Echoes of the Past is a collection of historical articles curated from The Virginian Review and other publications archived since 1914. You may be exposed to content that you find offensive or objectionable. For historical purposes and accuracy, articles are reprinted in their original, unedited form, and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the publisher.
100 Years Ago
President Harding Dead: End Came Suddenly and Without Warning at 7:30 PM; Doctors Give Apoplexy as the Cause
Mrs. Harding was Reading to the President When a Shudder Passed Through his Frame and he Collapsed
Presidential Headquarters, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, Aug. 3.— Warren G. Harding, President of the United States, died instantly and without warning at 7:30 o’clock, a victim of a stroke of apoplexy, which struck him down in his weakest condition, after an illness of exactly one week. Mr. Harding was 58 years old.
As the chief executive of the nation and by virtue of his office and personality, one of the world’s leading figures passed away at the time when his physicians and family and his people thought that medical skill, hope and prayer had won the battle against disease.
The disease had been conquered, the fire was out, but seven days of silent, though intense suffering had left their mark and a stroke of apoplexy came without an instant’s warning and before physicians could be called, members of his party announced, or medical measures taken, he passed from life’s stage after having for nearly two and a half years served his nation and for many more years his native state of Ohio.
The end came so suddenly that the members of his official party could not be called. It came after a day which had been described by Brigadier-General Sawyer, the President’s personal physician, as the most satisfactory, the President had since his illness began. The physicians in their formal announcement of the end said that “during the day he had been free from discomfort and there was every justification for anticipating a prompt recovery.”
75 Years Ago
Dial Phones Go Into Use Here Sunday: Changeover to be Made at Midnight Saturday Night
Dials will replace operators on Covington telephones beginning at midnight Saturday night, the Clifton Forge-Waynesboro Telephone Company said today.
At that time, the temporary number plate may be removed from inside the dial ring of the phones, and the number of the phone will be found beneath the present one.
A directory will be distributed before the automatic system goes into effect, listing the new phone numbers. Clifton Forge and Covington sections will be separated by, instead of followed by, the classified section. The change is expected to cut down materially the total of wrong numbers called.
The dial system will use four-digit numbers and dialing the “0” will get the long distance operator.
Waynesboro was originally elated to get the dial system first, but a shortage of space for additional equipment needed made necessary the change to Covington.
50 Years Ago
President Preparing Watergate Statement
Presidnet Nixon has gathered a trio of top aides for mountain-top consultations as he prepares his Watergate statement.
Joining Nixon Thursday in the seclusion of Camp David were presidential assistants Alexander M. Haig, Jr., and Ronald L. Ziegler. One of the top White House speech writers, Raymond K. Price, had come to the wooded compound with the President on Wednesday.
Aides said Nixon would spend the weekend working on his response to the latest Watergate developments. That response is expected to come about the middle of next week in the form of a nationally televised speech and a detailed “white paper” gifting a point-by-point rebuttal of charges leveled against Nixon and his administration.
Also with the President are Mrs. Nixon and daughter Tricia Cox. Their other daughter and son-in-law, Julie and David Eisenhower, came to Camp David for dinner Thursday but did not spend the night.
25 Years Ago
Lewinsky Testimony Sets Stage for Clinton Account in 10 Days
Keeping her composure while presenting an account that President Clinton will confront in 10 days, Monica Lewinsky has told a grand jury that she and Clinton had a sexual relationship inside the White House, and discussed ways to conceal their involvement, a legal source says.
Ms. Lewinsky, telling 23 strangers on a federal grand jury about her sex life, set the stage Thursday for Clinton’s testimony by closed-circuit television on August 17.
In stark contrast to her testimony, Clinton has denied having sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky— once in sworn testimony in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit and again in a televised statement.