History Nuggets: President William Henry Harrison and the Holly and the Ivy

William Henry Harrison, (No. 9) was not in the White House long enough to enjoy a Christmas season, serving only one month before he died of pneumonia after making—in the snow—the longest U.S. presidential inauguration speech on record.

William Henry Harrison, was born at Berkeley Plantation in Virginia on February 9, 1773.  His father, Benjamin, was a member of the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The young Harrison grew up on the James River just 30 miles from Yorktown, where Cornwallis surrendered to Washington. William, the youngest of seven children, learned to rely on himself early in life. The Christmas season was celebrated on Virginia plantations by attending church services and decorating their homes with holly and ivy. William, no doubt, followed the colonial boy’s custom of “shooting in the Christmas,” which consisted of firing their guns into the air on Christmas Eve morning.  “Oh the holly and the ivy…”

Hear the ancient Christmas song “The Holly and the Ivy”.

The inspirational photo by Pixabay

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