James K. Polk
Often referred to as the first “dark horse,” James K. Polk was the 11th President of the United States from 1845 to 1849, the last strong President until the Civil War.
Zachary Taylor, a general and national hero in the United States Army from the time of the Mexican-American War and the War of 1812, was elected the 12th U.S. President, serving from March 1849 until his death in July 1850.
United States (1850-1853) and the last President not to be affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties.
Franklin Pierce became 14th President of the United States at a time of apparent tranquility (1853-1857).
James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States (1857-1861), served immediately prior to the American Civil War. He remains the only President to be elected from Pennsylvania and to remain a lifelong bachelor.
Abraham Lincoln became the United States’ 16th President in 1861, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy in 1863.
With the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson became the 17th President of the United States (1865-1869), an old-fashioned southern Jacksonian Democrat of pronounced states’ rights views.
Ulysses S. Grant
In 1865, as commanding general, Ulysses S. Grant led the Union Armies to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War. As an American hero, Grant was later elected the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877), working to implement Congressional Reconstruction and to remove the vestiges of slavery.
Rutherford B. Hayes
As the 19th President of the United States (1877-1881), Rutherford B. Hayes oversaw the end of Reconstruction, began the efforts that led to civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War.
James Garfield was elected as the United States’ 20th President in 1881, after nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. His Presidency was impactful, but cut short after 200 days when he was assassinated.