Today in History: James Polk

James K. Polk, President of the United States
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

James K. Polk inauguration primary source set

James K. Polk Papers collection

James Polk Papers & Diary (streaming webcast)

The diary of James K. Polk during his presidency, 1845 to 1849 (1910)

James K. Polk books & texts

James Polk historical newspaper coverage through 1850

President Polk historical newspaper coverage 1845-1849

James Polk images

James Polk political cartoons

President Polk’s plan for for the land acquired through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (map) U.S. House History, Art & Archives

James Polk sheet music

President Polk’s Administration The Atlantic Monthly Volume 76, Issue 455, September 1895

POTUS: James Knox Polk

James K. Polk Home & Museum

More U.S. President primary source collections & teaching resources

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