Teapot Dome Scandal
In 1920, Ohioan Warren Gamaliel Harding won election as President of the United States. President Harding’s legacy largely still is tied to the Teapot Dome Scandal. The scandal received its name from the government-owned oil fields in Teapot Dome, Wyoming. Oil lands in Elk Hills, Ca., also were included under the Teapot Dome umbrella.
The upshot of the Teapot Dome Scandal was the accusation that Harding’s Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall, had bypassed the open bid process in awarding leases for government oil land to private oil companies. The practice of leasing government oil land was common because of the passage of the General Leasing Act under President Wilson.
Fall, who had been a well respected senator from New Mexico prior to his two-year stint in Interior, allegedly had routed the leases to two oil companies in return for a $100,000 gift. At the end of a lengthy Senate investigation and ensuing trial, he was convicted of accepting the bribe, sentenced to a year in jail and fined $100,000; one oilman spent six months in jail for perjury; the other was acquitted of giving Fall the bribe.
- Anthony, Carl Sferrazza.
<city> <place>Florence</place></city> Harding: The First Lady, the Jazz Age and the Death of <country-region> <place>America</place></country-region>'s Most Scandalous President. <place> <city>New York</city>, <state>NY</state></place>: W. Morrow & Co., 1998.
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