By an act of Congress in 1845, the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November was designated Election Day for future presidential elections. The first such election took place on November 7, 1848. Whig Party candidate Zachary Taylor won out over Democrat Lewis Cass and Free-Soil candidate (and former president) Martin Van Buren. Taylor’s running mate was Millard Fillmore, who became the nation’s 13th president on July 10, 1850, upon Taylor’s untimely death. Learn more about Election Day.