Portrait of President William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison

9th President of the United States
Years in Office: 1841
Party: Whig

Served only 31 days, died in office

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President William Henry Harrison holds the briefest presidential term, lasting only 31 days; his inaugural address, delivered in cold weather without a coat, is believed to have contributed to his pneumonia and untimely death, making his presidency the shortest in U.S. history.

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison, the ninth President of the United States, had a brief and impactful term, serving only 31 days in 1841, the shortest presidency in American history. Born on February 9, 1773, in Virginia, Harrison had a notable military career before entering politics. He gained fame as the hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe during the War of 1812.

Harrison's presidential campaign in 1840 emphasized his military successes and portrayed him as a man of the people. Despite his victory in the election, his inaugural address on a cold and rainy March day contributed to his downfall. Harrison developed pneumonia and died on April 4, 1841, making him the first U.S. president to die in office. His presidency was too short to leave a significant legislative legacy, but his death triggered a constitutional crisis as Vice President John Tyler assumed the presidency, setting a precedent for presidential succession that is followed to this day.

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