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After attending the ground breaking ceremony for the Washington Monument on a hot July 4, 1850, Taylor returned to the White House and gorged himself on a large bowl of ripe cherries with cold milk. He also drank many glasses of ice water that day. He was beset with stomach cramps that night and became seriously ill. He was later diagnosed with cholera and died on July 9. President Taylor's funeral was similar to Harrison's nine years before. A religious service was conducted in the East Room; the coffin was placed in an elaborate black and white funeral car surmounted by a great eagle. Spectators were gripped with emotion at the sight of the president's horse, Old Whitey, ambling behind the coffin, rider less, bearing Taylor's military saddle and the general's boots turned backwards in the stirrups. Taylor was ultimately buried in Kentucky, where he had grown up.

President Zachary Taylor.

White House Historical Association/White House Collection)

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