Disney The American Presidents: Benjamin Harrison

back in the 1880s Benjamin Harrison was

a man of the future sort of it was the

first to have electric lights installed

in the White House but rumor has it he

was too scared to touch the switches

because he thought he might be


Joe Harrison was the first president to

have his voice recorded but it sounded

like this he was also the last president

to wear a beard maybe because it was

hard to keep them from rubbing up

against microphones as the grandson of

former President William Henry Harrison

Benjamin represented a new generation he

was a lawyer a politician and a pretty

civilized guy

not exactly the rough and tough war hero

his grandfather was but when Harrison

became president and tried to be a voice

for progress he was in for quite a shock

Harrison came to the White House as a

big fan of big business but he ended up

being the first president ever to shrink

corporate power we supported the Sherman

Antitrust Act in 1890 which was really

really antitrust in fact it outlawed

trusts altogether

that meant that corporations couldn't

join together to keep their prices up

and the little guy down good thing there

were no recordings and what big business

thought about that Harrison did try to

keep the lights on for us industry with

some other neat tricks like supporting

protectionism protectionism is a very

fancy word for trying to protect

industry inside the United States the

idea is that anything that comes from

outside the country has to have a

special tax put on it so that it's

automatically more expensive than

anything grown or made in the United

States the special taxes or tariffs were

good for big business but not so good

for the average American farmers for

instance had to pay more for

manufactured products they needed from

overseas so Harrison was never able to

speak clearly on behalf of the average

kid or big business is this thing on and

by the time he was up for re-election

the conflict over tariffs was casting a

dark cloud over the US economy

soon it was lights out for Harrison in

1892 former President Cleveland beat

Harrison and returned to office giving

Harrison a unique place in history the

president of the future became our only

president to be replaced by a president

from the past