Name That Prez: Which President Served For The Shortest Length Of Time?
Every school kid will learn (or should learn) that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was America's longest serving President, being elected 4 times. But who was the shortest serving President of the United States?
A presidential term is, of course, 4 years. But most folks know we've had several President's who didn't serve a full 4 year term, whether because of assassination or filling in for an assassinated President and not winning an election in his own right. Or maybe assuming the presidency following a resignation (Ford). In other words, several President's served less than 4 years.
But only one died on his 32nd day in office!
He was a war hero, this shortest serving President. In fact, it was largely because of that 'war hero' status that he was elected in the first place. Except, it wasn't really a war but a battle that vaulted this man to fame in the United States. He was a Congressman and a Governor. He ran for the presidency...and lost.
And then he ran again and won.
His name? William Henry Harrison. And he was now the President, the Commander in Chief. He was in the White House.
But only for a little over 31 days.
Harrison's inaugural speech was the longest in American history, nearly two full hours, and he gave it outdoors in a cold rain/sleet mix in Washington. Because of that, Harrison developed pneumonia and died on his 32nd day in office. It was April 4, 1841. John Tyler was the new President of the United States.
Oh, and that famous battle Harrison was known for? The battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, and he also fought in the War of 1812.
And just one more thing, back in your school days you may recall learning about a famous political quote 'Tippecanoe and Tyler too'. Yep, that 'Tippecanoe' was William Henry Harrison. Harrison's grandson Benjamin Harrison fared a little better in the presidency. He served a full 4 year term from 1889-1893.