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Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 – July 9, 1850) was the 12th president of the United States, serving from March 4, 1849, until his death in office the following year. He was previously a career officer in the United States Army, rose to the rank of major general and became a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican–American War. As a result, he won election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs.

On July 4, 1850, Taylor reportedly consumed copious amounts of raw fruit and iced milk while attending holiday celebrations during a fundraising event at the Washington Monument. Over the course of several days, he became severely ill with an unknown digestive ailment, several of his cabinet members being similarly affected. Despite treatment, Taylor died five days later. His vice-president Millard Fillmore assumed the presidency and completed his term in office.

Engraving credit: Bureau of Engraving and Printing; restored by Andrew Shiva

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