This evening while browsing the CBS News video section I came across a short piece about William Henry Harrison. The four minute video, narrated by Mo Rocca, tells the story of how William Henry Harrison came into office and why his wife never did make it to Washington, D.C.
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As I watched the video I noticed there were some striking similarities between Harrison’s attempt to hide his aristocratic roots while campaigning and those same attempts made by politicians today. Show the video to your history students and ask them if they can draw any comparisons between the campaign practices of Harrison and of today’s politicians. Then ask them to think about why some politicians may want to hide their aristocratic backgrounds.