On this date in 1786, William Rufus deVane King was born in Sampson County, North Carolina. Perhaps most famous for something he nearly didn't do, King grew up to be a lawyer, politician, and diplomat. He represented North Carolina in the House of Representatives from 1811 to 1816. He left the House to work in the US mission to Italy and then Russia, and when he returned to the States, he moved to Alabama. He was a delegate to the convention which organized Alabama's state government, and when Alabama became a state, in 1819, he became one of the new state's first Senators. He served in the Senate until 1844, when he became US Minister to France. He returned home in 1846, and was again elected to the Senate in 1848. While serving in the Senate, he was President pro tempore twice, from 1836 to 1841, and then from 1850 until he resigned from the Senate on December 20, 1852. His resignation came after the election of 1852, when he was elected Vice President on Franklin Pierce's ticket. King died in mid-April 1853, after less than two months in office, and none of that time in the capital.