DNA: Warren G. Harding Wasn’t Black

The DNA test used to link President Warren G. Harding to a secret child also disproved rumors that he was black himself. The president, who was in office from 1921 to 1923, had been surrounded by rumors of black ancestry in an attempt to discredit him, but the test shows no “recent” African ancestry. “One of my ancestors may have jumped the fence,” the president once told a reporter, in an apparent sign that he himself did not know the truth. The rumors persisted for so long that his grandniece told stories of her carriage being approached in the 1940s by people who “just wanted to see if she was black.”