William Henry Harrison Presidential Dollar
The fifth U.S. President to hail from Virginia, William Henry Harrison was born in 1773. When he was a small child, his father, Benjamin Harrison, signed the American Declaration of Independence. During a distinguished Army career, Harrison served as secretary of the Northwest Territory and governor of the Indiana Territory. He gained national fame and the nickname “Old Tippecanoe” from victories at the Battle of Tippecanoe and the Battle of the Thames against American Indians led by Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Harrison served in the Ohio State Senate, as a U.S. Representative and Senator from Ohio, and as U.S. minister to Colombia. In 1840, the Whig party tapped Harrison to run against incumbent President Martin Van Buren, who had become unpopular because of a lingering economic depression. "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" (John Tyler was the vice presidential candidate) became the first and still one of the most memorable of presidential campaign slogans. Harrison defeated Van Buren in a landslide. At 68, Harrison was the oldest president to have served in the office up until that time. In a bracing March rainstorm, Harrison gave the longest inaugural speech in U.S. history, lasting an hour and 45 minutes. Wearing neither hat nor coat, he caught a severe cold from the long exposure to the elements. Shortly thereafter, he developed pneumonia. He died exactly one month after his inauguration, becoming the first president to die in office. Harrison's grandson, Benjamin Harrison, later became the 23rd President of the United States.