James K. Polk

James K. Polk was born in North Carolina in 1795. In 1825 he entered the House of Representatives, where he served for 14 years.

He was elected to the Presidency in 1844. During his term, major issues included the boundary with Canada in the far Northwest and the Mexican War.

On August 10, 1846, it was he who signed into law the eighth bill to establish the Smithsonian Institution.