Did You Know?

Three men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

134 Killed Mali
At least 134 individuals have been killed, and 55 others injured, in an ethnic Peuhl village in Ogossogou, Mali. Among those killed were small children, pregnant women, and the elderly. An ethnic Dogon militia, who are Islamic extremists, is believed to be responsible for the attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Pleas pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.
417 Killed in Mozambique
At least 417 individuals have been killed in Mozambique as a result of Cyclone Idai. Approximately 300 others have been killed in Zimbabwe and Malawi as a result of the cyclone. There is also severe flooding, which has contributed to the many deaths, and risk of further flooding. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the safety of all in the regions. Please pray for all affected.
Flooding in Australia
Northern Australia has been struck by Cyclone Trevor, with another storm, Cyclone Veronica on its way. Cyclone Trevor has already caused significant damage with strong winds and rains. There have been nor reports of injuries or deaths. While Cyclone Veronica is not expected to make landfall, flooding is still a major concern. Please pray for all who have been, and could be, affected. Please pray for safety.
1 Injured in Nice, France
At least one elderly woman has been injured during a banned “Yellow Vest” protest in Nice, France. The 73-year-old woman was struck over the head with a metal post in an incident captured on video. She sustained a skull fracture and bleeding next to the brain. She is currently in the intensive care unit. During the protest, soldiers were deployed to help police maintain security. Please pray for healing. Please pray for any others that may have been affected. Please pray for peace.
Last Islamic State Stronghold Falls
The terrorist group known as the Islamic State no longer holds any territory, and thousands of its fighters have been captured in recent months. However, many fighters continue to carry out operations in secret. Please pray for peace. Please pray for all that have been affected since the Islamic State came to power.
3 Killed in Nebraska
At least three individuals have been killed as a result of severe flooding in Nebraska. Thousands have been forced from their homes in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri due to flooding. Further flooding is feared as temperatures increase and snow begins to melt. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for all those affected.
Protests in Morocco
Thousands of teachers are protesting in Morocco over working conditions. Among their demands are permanent contracts, better working conditions, and the rising cost of living. An overnight sit-in was broken up by police in riot gear with water cannons. Please pray for peace.
Protests in Algeria
Protests have been ongoing against current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. President Bouteflika was planning on running for a 5th term in office, despite his declining health, however, he has announced that he will not seek another term. He has been in office since 1999. Protests initially began against his seeking a 5th term, but now protesters are demanding that he step down immediately, arguing that his health is allowing others to rule through him. Please pray for a peaceful resolution.
49 Killed in Mosque Shootings
At least 49 individuals have been killed, and 20 others injured, in two shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shootings. Police also discovered explosive devices nearby. Officials has designated this incident as a terrorist attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.

“Foreign powers do not seem to appreciate the true character of our government.”  At the age of 17 he had surgery to remove urinary stones without any pain killer, except whisky.  He was a slave owner who served as a colonel in the Tennessee militia.  He was considered a workaholic, as he worked considerably long hours while president.  He is James Knox Polk, 11th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1845, until March 4, 1849.  James was born on November 2, 1795, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, the first of ten children.  James’s mother was a Presbyterian, as was his father initially, however he eventually rejected religion.  James eventually became a Methodist, although he continued to attend Presbyterian services, for his mother, and later, his wife.


His health was problematic growing up, leading to him being home schooled.  After recovering from surgery at the age of 17, he enrolled in Zion Church, before attending Murfreesboro.  In January 1816, he transferred to the University of North Carolina as a second-semester sophomore.  During college, he participated in a debate club.  Following his graduation with honors, James went on to study law under renowned attorney Felix Grundy.  James went on to have a short, but successful law career, while also serving as clerk for the Tennessee State Senate.


In 1822, James joined the Tennessee militia as a captain, although he was eventually promoted to colonel.  Also in 1822, he resigned his position as clerk to run for the Tennessee state legislature, defeating the incumbent.  James supported Andrew Jackson’s bid to become the United States Senator from Tennessee.  James would continue to firmly support Andrew.


On January 1, 1824, James married Sarah Childress.  They had no children together, possibly an unfortunate result of the surgery James had as a teenager.  He would become one of three presidents who did not have any children.  Sarah supported James throughout his political career, assisting him with speeches and giving advice on policy.  She also actively campaigned with him.


In 1825, James ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, which he won.  He went on to serve for over 10 years, eventually becoming Speaker of the House.  James, who had supported Andrew Jackson during his failed 1824 presidential run, again supported Andrew in 1828, giving Andrew advice on his campaign.  James used his position as Speaker to support the policies of Andrew and, later, Martin Van Buren.  No matter how many times, or how degrading, James was insulted, he never once challenged his accuser to a duel, as was common at the time to defend one’s honor.  James is the only Speaker to go on to become president.  James left the House of Representatives to run for Governor of Tennessee in 1839.  He served for one term and failed to be re-elected.


During the nomination for the 1844 Presidential election, James simply hoped for a vice-presidential nomination.  James emerged as a “dark horse” after the two front runners failed to gain enough support to win the nomination.  James was likely helped by the support of Andrew Jackson, as both supported westward expansion.  James won the democratic nomination for President and then the Presidential election, even though he was considered a long shot.  He was 49 years of age and the youngest president in American history at the time.  Theodore Roosevelt would go on to become the youngest president at the age of 42. 


James had his inauguration address tapped out on telegraph by Samuel Morse, the inventor of the telegraph.  He was also the first president to have “Hail to the Chief” played when entering the room on formal occasions.  This may have been the work of his wife, who wanted to ensure everyone knew when the five-foot-eight-inch president entered the room.  


James had a very successfully presidency, fulfilling all five of his campaign promises: acquiring California and New Mexico from Mexico, settling the Oregon dispute and acquiring some or all of Oregon Country, reducing tariffs, establishing a sub treasury, and retiring after four years.  The Oregon territory was occupied by England, who was reluctant to give up their claim.  James threatened war, which he did not really want, and demanded all of the Oregon territory, however, a satisfactory agreement was eventually reached between the nations.  Negations with Mexico for California and New Mexico did not go as smoothly, eventually leading to the Mexican-American War.  A peace treaty was signed in 1848, which included the acquisition of what would become California, Nevada, Utah, most of Arizona, and parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming.


James also attempted to purchase Cuba from Spain, but his offer was rejected.  Additionally, James oversaw the establishing of the United States Naval Academy, signed the bill that created the Smithsonian Museum, created the Department of Interior, and supported the acquisition of Texas, which became a state during his presidency.  He banned hard liquor and dancing at the White House.


James was the first president to voluntarily retire after one term.  That one term took its toll on James health.  He emerged from the White House having lost weight, and with deep lines and circles under his eyes.  He worked exceeding hard, noting in his diary that, “No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure.”  He died three months after leaving office, on June 15, 1849, in Nashville, Tennessee.  James died of cholera, which he is believed to have contracted while visiting New Orleans, Louisiana on a goodwill tour after leaving the White House.  His final words were to his beloved wife: “I love you, Sarah.  For all eternity, I love you.”  At 103 days, James had the shortest retirement of any president and was the youngest president to die in retirement at the age of 53.  He is one of six presidents to have died while their successor was in office.


Happy Birthday Mr. President!


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