Author: Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison, by Joseph Gray Kitchell, 1897

Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901) served as twenty-third President of the United States. Born to a family of farmers and the grandson of President William Henry Harrison, Harrison studied law, served as a Union officer in the Civil War, and was an Indiana senator before being elected to the presidency in 1888. Harrison signed the McKinley Tariff Act, which raised duties on many imports, as well as the infamous Sherman Antitrust Act. He advocated, albeit unsuccessfully, for federal education funding and legislation to protect voting rights for African Americans. He also saw the admittance of six states into the Union.

Proclamation on the 400th Anniversary of the Discovery of America by Columbus

Benjamin Harrison

Although Columbus Day did not become an official annual holiday of the United States until 1934, President Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901), acting according to a joint resolution of both houses of Congress, proclaimed a national holiday to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage. Delivered on July 21, 1892, ahead of the Chicago Columbian Exposition to be held October of that same year, Harrison’s remarks made special mention of the school ceremonies that would “impress upon our youth the patriotic duties of American citizenship.”