Harding love letters to be released July 29

David Jackson
Warren Harding's inauguration in 1921.

Historians have long known that, before he became president, Warren G. Harding had an extramarital affair with a woman named Carrie Fulton Phillips.

Soon, they'll be able to learn about it in more detail.

The Library of Congress has announced that on July 29 it will release some 1,000 pages of love letters between Harding and Phillips, the wife of a friend.

This was not Harding's most famous affair, it should be noted.That would be Nan Britton, who claimed that she carried on with Harding when he was president — once allegedly in a White House coat closet — and had his child.

Britton's book, The President's Daughter, is considered the first kiss-and-tell book involving a president.

Harding and Phillips began their affairs in 1905, but stopped before he became president in 1921. (Harding died in office in 1923.)

The Library of Congress says most of the letters to be released were written between 1910 and 1920, including the years when Harding was a U.S. senator from Ohio.

Phillips' lawyer and guardian found the letters after she died in 1960, but they were kept secret because of litigation. Harding's nephew, George Harding, eventually purchased the letters from a Phillips family member.

Said the Library of Congress: "In 1972, Dr. Harding donated the letters to the Library of Congress for safekeeping, with the stipulation that the Library keep the papers closed until July 29, 2014, which would be 50 years from the day the probate judge first closed them."