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President Warren G. Harding's Voyage of Understanding

This series of stereograph cards was created by the Keystone View Company in 1923. It documents moments from President Warren G. Harding's "Voyage of Understanding," undertaken across the United States, Alaskan territory, and Canada in the summer of 1923. The series also includes images related to President Harding's funeral. Some of the cards include printed text on the back, which provide additional information about the event depicted. Animated videos of selected stereographs were created by the White House Historical Association in 2020.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, the White House, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Residence staff
    North Portico
    North Door
    staff
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding and First Lady Florence Harding departing the White House to begin Harding's "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President and Mrs. Harding Leaving White House to Visit Lincoln Memorial Before Alaska Trip, Washington, D. C." There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112028.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, the White House, Side B
    Keystone View Company
    reverse image
    This is the reverse view of image number 1111928. The text reads: "PRESIDENT AND MRS. HARDING VISITING LINCOLN MEMORIAL BEFORE THE ALASKAN TRIP. We are now standing before the beautiful memorial to ex-President Lincoln at Washington, D. C. President and Mrs. Harding are just here for a final visit, before starting upon the great Alaskan tour that they have prepared to take, to do homage to one of our martyred Presidents. As we see the President and his wife, we realize again, in an emphatic way, that he is a patriotic man; that he loves his country and loves to honor those who have served it as did his martyred predecessor. This thought leads to others concerning the President. He is a plain man, modest, unassuming and calm. He is a man who sprang from the common people ;born in 1865 of poor parents in a small Ohio town. By his own effort, he put himself through college. He later became the owner and publisher of a small newspaper. He struggled with poverty but, in spite of adversity, he gave his country paper a reputation that was more than local. He is a home-loving men [sic]. He is devoted to his father and his father’s family. He is devoted to his wife who has, since their marriage, been his constant companion both at home and abroad. Recently he was in almost constant attendance during her illness covering a period of many weeks. She, likewise, is his admirer, advisor and lover. Perhaps no one person has exerted greater influence upon the political thought and action of the President than has his devoted wife. In his home-making instinct, in his clean and devoted home life, the President may well stand as an example. Copyright by The Keystone View Company."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Martinsburg, West Virginia, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    West Virginia
    Presidential Visits
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding making a speech, probably in Martinsburg, West Virginia, early on in his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Making One of His First Speeches on Great Alaskan Trip at Martinsburg, Maryland." though it is likely the president was in Martinsburg, West Virginia. There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112029.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Martinsburg, West Virginia, Side B
    Keystone View Company
    reverse image
    This is the reverse view of image number 1111929. The text reads: "PRESIDENT HARDING MAKING ONE OF HIS FIRST SPEECHES ON HIS ALASKAN TRIP AT MARTENSBURG, MD. [Note: this was Martinsburg, West Virginia] We are now standing in the crowd listening to President Harding as he speaks from the train near the beginning of his great Alaskan Tour. His speech is upon the welfare of the nation. It is instructive and inspiring. Thinking of the great office held by him, naturally our minds revert to his personal and political struggles and career. After he graduated from college and became established as proprietor and editor of a prosperous small-town newspaper in spite of poverty and adversity, he then became known to his townspeople and to his state as a wise and coming man. In 1900 he entered the State Senate of his native State, Ohio. He was reappointed to this office. In 1904 he was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. In 1914 he was elected United States Senator from Ohio. In 1920 he won the Republican Presidential nomination and was elected. In 1921 he was inaugurated President. He is a striking example of what can be accomplished, in this great democratic country of ours, by a young man born in poverty but who has strength of body, of intellect, and will and who, with it all, has high ideals and exemplary habits. He became President in critical and disturbing times. The country was just emerging from a long, trying and expensive war. International adjustments and readjustments must be made and made promptly. Incidental to the readjustment program, early in President Harding’s Administration, the World Conference on Disarmament was called. In order that the finances of the government might be adjusted and cared for wisely, he put into effect the governmental budget system which has already resulted in the saving to the country of three billion dollars, two billion of which were incidental to the expenses of the war. Copyright by The Keystone View Company."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Presidential Visits
    Kansas
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding driving a tractor in Hutchinson, Kansas, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Driving a Tractor Binder, Hutchinson, Kansas." There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112030.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side B
    Keystone View Company
    reverse image
    This is the reverse view of image number 1111930. The text reads: "PRESIDENT HARDING DRIVING A TRACTOR BINDER, HUTCHINSON, KANSAS We are now with President Harding and his party in a 100-acre Kansas wheat field near Hutchinson. Before arriving here the President’s train travelled for miles through Kansas wheat fields and upon arrival he, with Mrs. Harding and other members of the party, were taken for a ride into the country where the harvest was just beginning, The President drove a binder in this immense field, shocked up some of the harvested grain in both the Kansas and Ohio ways and obtained first-hand information as to the problems of the wheat farmers of the middle west. When the Chief Executive demonstrated that he had not forgotten his farmer-boy days in Ohio and, as he climbed down from the tractor which drew the 10-foot binder, Governor Davis of Kansas exclaimed: 'You are some farmer, Mr. President,' and the farm hands called out 'You are all right, Chief.' The President had two purposes in performing this work in the harvest field. (a) Like any red-blooded man reared on a farm he enjoyed repeating his early experiences. (b) He wished to get the active cooperation of the western farmers in giving him complete and truthful information relative to the condition of the wheat growing sections of the west. We may add: these acts of the President, together with his conversations with the farmers and farm hands emphasized once more the truth that he was a plain man, one of the common people and no mere snob nor office holder. Copyright by The Keystone View Company"
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    leisure
    Presidential Visits
    Kansas
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding playing a round of golf in Hutchinson, Kansas, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "Pres. Harding "Teeing Off," Country Club Golf Course, Hutchinson, Kans." There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112031.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side B
    Keystone View Company
    reverse image
    This is the reverse view of image number 1111931. "PRESIDENT HARDING 'TEEING OFF,' COUNTRY CLUB GOLF COURSE, HUTCHINSON, KANS. President Harding is here enjoying a favorite form of recreation. It is no secret that President Harding has been sensitive to occasional criticisms of his golfing tendencies. These criticisms have been thoughtless and unwarranted. Every intelligent, thoughtful person knows that it is impossible for a strenuous brain-worker to do his best and accomplish his most without regular relaxation and exercise. The Presidency is a most difficult, trying and exacting office to fill. Outdoor exercise, therefore, is supremely necessary to the physical well-being of the occupant of the White House. It is not only necessary for the physical well-being of the President, but is equally necessary for the wise administration of the affairs of our nation. Most of our Presidents in later years have realized the value of outdoor exercise and have tried to get it in one form or another. Few have been so strenuous in this respect as Col. Roosevelt but some have gone to the other extreme in denying themselves relief from the strain of office. It is probably true that many of our citizens thought that the Alaskan Trip would give President Harding a glorious vacation. There is no doubt that he was enjoying himself until his unexpected illness interrupted the trip, but as a matter of fact, he worked as hard, if not harder, than when he was in Washington. One of the disadvantages of high office is that the man who holds it is denied privacy. He must be on dress-parade constantly. He has to meet reception committees, attend countless banquets, listen to grievances and prepare and deliver speeches on the issues of the day. All these things come when the President is supposed to be having a holiday. Copyright by The Keystone View Company"
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Presidential Visits
    Kansas
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding speaking with constituents in Hutchinson, Kansas, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "Pres. Harding in a Friendly Chat, Hutchinson, Kansas." There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112032.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side B
    Keystone View Company
    reverse image
    This is the reverse view of image number 1111932. The text reads: "PRESIDENT HARDING IN A FRIENDLY CHAT, HUTCHINSON, KANSAS As we stand in this group about the President we are reminded in a most pleasing and emphatic way that his activity on this occasion is the one that is perhaps most natural and most pleasing to him. We know him as our friend. This means, that he does not spend his time chatting with us for the mere purpose of gossip. We firmly believe that he is interested in us, that he loves us and that he talks with us to know what we think, how we feel, what we do and what our ideals are. Moreover, he tells us frankly and as fully as the occasion will permit what he thinks, believes and desires for our welfare and for the welfare of our nation. The President is a great believer in co-operation. He believes that permanent and great success in a democratic form of government is possible only when all the people, of whatever rank and station, co-operate. He said to us that two years ago when things generally looked bad, team work was inaugurated and all the members of the team pulled together. Since then, things have improved and to-day, are quite satisfactory. It is a source of pride, satisfaction and gratitude to the national administration to have been able to contribute something of suggestion, leadership and direction to this accomplishment. He did not claim much, but the great end could not have been attained without the complete unity already mentioned. Two years ago there were approximately 5,000,000 workers in our country without jobs. That was bad, but since then matters have reversed and we are now obliged to worry about ways and means of filling a half million jobs that want workers and cannot find them. Copyright by The Keystone View Company"
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Presidential Visits
    Kansas
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding holding a baby while speaking with constituents during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "A Highly Honored Baby "In the President's Arms." Hutchinson, Kans."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Presidential Visits
    Kansas
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding holding a baby while speaking with constituents during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Holds the Baby and Talks to the Farmers. Hutchinson, Kans." There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112034.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Hutchinson, Kansas, Side B
    Keystone View Company
    reverse image
    This is the reverse view of image number 1111934. The text reads: "PRESIDENT HARDING HOLDS THE BABY AND TALKS TO THE FARMERS, HUTCHINSON, KANSAS While at Hutchinson, Kansas, the President not only assisted in harvesting wheat but visited with the farmers, secured their confidence and in return gave them his, acquiring much information of value relative to the condition of the wheat-growing interests in the middle west. Later, in an informal way, with a babe in his arms and surrounded by fathers, mothers and small children, talked to them in a homely and friendly manner. President Harding was a believer in the home. His own home life may well be a model for all home makers in this country. He loved children. On many occasions in this most note-worthy trip he was surrounded by 'kiddies'; and childhood never errs in its estimate of those who address them. They are instinctively attracted to the one who is sincere. They are just as surely repelled by the one who is insincere. He says: 'The mother who tirelessly seeks rightly to train her children, to instill into them that indefinable essence which we know as good breeding will be performing a great service. Herein is the supreme advantage of the Public School System. I have never been able to find much satisfaction in the good fortune of families, who, when they are able to do it, prefer to take the children out of the Public Schools and give them the doubtful advantage of private schools. I think we should cling to the democracy of the Public Schools.' Copyright by The Keystone View Company"
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Ogden, Utah, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Utah
    Presidential Visits
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding standing in his car, delivering a speech in Ogden, Utah, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Speaking to School Children at Ogden, Utah."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Salt Lake City, Utah, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Utah
    Salt Lake City
    Presidential Visits
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows president Warren G. Harding leaving his hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: ""Off for the Golf Course," President Harding in "Fine Fettle," Salt Lake City, Utah."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Salt Lake City, Utah, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    travel
    leisure
    Utah
    Salt Lake City
    Presidential Visits
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company Shows President Warren G. Harding playing a round of golf in Salt Lake City, Utah, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Enjoying His Golf at Salt Lake City, Utah."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Zion National Park, Utah, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Utah
    Presidential Visits
    National Parks
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding and members of his party horseback riding in Zion National Park during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "Pres. Harding and Party Riding Horses into the Canyons of Zion National Park, Utah."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Utah, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Utah
    Presidential Visits
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding posing with a child in Utah during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "Mr. Frank Anderson Photographing His Son with President Harding, Utah."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Idaho, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Presidential Visits
    Idaho
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding learning about irrigation techniques on a farm in Idaho during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Getting First Hand Knowledge About Irrigation in Idaho." There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112041.
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Idaho, Side B
    Keystone View Company
    reverse image
    This is the reverse view of image number 1111941. The text reads: "PRESIDENT HARDING GETTING FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT IRRIGATION IN IDAHO Our government Reclamation Service has been in operation for twenty years and the results of its work during that period have been the furnishing of a complete water supply to almost a million and a quarter acres of land in the west that was formerly arid and a supplemental water supply to over a million acres of privately controlled land that formerly was arid at a cost of $135,000,000. Of government reclamation projects there are now over 30,000 averaging 53 acres. In agriculture, the work of this service has added another state to the Union; for the products of the land made fertile by the water supply equal in value the farm products of the State of West Virginia or the combined farm productions of Vermont and Tennessee. In addition to the irrigation furnished through the Government Service, there are many privately owned irrigation plants ranging in size from the little dam of the hillside brook to those that are larger and more expensive. President Harding believed in reclamation and water utilization. In his speech at Spokane he declared against locking up the public domain as a treasure house of potential wealth. The President believed in reclamation. He believed in conservation, but only that form of conservation which results, or should result, in development. He believed that wise development of national resources does not often result in their disastrous diminution. Copyright by The Keystone View Company"
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Butte, Montana, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Presidential Visits
    Montana
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding speaking to a large crowd in Butte, Montana, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Speaking at Butte, Montana."
  • President Harding's Voyage of Understanding, Butte, Montana, Side A
    Keystone View Company
    Presidential Visits
    Montana
    travel
    This stereograph by Keystone View Company shows President Warren G. Harding speaking to a crowd of Boy Scouts in Butte, Montana, during his "Voyage of Understanding." The Voyage of Understanding was the name given to Harding's tour of the western United States and Alaska. Harding was the first sitting president to visit Alaska. The caption reads: "President Harding Addressing Boy Scouts at Butte, Montana." There is text on the back of this card. See image number 1112043.