James Knox Polk, the eleventh President of the United States was born on November 2, 1795 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Prior to becoming US President in 1845, Polk served and lived mostly in the state of Tennessee. Polk was a Democrat and was most instrumental in getting the United States to the west coast of North America. He was also responsible for the US going to war with Mexico in the Mexican-American war. James Polk was an avid supporter of Andrew Jackson and was the last strong pre-Civil War president. Polk was the first president to retire after just one term in office without seeking to be re-elected. He was known as the dark-horse president.
Born May 20, 1768 in New Garden, Guilford County, North Carolina was the beautiful Dolly Madison, who was to become the First Lady of the President of the United States, James Madison. Dolly was known for her social standing in the community and in the political world and her uncanny ability of being able to decorate the White House. It has been said that it was Dolly Madison who stayed until the last minute at the White House to save things of importance to keep them from being burned when the British soldiers were approaching. These items included a portrait of George Washington, which had been produced by Gilbert Stuart and now sits in the National Portrait Gallery. Dolly died on July 12, 1849 at the age of 81.
On December 29, 1808 in Raleigh, North Carolina President Andrew Johnson was born. Andrew Johnson was the 16th Vice President from March 4, 1865 until April 15, 1865, when he became the 17th President of the United States on April 15th, 1865 as the result of President Abraham Lincoln being assassinated, and was in office until March 4, 1869. During Andrew Johnson’s term as President of the United States, there was no sitting Vice President. Nebraska was admitted to the Union under President Andrew Johnson on March 1st, 1867. By all accounts, today’s historians label Andrew Johnson as one of the worst Presidents that has been in the White House and represented the US. Andrew Johnson died on July 31st, 1875 in Elizabethton, TN, at the age of 66.
The 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson was born in the Waxhaw area of North Carolina on March 15th, 1767. Jackson was and is known as “Old Hickory” and became famous when he was a General during the Creek Indian Wars. Andrew Jackson served as US President from 1829-1837 and was the first president to ever allow the common people into the White House at the inaugural ball. He was so popular as president, the White House staff had to pour punch into tubs and place them on the White House lawn to lure the people outside, because they getting the furniture and furnishings dirty and broken. These people were simply trying to get a look at the president. He was such a popular figure among the people that he was given the nickname of King Mob. Andrew Jackson died on June 8th, 1845 at the age of 78.
Mary Elizabeth Hanford, better known now as Senator Elizabeth Dole, was born July 29, 1936 in Salisbury, North Carolina. Before turning to politics as a career, Elizabeth Dole was president of the American Red Cross. Elizabeth attended Duke University and graduated in 1958 which she followed up her education by doing post-graduate work at Oxford in 1959. During her teaching career as a student teacher at Melrose High School, in Melrose, MA in 1959-1960, she also earned her master’s degree in education at Harvard University. In 1965 she received her Justice Degree from Harvard Law School and has been recognized as their leading orchid grower several times. During Elizabeth Dole’s political career she campaigned for the Kennedy-Johnson presidential ticket in 1960 and also worked years later with the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson.