A PAGE IN HISTORY

On March 4, 1841, the United States inaugurated the first oldest man ever elected President up to that moment, William Henry Harrison of Ohio, a retired army General and a war hero. Harrison was a little over 68 years when he took the presidential oath of office. Many historians credit Harrison with being the brain behind the first inaugural parade.

However, on the date of his inauguration, Washington, DC was saturated with an inclement weather; a severe snowstorm pummeled the nation’s capital. Not only that the elderly General walked in the parade, but he also delivered what is up to this point, the longest inaugural speech in American history. Perhaps determined to show his toughness, Harrison’s speech, which contained 8,445 words, lasted for one hour and forty-five minutes in the freezing weather. He also stood outside for hours to wave to well-wishers and shake hands during the festivities, before attending a couple of inaugural balls. In fact, the entire inaugural program was held outside.

But after the inauguration, something happened: President Harrison, the revered war hero contracted pneumonia, which killed him just 31 days after his ascendancy to the presidency; he died on April 4, 1841. For the record, America’s first President, George Washington’s second inaugural address on March 4, 1793 contained 135 words; so far, the shortest presidential address in U.S. history.

At the age of 70 years, seven months and 16 days on January 20, 2017, Donald John Trump will now be the oldest person ever elected to the U.S. presidency. Even 10 years from now, outgoing President Barrack Obama would still be five years younger than Mr. Trump’s current age. The second oldest person in the Oval Office was President Ronald Wilson Reagon, who took over on January 20, 1981, just 16 days shy of his 70th birthday.

President William Henry Harrison: The first oldest person elected President of the United States.

Filed in: Analysis

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