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Today's trivia (July 4)

Sure, most Kansans have heard of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States.

But there's at least one other person with presidential ties to Kansas: David Rice Atchison.

On March 4, 1849, Atchison was president of the United States — for 23½ hours.

It came between the terms of presidents James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor. Polk's term expired at noon on March 4, which was a Sunday. Taylor, a devout Christian, refused to take the oath of office until the next day.

Normally, the vice president would be next in line to become president. But because vice president George Dallas' term had also expired, that meant the Senate's president pro-tem was next in line and that was Atchison.

For almost a day, the nation had no president or vice president, just Atchison. He later described his presidential term as uneventful, having slept through much of it because of long legislative nights before his term began.

In hindsight, Atchison would ruefully, or perhaps whimsically, call his term "the honestest administration this country ever had." Question: Where is David Rice Atchison’s presidential library?

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Answer to Sunday’s Question: In 1905, a statue of John J. Ingalls was placed in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

Check back at Kansas.com Tuesday for the answer to today’s question.

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