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James K. PolkThis Day In Founding Fathers History – 13 May

On this day in 1846, Congress approved President James K. Polk’s request to declare war on Mexico in a boundary dispute over Texas, known as the Mexican-American War. The war lasted nearly two years with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo end the war and establishing the Rio Grande as the border of Texas and California and New Mexico Territories were ceded to the U.S. for $15 million. 1

In 1963 on this day, Missouri ratified the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution. On the same day in 1972, New Hampshire ratified the 26th Amendment and Connecticut ratified the 27th Amendment in 1987. 2

Henry William Stiegel officeOne notable birthday on this day in 1729, that of Henry William Stiegel. Stiegel was an ironmaster and glassmaker in Pennsylvania, although he emigrated from Germany in 1750. He was first employed in Philadelphia in the iron business, becoming part owner of a furnace and an ironmaster. Success brought prominence and Stiegel began experimenting with glassmaking, leading to manufacture of window glass and bottles. Stiegel bought a tract of land and laid out the town of Manheim, Pennsylvania. He built schools and hired teachers for the education of his workers’ children and donated land for a Lutheran church in Manheim. He employed many European glassmakers who immigrated and advertised heavily, garnering business from large cities. Unfortunately, the years leading up to the Revolutionary War left Stiegel in financial ruin and operations at the glassworks ceased. 3


1 “American President: United States Declares War on Mexico – May 13, 1846,” Miller Center – University of Virginia,
2 “Ratification of Constitutional Amendments,”
3 “History of Manheim,” The Manheim Historical Society,


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