US President Warren Harding, 1923


Photo: Vancouver Archives. Ref: N1271.06.

US President Warren Harding
US President Warren Harding visited Vancouver, the first sitting president to do so. Premier John Oliver and Mayor Charles Tisdall hosted a luncheon in his honour at the Hotel Vancouver. More than 50,000 people crowded into Stanley Park to hear him speak, thrilled that such an important figure was visiting.

Exactly one week later, on August 2, Harding died of heart failure in San Francisco. The city was shocked and saddened, and the Kiwanis Club initiated a fundraising drive to pay for a grand memorial to Harding, who was a Kiwanian. The monument, designed by Vancouver sculptor Charles Marega (also a Kiwanian), was erected in Stanley Park at the site where the president spoke. It’s still there today. (Harding was succeeded by Vice-President Calvin Coolidge.)

View the entire Metro Vancouver History 365 Series HERE.