Turning Up the Heat on Benjamin Harrison
History really only remembers Benjamin Harrison, our 23rd president, by his rather unfortunate nickname: “The Human Iceberg.” That’s how you’ll see the man referred to when you encounter him on our scavenger hunts at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
And sure, the guy was stiff. He was said to greet people in an unusually formal manner, and he always wore gloves to shake your hand. In his stern presidential portraits he looks more like the man voted “Most Likely to Give You a Right Spanking.” He was some one-term afterthought sandwiched between two Grover Cleveland administrations…so, doesn’t a man like that deserve his Batman-villain nickname for all eternity?
It turns out he doesn’t. Harrison wasn’t cold; he was actually almost cool—and as a human being, he was warm to boot.