Today In History Spotlights Feb. 9, 1773, William H. Harrison is Born

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Today’s History Spotlight

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William H. Harrison is born in Charles City County, Virginia. The son of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Harrison was the last US president to be born when the American colonies were under British rule. A veteran of the War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, and the Northwest Indian War, he earned the nickname “Old Tippecanoe” at the Battle of Tippecanoe. Prior to becoming president, Harrison served under many positions, including Representative from the Northwest Territory, Governor of the Indiana Territory, Ohio State Senator, and US Minister to Gran Colombia.

A member of the Democratic-Republican Party until 1828, he later joined the Whig Party in 1836. He served the shortest term of any US president, lasting only from March 4 – April 4, 1841. On April 4, he passed away from Pneumonia, becoming the first president to die in office, which triggered a constitutional crisis. William Harrison was the grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, who later served as president from 1889-1893.

What Happened On This Day – February 9

  • 1996 The Irish paramilitary organization IRA ends an 18-month ceasefire by exploding a large bomb in London. The explosion in London’s Canary Wharf left 2 people dead and 39 injured.
  • 1969 The Boeing 747 flies for the first time. The “Jumbo Jet” was the world’s largest passenger aircraft at the time.
  • 1964 The Beatles embark on their first tour in the United States. Their appearance in the Ed Sullivan Sow marked the beginning of the “British Invasion”
  • 1959 The world’s first intercontinental ballistic missile becomes operational in the USSR. The Soviet R-7 Semyorka missile had a range of 8800 km (5500 mi).
  • 1950 U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy launches his anti-communist campaign. On this day, McCarthy accused the U.S. State Department of being infiltrated by communists.

Births On This Day – February 9

  • 1987 Magdalena Neuner – German biathlete
  • 1942 Carole King – American singer-songwriter, pianist
  • 1932 Gerhard Richter – German painter
  • 1846 Wilhelm Maybach – German businessman, founded Maybach
  • 1737 Thomas Paine – English/American theorist, author

Deaths On This Day – February 9

  • 1981 Bill Haley – American singer-songwriter, musician
  • 1957 Miklós Horthy – Hungarian Admiral, regent
  • 1881 Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Russian author
  • 1857 Dionysios Solomos – Greek poet
  • 967 Sayf al-Dawla – Emir of Aleppo

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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