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Two months before being elected America’s 14th president, his 11-year-old son, Bennie, was killed as their campaign train rolled off the tracks. This happened to Franklin Pierce, who was born this day, Nov. 23, 1804. Elected to Congress at age 29, he was a U.S. senator at 33. After one term, he resigned and enlisted in the army as a private. Promoted to brigadier general, he served in Gen. Winfield Scott’s campaign against Mexico City. President Franklin Pierce stated: “It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation’s humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence.”

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