Warren G. Harding’s Grandson Asks Ohio Court To Exhume Former President’s Body

(Everett Collection/Shutterstock/ID: 242288578)

Kathleen Thrane Contributor
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Former President Warren G. Harding’s grandson is asking an Ohio court to exhume his grandfather’s body. 

James Blaesing said he is seeking to exhume Harding’s body to confirm his relationship to the 29th president through DNA testing, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Blaesing’s mother, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, is the child of Harding and his longtime lover, Nan Britton. Blaesing is seeking recognition for his mother in Harding’s new presidential center in Marion, Ohio. 

President Warren Harding with First Lady Florence Kling Harding in 1920.

President Warren Harding with First Lady Florence Kling Harding in 1920. (Everett Collection/Shutterstock)

Blaesing said he deserves to “have his story, his mother’s story and his grandmother’s story included within the hallowed halls and museums in this town,” according to the AP.

Blaesing discovered his relation to Harding when he took a DNA test from and matched with two of Harding’s relatives. After the test, his mother discovered she was Harding’s only child. (RELATED: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Presidential Sex Affairs But Were Afraid to Ask)

He is disappointed the new museum is not taking more of an interest in his mother. 

“I did the test and we brought it to the public in 2015. It’s now 2020 and no one has asked me one thing,” he told the AP. “I’m not a part of anything. Nothing. My brothers, myself, no one. We’re invisible. They’re treating us just like they treated my grandmother.”

Other members of the Harding family argue that the knowledge that Blaesing’s mother was Harding’s daughter is widespread and that the new presidential center has already announced that it would include information on Britton and Blaesing.

“Sadly, widespread, public recognition and acceptance by the descendants, historians, and biographers (and Mr. Blaesing himself) that Mr. Blaesing is President Harding’s grandson is not enough for him,” relatives said according to the AP.

The Ohio History Connection is the nonprofit organization in charge of Harding’s memorial. The nonprofit won’t take sides in the family disagreement. The new museum plans to have a designated area on Britton, Harding and Blaesing, said the nonprofit spokesperson Emmy Beach.

The coronavirus pandemic has put renovations for the new presidential center on hold.