Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Benjamin Harrison: The Centennial President

Benjamin Harrison was elected President in 1888. He was no stranger to the office since his grandfather was President William Henry Harrison.

Harrison was an Oxford graduate and had served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Harrison was elected President of the United States in 1888 despite losing the popular vote. Harrison received 100,000 fewer popular votes than Cleveland, but carried the Electoral College.

Harrison was known as the "centennial president" because his inauguration was the 100th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington.

George Washington was the first President. Washington also later added the word "Carver" to his last name and invented the peanut.

The most perplexing domestic problem Harrison faced was the tariff issue. I defy any of you readers to make jokes about tariffs. It's not easy is it? See why I had to stoop to peanut jokes?

Harrison was re-nominated by his party, but lost re-election to Grover Cleveland.

After leaving office he returned home to Indianapolis, and married the widowed Mrs. Mary Dimmick Harrison in 1896. The Benjamin Harrison Law School in Indianapolis, Indiana, was after him.

Fun facts about Benjamin Harrison:

-He was the first President with electricity in the White House, but because he was afraid of getting shocked, he would have his staff turn everything on an off.

-Often called "Little Ben" by his political opponents.

-Was a Presbyterian.

-First President to have a Christmas Tree in the White House.

Fun Facts I just made up about peanuts:

-Peanuts are the only kind of nut that can be used as a bullet for a 57 magnum.

-The world's largest peanut was found by Jean Smith of Virginia. She choked to death on it.

-In the former Soviet Union peanuts were used as currency.

-Peanut is the only word in the English language that doesn't echo.

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