Atchison
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  • From the Author: Thanks for having a look at this one, it's my attempt at relating a little bit of obscure American history. It works best if you download it and let the animations present the text. Comments and advice welcome here or by email to wmbartlett@charter.net. Thanks...wmbartlett
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  • 1. David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of President (?) Atchison’s Grave Marker, Plattsburg, Missouri Press <Enter> to Continue The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 2. David Rice Atchison Press <Enter> to Continue President David Rice Atchison. “ David Rice who?” David Rice Atchison. Well, maybe. The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 3. Press <Enter> to Continue It all started with the Presidential election of 1848. President James K. Polk, had decided not to seek re-election. His term was due to expire on March 4, 1849. David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 4. Press <Enter> to Continue The leading candidates in the 1848 election to replace Pres. Polk were: Gen. Zachery Taylor, of the Whig party… and… David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 5. Press <Enter> to Continue The leading candidates in the 1848 election to replace Pres. Polk were: Lewis B. Cass, Democrat and former governor of Michigan David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 6. Press <Enter> to Continue Gen Taylor won, and was scheduled to be sworn in as president on March 4, 1849. Yay! I won! Just one little problem… David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 7. Press <Enter> to Continue Gen Taylor won, and was scheduled to be sworn in as president on March 4, 1849. Not on Sunday! Taylor was a very religious man, and refused to be sworn in on a Sunday. David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 8. Press <Enter> to Continue March 4, 1849, was a Sunday. At midnight on Saturday, March 3 rd , President Polk’s term expired. President Taylor was sworn in at noon on Monday, March 5 th . So who was President on Sun, Mar 4 th ? David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 9. Press <Enter> to Continue Pres Polk’s term ended on Sat, Mar 3 rd . Normally, when the office of President is vacant, the Vice Pres serves as President. President Polk David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of So who was President on Sun, Mar 4 th ? The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 10. Press <Enter> to Continue Vice Pres. Dallas Polk’s vice president was a man named George Dallas. But his term expired on Sat, Mar 3 rd , just like Polk’s did. Since he wasn’t Vice Pres on Sunday the 4 th , he wasn’t President that day either. David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of So who was President on Sun, Mar 4 th ? The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 11. Press <Enter> to Continue So who was President on Sun, Mar 4 th ? President-Elect Taylor Okay, how about the new incoming President? No, the Constitution requires the President to take a Oath of Office, and Taylor refused to do that until Mon, Mar 5 th . David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 12. Press <Enter> to Continue So who was President on Sun, Mar 4 th ? Next in line for the presidency after the Vice Pres (under the rules at the time) was President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Guess who that was. ? David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 13. Press <Enter> to Continue So who was President on Sun, Mar 4 th ? David Rice Atchison That’s right: David Rice Atchison. The Constitution does not require the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to take an Oath; he just becomes President. David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 14. Press <Enter> to Continue So it seems that for one day—Sunday, March 4, 1849—David Rice Atchison was President of the United States. Nothing much happened that day—President Atchison said he took a nap. David Rice Atchison Yawn. David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.
  • 15. David Rice Atchison The President You Never Heard Of President (?) Atchison’s Grave Marker, Plattsburg, Missouri The End The Slide Depot © 2007. All Rights Reserved.