Taylor earned a footnote in Presidential history before he even took office. His term of service was scheduled to begin at noon on March 4, 1849, but being a Sunday, Taylor refused to be sworn in until the following day. Vice President Millard Fillmore also was not sworn on that day. As a result, the nation technically had no President or Vice President for one day. Some people later claimed that David Rice Atchison, the previous President Pro Tempore of the Senate, was technically Acting President, but this claim is rejected by virtually every constitutional scholar.
After participating in ceremonies at the Washington Monument on a blistering July 4, 1850, Taylor fell ill; he died of acute indigestion five days later, after just 16 months in office. Taylor was succeeded by his vice president, Millard Fillmore.