Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) of Ohio, the incumbent U.S. president who had died unexpectedly in office less than two years earlier, was chosen to appear on a 1.5-cent postage stamp made necessary by postage rate changes in 1925. The first fractional cent stamp in U.S. history, it was intended for use on third-class mail.
Clair Aubrey Huston designed the stamp. Frederic Pauling engraved the vignette, a Harding profile. It was the same vignette used in 1923 on a 2-cent stamp issued in memory of Harding—stamps sometimes called the 'Black Hardings'. Engravers E.M. Hall, J.C. Benzing, and E. M. Weeks worked on the frame. Both the flat plate press and the rotary press were used to print sheets of the stamp, which were issued on March 19, 1925. A sidewise coil version was also issued that day. Subsequently, an endwise coil version was released. In 1930 the Post Office Department decided that the 1.5-cent Harding should feature a full-face version of Harding's likeness, and it issued a new version of the stamp.