Happy William Henry Harrison Day

Monday - 2/18/2013, 12:52pm EST

Back in the day, Feb. 22 was a national holiday to honor our first president, George Washington. A lot of people think he was our greatest because he set the tone. He could have been king and maybe established a hereditary monarchy. Or he could have served as many terms as he liked. Instead, he did as promised — eight years and then returned to Mount Vernon.

But the Monday-holiday folks finally had their way. Monday holidays are great (for those that get them), and merchants love it. So now it's President's Day, meaning you can pick your favorite POTUS.

Many distinguished historians (myself included) think that our best all-around president was maybe William Henry Harrison. He was a self-made man, a war hero and a successful diplomat. He was the oldest man (until Ronald Reagan) to ever take office, at age 68.

He made one of the longest inauguration day speeches ever, came down with pneumonia and died in his 32nd day in office. Most of the time he was too sick to do anything — including make mistakes.

He didn't start any wars, cause any recessions or sequester anybody. He just came to work, took sick leave and expired without making a single mistake: Except maybe for that long speech in the cold without a top coat.

So I don't know what you are doing today, and which President (if any) you are honoring. For me, it's Tippecanoe and Tyler too.

Have a nice day!


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

From Mental Floss:

In 2011, Australia's Northern Territory Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, gifted President Barack Obama a $50,000 policy that would cover the President in case he was attacked by a crocodile.


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