Friday, July 8, 2011

American Minute

July 9

Beginning in the early 1800's, cholera epidemics killed millions in crowded cities in Russia, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Arabia, and Africa.

Spread through unsanitary water, infected immigrants and travelers carried cholera to America, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, and the Pacific Coast.

By 1849, cholera killed thousands in New York and spread up the Mississippi River, killing 3,000 in New Orleans, 4,500 in St. Louis, and later thousands in Chicago.

Even former U.S. President James K. Polk succumbed to it.

Cholera spread to Utah and Oregon along the Mormon and Oregon Trails, and killed an estimate 12,000 on their way to the California Gold Rush.

On July 3, 1849, President Zachary Taylor proclaimed a National Day of Fasting:

"At a season when the providence of God has manifested itself in the visitation of a fearful pestilence which is spreading itself throughout the land, it is fitting that a people whose reliance has ever been in His protection should humble themselves before His throne, and, while acknowledging past transgressions, ask a continuance of the Divine mercy.

It is therefore earnestly recommended that the first Friday in August be observed throughout the United States as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer...

It is recommended to persons of all religious denominations to abstain as far as practical from secular occupations and to assemble in their respective places of public worship, to acknowledge the Infinite Goodness which has watched over our existence as a nation, and so long crowned us with manifold blessings, and to implore the Almighty in His own good time to stay the destroying hand which is now lifted up against us."

Zachary Taylor died JULY 9, 1850. He had been known as "Old Rough and Ready" for fighting the British in the War of 1812, the Sac Indians in the Black Hawk War and the Seminole Indians in Florida.

General Zachary Taylor's victories in the Mexican War, being greatly outnumbered by Santa Anna's forces, made him a national hero.

Elected the 12th U.S. President, Zachary Taylor refused to be sworn in on the Sabbath out of respect.

He was presented with a Bible by a delegation of ladies from Frankfort, Kentucky, and his acknowledgment was printed in the Frankfort Commonwealth, February 21, 1849:

"I accept with gratitude...your gift of this inestimable Volume. It was for the love of the truths of this great Book that our fathers abandoned their native shores for the wilderness.

Animated by its lofty principles they toiled and suffered till the desert blossomed as a rose."

Zachary Taylor continued:

"The same truths sustained them...to become a free nation; and guided by the wisdom of this Book they founded a government."

President Zachary Taylor told a Sabbath-School celebration in the City of Washington, July 4, 1849:

"The only ground of hope for the continuance of our free institutions is in the proper moral and religious training of the children."

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