First Photo Op
February 14, 1849 - It was on this day that President James K. Polk walked into Matthew Brady's studio in New York City. There he posed for a daguerreotype which lives on as the oldest photograph of a sitting president.
Historians say that William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, was actually the first to be photographed, but that image is lost.
President Polk's photo was taken less than a month before he left office. His gaunt appearance was in stark contrast to the youthful man who had been elected president 4 years earlier. Promising to only serve one term, President Polk kept a relentless pace while in office. He accomplished many things including victory in the Mexican-American War and the subsequent purchase of California, Arizona and New Mexico.
President Polk's retirement would be the shortest of any president. He died of Cholera 103 days later at age 53.
His last words were to his wife, "I love you, Sarah. For all eternity I love you."