Monday, February 19, 2007
So the answer today to the trivia question is William Henry Harrison.
I just learned this story when David and Lenessa were here in November while taking a tour of the city.
He was the 9th president and only served 30 days, 11 hours and 30 minutes. He was the first president to die while serving in office.
From what I have read about him he gained his fame from being a war hero in the Battle of Tippecanoe. It is said that when he gave his inaugural speech in March, it was a very cold day in D.C., but that he wanted to remind the country of his bravery from the battle and was a bit stubborn in wearing a coat. His speech is the longest in history which took two hours to read. He then, still without a coat, walked the parade route back to the White House in the cold. He caught a cold which then turned into pneumonia. He had trouble recovering and getting any rest because he had so much to do beginning as President and had many people trying to get him to choose them for different positions.
I have often thought of this story first hearing it. I don't know how true it is that he was so stubborn that he wouldn't put on a coat and he wanted to show how brave he was. Especially since there was no T.V. at the time and the only people that would have seen that would have been the ones at the capitol. (I am sure I will get some email from some ancestor who is offended by my summary of him) But from the three places I have read about him the story holds true. So my point is - the cause and effect of pride. I wonder how many things I do or don't do because I want to look or appear brave. And how many things I make up in my mind that I may think are weak when they are not. Like wearing a coat, that is just common sense.
I think this is a great story and why I love History. We can learn so much from the past and don't have to repeat mistakes if we take the time to learn from those who lived before us.
Congrats to Stacey who was the first person to give the full answer. 11.5 years of ribbon coming your way. (email me your address)
Posted by everything pink! at 5:08 PM