President of the Day

Handy Presidents 2e
ISBN: 9781578593170

Which president started a curse of the presidency?

  • He gave the longest inauguration speech.
  • He had to abandon a career in medicine to join the military.
  • He ran for president under the slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too."
  • He died after thirty days in office.

William Henry Harrison

What was unusual about Harrison's inauguration?

Harrison gave the longest inauguration speech in presidential history. He delivered a speech of more than 8,400 words that took nearly two hours to deliver. He delivered the speech in wet, cold weather in March.

What was The Prophet's curse?

Legend has it that Tenskwatawa placed a curse upon Harrison in 1836, saying that Harrison would not win the presidency, or, if he did win the presidency, he would die. The curse was placed upon Harrison by "The Prophet" for the death of his brother Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames.

Allegedly, the curse was supposed to apply to American leaders every twenty years. As strange it sounds, for many decades, there was a disturbing pattern of American presidents dying every twenty years. Harrison died in 1841 after winning the election of 1840; Lincoln died in 1865, having been elected in 1860; James Garfield died in 1881 from an assassin's bullet after winning the election of 1880; President William McKinley died in 1901 after winning the election of 1900; President Warren G. Harding died in 1923 after winning the election of 1920; Franklin Roosevelt died in 1945 and he had won the election of 1940; and President John F. Kennedy died in 1963 after winning the election of 1960.

What tragic event caused Harrison to leave the pursuit of a medical career?

His father passed away when William Henry was eighteen years old. He chose to return home from Pennsylvania and begin a military career. With assistance from Senator Richard Henry Lee, he enlisted in the First Infantry Regiment as an ensign. He soon became a lieutenant.

What famous campaign slogan helped carry Harrison to the White House?

The Whigs ran a national campaign, full of political slogans and attack ads against President Van Buren. The most famous slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too." This referred to Harrison's nickname of "Old Tippecanoe," and recalled his victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe years earlier. Tyler referred to Harrison's running John Tyler from Virginia. Harrison was a vigorous campaigner and actually went from city to city campaigning, much like modern politicians do today.

How did Harrison die?

Harrison died from pneumonia on April 4, 1841, after serving just over thirty days in office as president. He became the first president to die in office. Harrison may have contracted pneumonia after being caught in a harsh downpour of rain a few weeks after his inauguration. Others have speculated that his two-hour inaugural speech in wet, cold weather may have contributed to his rapid decline in health.

From The Handy Presidents Answer Book, Second Edition by David L. Hudson, Jr., JD., (c) Visible Ink Press(R) More than 1,600 things you never knew about our nation's leaders

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