Cheryl Harness - She's historical!
President #23 was Benjamin Harrison and his grandpa, William Henry Harrison, was president #9—but not for long. After giving the LONGEST inauguration speech ever (8,441 words!), poor President Harrison had the SHORTEST presidency. He got sick, giving that long speech on his cold Inauguration Day, March 4, 1841, and died of pneumonia 31 days later. The SHORTEST inaugural address was given by President #1, George Washington, in 1793. Just 135 words! Who was president for the LONGEST time? Franklin D. Roosevelt, #32. “FDR” served three 4-year terms + 83 days of his fourth term before he died in 1945. He spent more than twelve years getting America through horrible, rotten economic times in the 1930s’ Great Depression and almost all the way through the 1940s’ horrible, deadly Second World War.
There is LOTS of presidential trivia, such as who was BIGGEST? President #27, 335-pound William Howard Taft. The SHORTEST? #4, James Madison: 5 feet, 4 inches. The TALLEST? Both #16 and #36, Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon B. Johnson, stood 6 feet, 4 inches. So far, the president who’s lived the longest (93 ½ when he died in December 2006) was Gerald Ford, #40. On the other hand, 35th president John F. Kennedy lived the shortest life—only 46 ½ when he was shot and killed in November 1963. But who was the youngest man to become president? That’d be FDR’s distant cousin, Theodore Roosevelt. It happened like this: In September 1901, after William McKinley, #25, became the 3rd president to die from an assassin’s bullet, the 42-year-old Vice President, “Teddy” Roosevelt, became President #26.
I hope these random facts make you want to learn even more about these leaders’ lives and times. Each one is a chapter in the story of our nation.
© Cheryl Harness, 2014
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"Help! Something's on fire. Grab the potato chip bag!"
Tomorrow Vicki Cobb will explain why that's not such a totally silly suggestion.