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He became the 13th president when President Zachary Taylor died unexpectedly. He sent Commodore Perry to Japan and admitted California, which had just begun the Gold Rush, into the Union. His name was Millard Fillmore, and he was born this day, Jan. 7, 1800. When the Library of Congress caught fire, he and his Cabinet formed a bucket brigade to extinguish the flames. Millard Fillmore stated: “On commencing my presidential career, I found the Sabbath had frequently been employed … for private interviews with the president. … To … end this [I] ordered my doorkeeper to meet all Sunday visitors with an indiscriminate refusal.”

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