Humanity and the Weather

Humanity’s Impact

Has the weather ever been responsible for killing a U.S. president?

When U.S. President William Henry Harrison (1773–1841) gave his inaugural address on March 4, 1841, the weather was miserable. Despite snow and bitter cold, President Harrison insisted on remaining outside and giving one of the longest inaugural addresses ever (1 hour and 45 minutes). At 68 years old, the former general and war hero was not in the most robust health, and many blamed the weather conditions as the cause of President Harrison’s subsequent pneumonia. One month after becoming president, he died, thus earning him the distinction of the U.S. president serving the shortest term in office.


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