Former President Harry S. Truman is seated at the table with President Johnson. In the background from right to left: Senator Edward V. Long, an unidentified man, Lady Bird Johnson, Senator Mike Mansfield, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Bess Truman. Archive photo from the White House Press Office
    July 30, 2014   BY Dr. Howard Markel 

    Forty-nine years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson found himself in Independence, Missouri. Although he was surrounded by a gaggle of politicians, distinguished guests and Secret Service agents, the president was armed only with a fountain pen, a bottle of ink and a sheath of papers. Seated directly beside him, so as to accommodate the newspaper photographers and the television cameras, was Independence’s favorite son, the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman. Continue reading