Today in History–November 5–the Library of Congress features James K. Polk, elected president of the United States on this day in 1844. Not so well known, Polk’s victory by a narrow margin over Whig candidate Henry Clay was a surprise. A proponent of western expansion, Polk oversaw the addition of Texas and the acquisition of territory from Mexico, which included modern-day California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources about the eleventh president of the United States.
James Polk stories from America’s Library
The diary of James K. Polk during his presidency, 1845 to 1849 (1910)
James Polk Papers & Diary (streaming webcast)
James Polk historic newspaper coverage through 1850
President Polk historic newspaper 1845-1849
President Polk’s Administration The Atlantic Monthly Volume 76, Issue 455, September 1895