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President-elect Warren G. Harding in Brownsville (1920)

Brownsville Historical Association

Silent | 1920

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  •  A crowd awaits the arrival of President-elect Warren G. Harding in Brownsville  
  •  Riding in the Armistice Day Parade 
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On November 2, 1920, Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio was elected the next president of the United States. Six days later, he traveled to South Texas for a brief vacation before assuming office. The Harding party arrived in Brownsville on November 8 on a train from San Antonio. After speaking to the assembled crowd, the President-elect ventured to the Brownsville Country Club for a reception and a round of golf. Later that afternoon, the party drove to Port Isabel to settle into the vacation cottage of R. B. Creager, Harding’s friend and a prominent Texas Republican. In between fishing and golfing, the Creagers hoped to entertain their guests with motor trips around the Rio Grande Valley and a visit across the border into Matamoros, Mexico. Stormy weather ultimately limited the group’s fun. While Harding received “informal calls of courtesy,” according to the Associated Press, from politicians including Texas Governor William P. Hobby and Senator Albert Falls of New Mexico, state business was not the purpose of the trip. Plans for him to meet with President-elect Alvaro Obregon of Mexico were canceled for fear of further complicating relations between the two countries following the Mexican Revolution. Harding made just one public appearance during the Armistice Day celebration in Brownsville on November 11. After riding in the parade, the President-elect addressed a border crowd at Fort Brown. The speech, Harding’s first prepared utterance since the election, proposed a foreign policy based on peace and friendship. The Harding party departed Brownsville on November 17, taking a train to New Orleans before boarding a ship bound for Panama. This 35mm footage captures Harding’s arrival in Brownsville and appearance in the Armistice Day parade. Digitized by Astral Images.