William Henry Harrison served as the ninth president of the United States for 31 days in 1841. He was the first president to die in office and the shortest-serving U.S. president in history. After succumbing to natural but somewhat uncertain causes in 1841, he was the first president to lie in state in the White House East Room. The White House was draped in black mourning and his coffin loaded on a horse-drawn funeral car to be moved in procession to the U.S. Capitol. With precedent established, the scenes would be repeated when death cut short the presidencies of Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. Richard F. Grimmett joins History Happy Hour to share more of President Harrison’s mysterious story. Dr. Barbara A. Perry, director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia's Miller Center and dear friend of the White House Historical Association, will serve as the episode's moderator.
History Happy Hour is a biweekly virtual program hosted by the White House Historical Association. Join us as experts weigh in on a variety of historical topics, share their insights, answer audience questions, and enjoy presidential-inspired libations.
Did you know members of the Association have access to all previous History Happy Hour episodes? Become a member here.
The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) leads the fight to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking and promotes responsible decision-making regarding beverage alcohol. Supported by nine of America's distillers who lead with a strong commitment to responsibility, Responsibility.org's distinguished National Advisory Board and our partners at the national and local level help us reach a broad audience, guiding a lifetime of conversations about alcohol responsibility across all 50 U.S. states and in our nation's capital.