Teapot Dome scandal
One of the most famous American political scandals of the 1920s
was the Teapot Dome scandal
, which shook the nation for many years after President Warren G. Harding
's death. The scandal revolved around Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall's rental of public oil
fields to private concerns, on April 7
, in exchange for personal loans. Fall was convicted and in 1931 he became the first US Cabinet member to be sent to prison. He was sentenced to one year of imprisonment and was obligated to pay $100,000.
As rumors of corruption began to leak out, some members of Harding's inner circle committed suicide. When Harding died of a heart attack shortly after this, rumors surfaced that he either committed suicide or was poisoned by his wife. The alleged motives of his wife, however, had nothing to do with the Teapot Dome scandal.