Presidential Speeches

May 14, 1920: Readjustment

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Warren G. Harding

May 14, 1920

Source Miller Center

Nation's Forum (NF 21) 4985 (4:48)

The basis for this recording was an address entitled “Back to Normal” Senator Harding delivered to the Home Market Club of Boston on May 14, 1920. He reminded citizens that all human ills are not curable by legislation (a gentle chiding of the Democrats), and stated that “if we can prove a representative popular government under which the citizenship seeks what it may do for the government and country, rather than what the country may do for individuals, we shall do more to make democracy safe for the world than all armed conflict ever recorded.” The listener can catch the extraordinary ability of the senator with words and the quickness and imagination with which he could speak. The speech is also notable for Harding’s phrase “not heroics, but healing, not nostrums, but normalcy.” Critics of the senator would claim that he coined the word “normalcy,” which actually goes back to Elizabethan times.

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May 14, 1920: Readjustment

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