He previously served two terms in the United States House of Representatives and was the Republican nominee for president of the United States in the election , which he lost to then Senator, Barack Obama. He became a naval aviator and flew ground-attack aircraft from aircraft carriers. While on a bombing mission during Operation Rolling Thunder over Hanoi in October , he was shot down, seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. McCain was a prisoner of war until He experienced episodes of torture and refused an out-of-sequence early release.
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James Knox Polk November 2, — June 15, was the 11th president of the United States , serving from to He previously was Speaker of the House of Representatives — and Governor of Tennessee — Polk is chiefly known for extending the territory of the United States through the Mexican—American War ; during his presidency, the United States expanded significantly with the annexation of the Republic of Texas , the Oregon Territory , and the Mexican Cession following the American victory in the Mexican—American War. After building a successful law practice in Tennessee , Polk was elected to the state legislature in and then to the United States House of Representatives in , becoming a strong supporter of Andrew Jackson. After serving as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee , he became Speaker of the House in , the only president to have been speaker. Polk left Congress to run for governor of Tennessee; he won in but lost in and He was a dark horse candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in ; he entered his party's convention as a potential nominee for vice president but emerged as a compromise to head the ticket when no presidential candidate could secure the necessary two-thirds majority.
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