August 20, 1833 is the birthday President Benjamin Harrison, grandson of President William Henry Harrison. This Harrison (23) is the president who is sandwiched between Grover Cleveland’s two administrations.
We have not yet visited any sites associated with Benjamin Harrison. You can tour his home in Indianapolis, Indiana. (We previously wrote about our Nerd Trip to his grandfather’s memorial in North Bend, Ohio, the town where Benjamin Harrison was born. The house itself no longer stands).
Even though he was only a one-term president (1889-1893), some big things happened during B. Harrison’s administration including the Sherman Anti-Trust Act ( limiting unfair practices of big business), electricity was installed in the White House and a record number of six states joined the union (North and South Dakota, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho).
Here are some random facts about our 23rd president:
Apparently a sort-of germaphobe, Harrison wore gloves to protect himself from infection. Many people described him as stand-offish.
On the other hand, some critics described Harrison’s handshake as a “wilted petunia.”
He was the last president to wear a beard.
He gave his Secretary of the Navy artificial respiration when the man was injured in a house fire. He even let Secretary Tracy recover in the White House.
When he lived in the White House, Benjamin Harrison had a pet goat named Old Whiskers.