Presidential Sex Scandals- Warren Harding and the White House Coat Closet

Every generation thinks they invented sex. Because of certain puritanical regulations laid down on early film and tv media, it’s easy to think of our ancestors as being prissy, frigid, and scared of sex. Nothing was further from the truth. Let’s not forget the same generation that went to fight the Nazis (The Greatest Generation) came home and fucked their brains out, spawning the largest population growth in the history of this country- and saddling the further generation with having to deal with the Baby Boomers.

And along with the carnal act, the presidential sex scandal also has a long and wonderful history in our country. In this case we’ll look at the one involving Warren Harding, easily one of our crappiest presidents (see the Teapot Dome Scandal), had an affair with 16 year old Nan Britton and laid a bastard child upon her at 19.

President Warren Harding


She wrote a book in 1927 (after he had died) called The President’s Daughter stating all of this. Below are a few choice excerpts- keep in mind, she offers almost no evidence to support this, but a hidden cache of love letters uncovered in 1964 and a DNA test in 2015 confirmed most of her statements.

“In June of that spring, 1921, I made my first trip to Washington…

“As soon as I reached Washington I connected with Tim on the phone. It seems to me he told me my appointment with Mr. Harding had already been arraigned. In any event, Tim called for me at my hotel and escorted me to the White House.

“Needless to say, I ‘took in’ everything I could on that first visit. We entered the executive offices through the main entrance, which is the entrance on the right of the White House portico, and passed through the wall leading to the Cabinet room. Here we waited for Mr. Harding.

Nan Britton


“While we waited, I observed the Cabinet Room with less awe, I guess, than natural curiosity. There was a long table around which stood the substantial chairs of the twelve men who met here every Tuesday morning and every Friday morning, each chair having the name of the particular Cabinet member engraved upon a little metal plaque which was fastened on the back. A fire place, a clock on the mantelpiece, and a few pictures completed the furnishings. Mr. Harding’s chair at the head of the table interested me most, and I stroked the back of it and sipped stale water from a partially filled glass which stood on the table in front of the President’s chair. So this was where sat the leaders of the greatest nation in the world! I recalled articles I had read about this awesome office. One had recently appeared in the New York Times and was entitled, ‘At the Keyhole of the Cabinet Room’. But I was not at the keyhole. I was on the really and truly inside!

“We had been waiting only a very few minutes when Mr. Harding opened the door, a door immediately behind and opposite his Cabinet Room chair. He greeted me cordially and instructed Tim to remain in the Cabinet Room. Then I preceded him into a very small adjoining room, a room with one window. He explained to me that this was the ante-room and crossed over to another door which lead over into his own private office.

“Once in there, he turned and took me in his arms and told me what I could see in his face – that he was delighted to see me. Not more delighted, however, than I was to see him.

Mother and illegitimate daughter


“There were windows along one side of the room which looked out upon the green of the White House grounds, and outside, stalking up and down, face rigidly to the front, moved the President’s armed guard. But in spite of this apparent obliviousness on the part of the guard, we were both skeptical and Mr. Harding said to me that people have eyes in the sides of their heads down there and so we must be very circumspect. Whereupon he introduced me to the one place where, he said, he thought we might share kisses in safety. This was a small closet in the ante-room, evidently a place for hats and coats, but entirely empty most of the times we used it, for we repaired there many times in the course of my visits to the White House, and in the darkness of a space not more than five feet square the President of the United States and his adoring sweetheart made love.”


For more fun try books by Rex Hurst

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