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Tecumseh's curse

The term Tecumseh's curse or Zero Year Curse is sometimes used to describe a chain of events that began with the death of United States President William Henry Harrison from pneumonia. Commonly attributed to Indian chief Tecumseh (and sometimes to his brother Tenskwatawa), who was defeated in the Battle of Tippecanoe by Harrison, the "curse" is said to have proclaimed the death of all presidents elected every 20 years. Indeed, all American presidents elected in a year divisible by 20 between 1840 and 1960 died in office: Zachary Taylor, the only other President to die in office, was elected in 1848 and died in 1850 of "acute indigestion".

It is worth noting that Franklin Roosevelt had already served three terms when he died.

The exception to this "curse" was the presidency of Ronald Reagan. He was elected in 1980 and survived an assassination attempt during his presidential term and therefore did not die in office.

Regardless, the "curse" is taken seriously by some Christian groups, who have called for prayer to avert catastrophe from Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush in the election years 1980 and 2000. The group Intercessors for America believes they have broken the curse through "warfare prayer" in 1980.