Teapot Dome Scandal

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  • The Teapot Dome scandal in the 1920s involved attempts by officials in the administration of President Warren G. Harding to profit from leasing public lands in Wyoming for oil drilling. It badly tarnished Harding's reputation and led to the first felony conviction of a cabinet member in U.S. history.

    The scandal began to brew as soon as Harding took office. Albert Fall received the appointment as U.S. Secretary of the Interior. Fall, a Republican senator and rancher from New Mexico, had served as Harding's campaign adviser. He viewed public lands as targets for exploitation rather than areas in need of protection. The Teapot Dome Naval Reserve was one of three oilfields that had been set aside as U.S. Naval Petroleum Reserves by the Taft and Wilson ...

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