23rd US President Benjamin Harrison

23rd US President Benjamin Harrison


Benjamin Harrison born on August 20, 1833 was the 23rd President of the United States (1889–1893). Born in North Bend, Ohio, Harrison, a grandson of President William Henry Harrison, moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, at age 21, eventually becoming a prominent politician there. He served the Union as a Brigadier General in the XX Corps of the Army of the Cumberland during the American Civil War. After the war he unsuccessfully ran for the governorship of Indiana, and was later elected to the U.S. Senate by the Indiana legislature.

Defeating the Democratic incumbent Grover Cleveland, Harrison, a Republican, was elected to the presidency in 1888. His administration is remembered most for economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff and the Sherman Antitrust Act, and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time.

Benjamin Harrison, our 23rd President, had an extreme fear of electric lights. The White House staff had to turn the lights on and off for him constantly. To protect voting rights for African Americans, Harrison advocated, although unsuccessfully, for federal education funding and legislation. He also saw the admittance of six states into the Union.

Harrison returned to private life in Indianapolis defeated by Cleveland in his bid for re-election in 1892,. He died the following year from complications from influenza on March 13, 1901. He is to date the only U.S. president from Indiana and the only one to be the grandson of another president.

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