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History Spotlight - First Presidential Visit

President Warren G. Harding
The main land feature of Kenai Fjords National Park just outside Seward is the Harding Icefield. This huge block of ice was named after President Warren G. Harding; the first president to ever first Alaska. Only a territory at the time, President Harding was looking to sell his policies on a west coast trip and during July of 1923, Harding would spend over two weeks touring Alaska.


An interesting note about his visit is what happened shortly after. President Harding is one of the few presidents to die while in office and after leaving Alaska, he sailed down to San Francisco where he died roughly a week after he left the territory of Alaska. In poor health the months before, it was not a shock to many to learn of his demise, however a popular theory at the time was that his wife poisoned him. Based on rumors of an affair and Mrs. Harding not allowing an autopsy to occur, many speculated she may have played a role in this death. Popular thought today
is that he died of natural causes, but a good conspiracy theory nonetheless!

~ Danny