Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chris learns about Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison.

Hey, Internuts!  I’d like to thank everyone who has listened to the podcast already.  It took quite a while to put together and it’s very nice to hear that my little in vitro audio baby is being warmly received.  If you haven’t listened yet…well, please do so.  You can also find us on iTunes, if that’s your bag.  Just click on a link, like this, and scroll down until you see “Subscribe with iTunes.”  It’s just that easy!  And, as I’m writing this post it happens to be my birthday!  If you’d like to get me a present please check out the ads on the right side of the page and click on them if you see something you like.  Every click throws a few nickels my way and if I get enough I’ll go out and buy another load of disgusting food to write about.  Self-sustaining!  Alright, enough deplorable shilling for now!  It’s been far too long since we got to know the American Presidents, so please say hello to…

Martin Van Buren & William Henry Harrison!

Look at these handsome devils!

I’d like to focus on William Henry Harrison today but I can’t.  At least, not yet.  Many of you know that I minored in Presidential History at The University of Phoenix (online).  U of P On L taught me many valuable lessons.  “Courses are not transferable,” for example.  But the lesson that I took to heart was, “Don’t take shortcuts.”  I took this advice seriously and I’ve spent many an hour in standstill traffic as a result.  Today, I’ll apply that nugget of wisdom to my blogging about the Presidents.  Sure, William Henry Harrison will be amazing to write about but he’s not the 8th U.S. President.  Stupid Martin Van Buren is!  If I want to continue filling these pages with wildly inaccurate information (and I DO!), we’ll have to eat the Brussel sprouts that are Martin Van Buren before we can enjoy the chocolate cake that is William Henry Harrison.  So, let’s eat our vegetables!

Stop sleeping with your cousins, Presidents!
Martin Van Buren was born 1782, the son of a Dutch tavern keeper and farmer.  Van Buren is the only U.S. President to speak English as a second language.  But not so fast, Michele Bachmann!  Marty was also the first President to be born an American citizen!  In your FACE!!!  Martin married his childhood sweetheart (awww!) and cousin (gross), Hannah Hoes in 1807.  There’s a lot of infant mortality among the children of our earliest Presidents.  This could be blamed on inferior medical practices OR it could be all the cousin humping that produced the wrong-faced monster babies of our founding fathers.

Van Buren began his political career at the age of 17.  He became well known for forging strong political connections, gaining him the nickname, “The Little Magician.”  He was also called “The Little Magician” because he was a dark sorcerer who stalked the forests of upstate New York, mutilating squirrels and casting spells on trees that he was suspicious of.   Thanks to Van Buren’s many political connections and well…magic…he quickly became a U.S. Senator for New York.  Martin became a vocal supporter of Andrew Jackson and soon enough he hitched his wagon to Jackson’s bloody, murderous star.  Jackson appointed his loyal friend Secretary of State and Van Buren was elected Vice President in 1832.

Martin Van Buren.
Martin was elected President in 1836 and things started going downhill.  Van Buren had used his evil magic to grant himself three wishes as a young man.  He wished for a little down and dirty cousin lovin’.  He wished for a solid gold spittoon.  And he wished to become President.  But Martin forgot to wish that the economy wouldn't completely fall apart on his watch.  So it did.  Van Buren’s Presidency was a mixed bag.  He grew to oppose slavery and took steps to steer the country away from it.  He also oversaw the forced relocation and murder of scores of Native Americans.  Also, he was an evil wizard.  Did I mention that?  Due mostly to the sagging economy, Van Buren failed to secure his party’s nomination for a second term and placed a powerful curse on the Presidency (a curse that would prove very fateful to Van Buren’s successor).  Martin Van Buren retired to Kinderhook, New York where he spent the remainder of his days.  He was killed at the age of 79 by Harry Potter.

William Henry Harrison was born in 1773 to an aristocratic family in Virginia.  William enlisted in the Army as soon as he could and quickly rose through the ranks to become a pivotal figure in the nation’s westward expansion.  The largest obstacles in the way of westward expansion were the people who already lived out west.  The Native Americans.  Harrison’s job was to be all, like, “Hey, get outta here, you guys.  This is our place now.”  Then the Native Americans were all, like, “Wait…what?”  Then Harrison was all, like, “Yeah, yo.  Pack up your shiznit and hit the bricks.”  But seriously, though, it was awful.

Harrison’s biggest claim to fame was the Battle of Tippecanoe, named for the Tippecanoe River where the battle took place.  Harrison repulsed the attacks of Indian leader, Tecumseh, and made his name as an unflappable leader of men.  Harrison also went on to serve as brigadier general during the War of 1812 (the other one with the British).  William leveraged his celebrity as a war hero to serve in both the House and the Senate before setting his sights on the Presidency.  Harrison easily defeated the unpopular Van Buren in 1840 and was super stoked to be the President for a long time.


The day of the inauguration was cold and wet but Harrison refused to wear a coat because he didn’t want to look like a pussy.  William proceeded to deliver a two hour inaugural address in the freezing cold, all the while confidant of the fact that he looked awesome without a coat on.  When he took office on March 4, Harrison was heard yelling from the Oval Office, “I’m going to live forever!  I am an invincible god!  Certainly, this pesky head cold will not define my legacy!”  What started as a common cold quickly led to pneumonia and septicemia.  30 days, 12 hours, and 30 minutes after becoming President, William Henry Harrison stopped being President (or anything for that matter) due to being dead.  Harrison served the shortest term of any U.S. President and he was also the first Prez to die in office. 

Okey dokey, Internuts!  Two more Presidents down, thirty five to go!  I’ll meet you back here next week!

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