Who was the US President who admitted he slept through nearly all of his term in office?

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Although most historians reject the premise, the 1849 PresidentPro-tem of the Senate, Senator David Rice Atchison, is sometimesreferred to as "President for a Day." He was never voted to bePresident and in fact, most people today have never heard of him.So how could he have been President?

James K. Polk's term as the 11th President of the United Statesended Sunday, March 4, 1849. The new President-elect, ZacharyTaylor, did not want to be inaugurated (take an oath) on a Sunday.He wanted to wait until Monday. But that would have meant there wasno president in office for over 24 hours, until noon on Monday whenTaylor was sworn into office. This worried few people in thegovernment.

The succession laws in effect meant that if there was no Presidentand no Vice President, the office would fall to the PresidentPro-tem of the Senate. On March 4, 1849, it was Senator Atchison, a41-year-old slaveholder from Missouri who had been appointed asenator in 1843 after the death of the recently re-elected LewisFinn. He was re-elected to the term from 1849 to 1855. As theelected President Pro-tempore (unusual for a junior first-timesenator), he could indeed have succeeded to the Presidency.
(He was also first in line for the last 4 months of MillardFillmore's term, after Taylor died in office.)

Easily ignored in the engaging story of a one-day President is thatAtchison's term also expired until he took the oath again, and thatthe President-elect was already considered the President despitenot being sworn in (Atchison was not sworn in either).
But he was the most senior re-elected official of the new term. Hislater recollection was that Polk's term ended on March 3 (which isincorrect) and that as Acting President he was jokingly asked foran appointment to the incoming Cabinet. He was sleeping for most ofhis 24-hour "term."
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