William L. Harding

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William Lloyd Harding in 1915
This article refers to the former Iowa Governor. Please see William Harding (disambiguation) for other men with the same name.

William Lloyd Harding (October 3, 1877 – December 17, 1934) was an American politician. He was the 22nd Governor of Iowa, from 1917 to 1921.

Early life[edit]

Born in 1877 in Sibley, Iowa, Harding's hometown was Sioux City, Iowa.[1]

Political career[edit]

Harding graduated from the University of South Dakota and then practiced law in Iowa. He served in the Iowa House of Representatives and as Lieutenant Governor of Iowa under Governor George W. Clarke.

Harding opposed extending voting rights for women and road improvements. He garnered support from German-American voters who did not like Woodrow Wilson's pro-British positions in order to win election.

One of his more infamous acts was to issue the Babel Proclamation in 1918. This act, which is widely believed to have been unconstitutional, forbade the use of foreign languages in public, over the telephone, in school, and in religious services. It came about due to the large anti-German sentiment during the First World War. In addition to the Babel Proclamation, his time in office was marred by other scandals. His hostility towards immigrants and foreign ethnic groups extended beyond Germans and, for example, included Iowans of Norwegian descent.[2]

Post-political life[edit]

Harding died at age 57. He is buried in a mausoleum at the Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City, Iowa.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Find A Grave". William Lloyd Harding. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  2. ^ William L. Harding, Iowa General Assembly

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
George W. Clarke
Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
Succeeded by
Ernest Robert Moore
Preceded by
George W. Clarke
Governor of Iowa
January 11, 1917 – January 13, 1921
Succeeded by
Nathan E. Kendall