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President Harding as greatest U.S. leader

NORTH CANAAN — President Warren G. Harding arrived at Christ Church Sunday. At least, his spirit was there, in a re-enactment presented by Kevin Titus of Falls Village.The actor has taken on the role of the former president in a big way, promoting the man he believes could have been our greatest national leader had he not died two years into office.Titus entered the church with a “Secret Service” man and shook hands with every member of the small crowd before taking the podium to give Harding’s “My Conviction” speech.During a question-and-answer period that followed, he spoke of traveling to Raritan, N.J., the week before, where he re-enacted the signing of the Knox-Porter Resolution that ended World War I. For that talk, he wore golf clothes to simulate what Harding might have been wearing that day. He had been pulled from the fourth hole for the momentous task. A key prop in the re-enactment was the actual desk Harding used for the signing, 90 years ago.Titus is distantly related to Harding. But his respect for the 29th president comes from research. Harding was not involved in the Teapot Dome scandal that tainted his tenure, Titus said. He is remembered, among other accomplishments, for opening up the White House to anyone who wanted to visit. He was markedly different from his predecessor, Woodrow Wilson, who was not very popular internationally.“World War I ended on Nov. 11, 1918, but it was not officially over until July 2, 1921, when Harding signed the treaty,” Titus said, “because the League of Nations did not want to sign a treaty with Wilson.”There were numerous questions about his death, which sparked much innuendo, and for which no conclusion was ever established.

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