About 300,000 people, with millions of oxen, cattle, mules and sheep, moved to Oregon and California.
John Tyler became president upon the death of William Henry Harrison.
Democrat James K. Polk was elected president of the United States over Whig candidate Henry Clay.
Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first message by telegraph: “What hath God wrought.”
Texas was admitted to the Union as a slave state. The annexation soon led to the Mexican-American War.
A blight devastated the Irish potato crop, leading over 1.3 million Irish to emigrate to the United States.
President Polk told Congress that Mexico had “invaded our territory and shed American blood on American soil.” Congress voted to declare war on Mexico.
80,000 people migrated to California—about 55,000 overland and 25,000 by sea. Only about 700 were women.
Whig candidate Zachary Taylor was elected president of the United States over Democrat Lewis Cass and Free Soil Party nominee Martin Van Buren.
James Buchanan was elected the fifteenth president of the United States, beating out Republican John C. Fremont and Know Nothing Party candidate Millard Fillmore.