Rest in Peace, William Henry Harrison

Rest in Peace, William Henry Harrison


R.I.P. William Henry Harrison, the first president who died in office, on this day in 1841.

Our 9th President, Harrison set a few more records -- he had the shortest presidency at only 31 days. He was the first President from the Whig Party (the second and last Whig President, Zachary Taylor, also died in office). And he gave the longest inauguration speech in history (which is rumored to be the reason for his death).

Harrison was the grandfather of future president Benjamin Harrison and, interestingly enough, is the reason we call alcohol "booze".

When Harrison was running for president, critics said he was too old to run and said he should basically go sit in his log cabin. Harrison's "marketing team", if you will, ran with this and promoted him as a regular joe, just a "log cabin", humble kind of guy. It worked like a charm, and people saw him as "the guy next door" (he actually came from great wealth and his father was an original signer of the Declaration of Independence).

This "Log Cabin" campaign came with visuals and memorabilia to promote the would-be president, including log cabin-shaped bottles of whiskey, which were manufactured and distilled by E.C. Booz. And that is how 'Booz' became synonymous with alcohol!

Sadly, Harrison caught pneumonia soon after becoming president. It is rumored he caught pneumonia because he gave a very lengthy inauguration speech in cold weather. He passed away at age 68.

At least we'll always have "booze" to remember him by.

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