American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Harrison's Inauguration

Presidential Inauguration of  Wm. H. Harrison
Presidential Inauguration of
Wm. H. Harrison in Washington, D.C.,

March 4, 1841
Lithograph
Prints & Photographs Division (85A)

William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), who served the shortest presidential term, gave the longest inaugural address. Harrison was inaugurated on March 4, 1841, on a cold, wet day and, refusing to wear a hat or coat, caught cold. He then attended three inaugural balls in the evening. Harrison's "Tippecanoe" ball was held at the District's Carusi's Saloon with approximately 1,000 people paying ten dollars each to attend. The president's cold lingered and then turned more serious, until, on April 4, 1841, he succumbed to pneumonia becoming the first president to die in office.

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