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President Theodore Roosevelt - History

President Theodore Roosevelt - History


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Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt was 42 years old at the time of his inauguration. His major accomplishments were creating the National Parks, fighting monopolistic companies, and asserting the United States in its foreign policy..Elected 1904


The Early Years

Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City. Roosevelt was a sickly child who suffered from asthma. He developed an early interest in wildlife, and as a child hoped to become a zoologist. He traveled extensively with his family and as he was too sick as a child to go to school, he was taught by private tutors. In 1875, at the age of 17, Teddy Roosevelt took and passed the Harvard entrance exam. He began his studies the next year.

A year after graduating from Harvard and beginning Columbia Law School, Roosevelt left school to run for the New York State Senate. He won and served for two years. After this, Roosevelt worked as a cattle rancher in the Dakota Territory for two years and was for a short period a Deputy Sheriff of Billings County.

From 1889 to 1895 Roosevelt served on the Commission of the US Civil Service. He vigorously worked to insure strict enforcement of the Civil Service laws. From 1895-1897, Roosevelt served as President of the New York City Police Board. From 1897 to 1898 Roosevelt served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He was a strong supporter of the war with Spain.

When the war began, Roosevelt resigned his post to become Commander of the US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, otherwise known as the "Rough Riders." He led a charge up San Juan hill and became famous throughout America.

From 1898-1900 Roosevelt served as the Governor of New York. In the fall of 1900, Roosevelt was nominated Vice President on a ticket with President McKinley after the death in office of Vice President Garret Hobart. On McKinley's death, Roosevelt became the youngest man to assume the office of President.

Accomplishments in Office

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most vigorous men to enter the White House. Not only was he young in years, he was clearly a man of action, and this set the tone for his Presidency.

Roosevelt carried out a vigorous foreign policy. He tried to negotiate an agreement with Columbia (which at the time was part of Panama) to allow the building of the Panama Canal. When the Columbians refused, a rebellion began in Panama. The United States immediately recognized the triumphant new Columbian-Panamanian government, with which it quickly negotiated a canal treaty.

Roosevelt added what became known as the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. This stated that it was the responsibility of the United States to intervene in South America in the event of instability.

Roosevelt successfully mediated the Russian-Japanese war. For his efforts, he received the Nobel Peace prize.

Roosevelt was also very active in domestic affairs. He pursued a strong policy of enforcing anti-trust laws. His administration brought anti-trust actions against a whole range of monopolist corporations. Roosevelt intervened on the side of miners in the coal strike of 1902. He also strongly supported the first federal law to provide for inspection of meats, drugs and other substances.

Roosevelt earned a reputation as a great conservationist for his action in setting aside 125 million acres for national forests.

The First Family

Father: Theodore Roosevelt Sr.
Mother: Martha Bulloch Roosevelt
Wives: Alice Hathaway Lee, Edith Kermit Carow
Daughters: Alice, Ethel
Sons: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Archibald Bulloch, Quentin

Major Events

Wright Brothers Take Flight

Panama Canal Begun

Roosevelt Corollary

Russo-Japanese Peace

Food and Drug Inspections

Gentlemen's Agreement

Great White Fleet Sails

The Cabinet

Secretaries of State: John Hay, Elihu Root, Robert Bacon
Secretaries of Treasury: Lyman Gage, Leslie Shaw, George Cortelyou
Secretaries of War: Elihu Root, William Taft, Luke Wright
Attorney Generals: Philander Knox, William Moody
Secretaries of Navy: John Long, William Moody, Paul Norton, Charles Bonaparte, Victor Metcalf, Truman Newberry
Postmaster Generals: Charles Smith, Henry Payne, Robert Wynne, George Cortelyou, George Von Meyer
Secretaries of Interior: Ethan Hitchock, James Garfield
Secretary of Agriculture: James Wilson
Secretaries of Commerce and Labor: George Cortelyou, Victor Metcalf, Oscar Straus

Military

Did You Know?

First President to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

First President to ride in an automobile.

First President to ride in an automobile.

First President to fly in a plane.

First President to submerge in a submarine.

First President to visit a foreign country.


Why Theodore Roosevelt Tried To Have His Own Brother Exiled

Theodore Roosevelt always wanted to be the president of the United States. However, in order to secure the position, he needed to make sure that no scandals would ruin his reputation and the Roosevelt name. Before he became president, there were troubles in the Roosevelt family that Theodore perceived as threats — one of them being his brother Elliott.

Elliott Roosevelt was born in 1860, two years after Theodore's birth. Elliott was the third of four children, with the two other siblings being girls. As children, the brothers had a competitive relationship, and according to NPS, Elliott was the one who excelled academically. As a child, Elliott suffered from frequent bouts of seizures and severe headaches, which continued on to his teens and adulthood. In their teens, Theodore set off to study at Harvard while Elliott headed to Texas to go on hunting expeditions.

According to Theodore Roosevelt Association, Elliott started drinking and had a heavy dependency on opiates after taking them for pain from an injury. Elliott eventually married Anna Hall in 1883 and had three children with her, the eldest being Eleanor Roosevelt, who would be a future first lady. Elliott's alcohol and drug dependency worsened as he got older, and the other three Roosevelt siblings were taking notice.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).


Theodore Roosevelt Timeline

Theodore Roosevelt, age 7. He was called "Teedie" by his parents and siblings.
  • October 27 - Born at 28 East 20th Street, New York, NY to Theodore Sr. and Martha ("Mittie") Bulloch Roosevelt. He was the second child of four (sister Anna "Bamie" born 1855)
  • Father helps found American Museum of Natural History
  • Creates "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History" in his bedroom
  • Begins intense physical fitness regime continued throughout life
  • May 12 to May 25 - Goes on a tour of Europe with his family
  • July 17 - Grandfather Cornelius Van Schaak Roosevelt dies
  • Receives first pair of eyeglasses at age 13
  • October - Family embarks on another trip abroad travels include Egypt and the Holy Land
  • Collects animal specimens from North Africa and Middle East to bring home
  • Receives a shotgun for his 14 th birthday
  • May - Stays in Germany with brother Elliot to study language
  • November 5 - Returns home to New York
  • Family spends first summer at Oyster Bay, future location of Sagamore Hill
  • Edith Carow joins Roosevelt family for summer trip

Theodore Roosevelt in rowing attire, Harvard.

Harvard University and the State Assembly

  • September - Begins education at Harvard University
  • July - Writes The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks
  • February 9 - Theodore Roosevelt Sr. dies from stomach cancer
  • September 7 - Meets Maine woodsman Bill Sewall
  • October 18 - Meets Alice Hathaway Lee
  • February 14 - Engaged to Alice Hathaway Lee
  • June 30 - Graduates from Harvard, magna cum laude
  • October 27 - Marries Alice Hathaway Lee on his 22 nd birthday
  • December - Enters Columbia Law School (will discontinue in 1882 for political career)
  • Joins the Republican Party
  • August - Climbs the Matterhorn while vacationing in Europe with Alice
  • November - Elected to the New York State Assembly (youngest ever elected to the office)
  • Publishes first major literary work, The Naval War of 1812 book later becomes required reading at the Naval Academy in Annapolis
  • Continues to serve in New York State Assembly
  • August 1 - Joins the National Guard commissioned a Second Lieutenant
  • January 1 - Elected Speaker of Republican Assembly (minority leader)
  • Prepares to head to Dakota Territory to hunt bison

Theodore Roosevelt in ranching attire.

Dakota Territory

  • September 8 - Arrives in the town of Little Missouri in Dakota Territory hires Joe Ferris as hunting guide.
  • Spends two weeks hunting in Dakota invests $14,000 in Chimney Butte (locally known as the Maltese Cross Ranch, with partners Sylvane Ferris and Bill Merrifield as managers.
  • September 23 - Returns to New York and Alice
  • February 12 - First child, Alice Lee Roosevelt, born
  • Returns home after receiving telegram his wife and mother are ill
  • February 14 - Mother Martha Bulloch Roosevelt dies of typhoid fever hours later, wife Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt dies from kidney failure
  • March - Commissions home to be built at Oyster Bay for his daughter
  • June 3 - Delegate to the Republican National Convention
  • June 9 - Returns to Dakota Territory soon establishes the Elkhorn Ranch
  • August - Bill Sewall arrives in Dakota to build and manage the Elkhorn
  • August to September - Embarks on hunting trip to the Bighorn Mountains
  • October - Returns to New York to work on Blaine presidential campaign
  • November - Travels to Dakota Territory to help with Elkhorn construction
  • December - Helps organize the Little Missouri River Stockmen’s Association
  • Returns to New York before Christmas
  • March - Finishes Hunting Trips of a Ranchman, first book on his western experiences
  • April - TR returns to Dakota Territory and his Elkhorn Ranch and stays for 2 months
  • Engages in a bar fight in Mingusvile (present day Wibaux, MT)
  • May - Participates in spring roundup
  • June - Returns to New York after 32 days on the roundup
  • Sagamore Hill is completed
  • November - Secretly courting his childhood sweetheart, Edith Carow
  • March to April - With the help of Bill Sewall and Wilmot Dow, captures the infamous boat thieves
  • April - Acts as delegate to Montana Stock Growers Association
  • July 4 - Delivers speech in Dickinson (Dakota Territory) as Orator of the Day
  • August - Hunts mountain goats in Montana
  • November - Loses race for mayor of New York City
  • December 2 - Marries Edith Carow secretly in London
  • One of the worst winters in recorded history settles in over Dakota Territory
  • Publishes Life of Thomas Hart Benton, written mostly during his time at Elkhorn
  • April - Visits Dakota to survey cattle losses over half of his herd lost over the winter
  • Begins to sell off interests in his cattle ranchers, ensuring his managers do not suffer a loss
  • Takes up residence at Sagamore Hill with Edith
  • September 13 - First son, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. is born at Sagamore Hill
  • December - Helps establish Boone & Crockett Club, nation's first fair-hunting organization

Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, the volunteer cavalry regiment he helped form the idea was born from his time spent with cowboys in the Dakota Territory.

Making Waves in the East

  • Publishes several books, including Life of Gouverneur Morris, Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, and Essays in Practical Politics
  • Briefly visits Dakota to hunt
  • October 10 - Kermit Roosevelt born at Sagamore Hill
  • Publishes first two volumes of The Winning of the West
  • May - Starts as U.S. Civil Service Commissioner in Washington, DC holds position until 1895
  • Visits Dakota on a hunting trip
  • September - Visits Elkhorn with Edith, sisters Anna and Corinne, and others travel to Yellowstone
  • Publishes History of New York
  • August 13 - Daughter Ethel Carow Roosevelt born at Sagamore Hill
  • Travels to Elkhorn to hunt
  • Publishes The Wilderness Hunter, final book about his western experiences
  • Visits Dakota on hunting trip
  • April 10 - Son Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt born in Washington, DC
  • August 14 - Brother Elliott (father of Eleanor Roosevelt) dies
  • Travels to Dakota for a hunting trip
  • Publishes Hero Tales from American History, in collaboration with Henry Cabot Lodge
  • May 5 - Resigns Civil Service Commission to become Police Commissioner of New York City
  • May 6 - Elected President of the Board of Police Commissioners
  • Throughout 1895-96, received national attention for police reforms in New York City
  • Goes hunting at Elkhorn Ranch
  • Publishes American Ideals
  • April 19 - Appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President William McKinley
  • November 19 - Son Quentin Roosevelt born in Washington, DC
  • TR sells his final cattle interests in Dakota at outbreak of Spanish-American War
  • May 6 - Resigns as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to join 1 st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment
  • Receives Lieutenant-Colonel commission and forms the "Rough Riders"
  • May to August - Serves in Cuba during Spanish-American War promoted to Colonel
  • August 14 - The Rough Riders land at Montauk, Long Island, to begin a six-week quarantine
  • September 27 - Nominated by the Republican Party for Governor of New York State
  • November 8 - Elected Governor of New York State serves until end of 1900
  • Nominated to vice presidential Republican ticket, a position some considered a political graveyard
  • On a campaign stop in Medora, ND, declares “here the romance of my life began”
  • November 6 - Elected vice president

Roosevelt as president in his library at Sagamore Hill.

Dickinson State University

  • March to September - Serves as vice president
  • September 6 - President McKinley shot while Roosevelt is hiking in the Adirondacks
  • September 14 - Becomes 26 th President of the United States, youngest to ever hold the office
  • February - Begins first of 45 antitrust suits to dissolve business monopolies
  • May 22 - Crater Lake National Park in Oregon established
  • March - Establishes Pelican Island, FL as first federal bird reserve
  • November - Signs treaty with Panama for building of Panama Canal
  • Re-elected president
  • Establishes United States Forest Service
  • Establishes Wichita Forest, OK as first federal game preserve
  • Negotiates the Russo-Japanese peace treaty
  • Establishes numerous national parks and monuments
  • November - Becomes first president to leave the country in a visit to Panama Canal
  • December - Awarded Nobel Peace Prize for mediating treaty of Russo-Japanese War
  • May - First conference of governors convened at White House to discuss conservation
  • June - Appoints National Conservation Commission to inventory natural resources
  • March - Presidency ends
  • In total, established 230 million acres of public lands
  • Public interest and celebrity increases after leaving office

A political cartoon depicting Roosevelt as a "Bull Moose"

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy is often mentioned as the youngest president ever. He took the presidential Oath of Office in 1961 at 43 years, 7 months, and 22 days old.

While Kennedy isn't the youngest person to occupy the White House, he is the youngest person elected president. Roosevelt wasn't initially elected president and was vice president when McKinley was killed.

Kennedy was, however, the youngest president to leave office at age 46 years, 177 days.


Contents

President Theodore Roosevelt High School is one of the oldest public secondary schools in the state of Hawaii. It was one of the first schools in the state to have compulsory Reserve Officer Training Corps education, a standard from 1934 to 1966.

The school avoided destruction when on March 4, 1942, the Imperial Japanese Navy attempted to bomb Pearl Harbor a second time. Weather caused one of the two floatplane bombers to drop its bombs 980 feet from the school, shattering some windows.

Roosevelt High School is most famous for its buildings and landmark domed bell tower constructed in Spanish mission architectural style, currently being restored through grants of the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. Its buildings were used as backdrops in several movie and television productions. Adjacent to the historic bell-towered building is the 2001 Hawaiian basalt sculpture "Hoʻokahi" (To Make as One), by Mark Watson.

Shooting Edit

In January 2014, a police officer shot a knife-wielding runaway teen who was being detained for trespassing and became disruptive at the school. [3]

Roosevelt High School is located in urban Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. It is situated in Makiki's Kalāwahine Valley adjacent to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific overlooking downtown Honolulu and Ala Moana.

There were 1427 students attending Roosevelt High School in the 2012-2013 school year. As of then, the racial composition was as follows: [2]

Roosevelt Complex Edit

The Roosevelt Complex consists of 12 elementary, middle, and public charter schools including Roosevelt.

  • Anuenue School
  • Education Lab Public Charter School
  • Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School
  • Kawananakoa Middle School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Maemae Elementary School
  • Manoa Elementary School
  • Noelani Elementary School
  • Nuuanu Elementary School
  • Pauoa Elementary School
  • Stevenson Middle School

Feeder Middle Schools Edit

Roosevelt High School feeds primarily from 3 middle schools in the Honolulu area.

  • Prince David Kawananakoa Middle School
  • Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School
  • President George Washington Middle School

Music Edit

The Roosevelt High School Music Department consists of Band (Concert/Symphonic), Orchestra (Concert/Symphony), Marching band, Jazz Ensemble.

The orchestra program consists of the Chamber Strings and the Symphony Orchestra.

Smaller Learning Communities Edit

Academies Edit

List of academies include:

  • Arts and Communication Academy,
  • Engineering and Technology Academy,
  • Liberal Arts Academy,
  • Sports & Fitness Academy
Arts and Communication Academy Edit

Roosevelt's Arts and Communication Academy officially began operations in 2002 and in 2004 graduated its first class. Known for involving language, art, humanities, and history in a humanistic approach, the academy is active with the Hawaii Opera Theater and brings students to cultural centers such as Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid. Recently they are also expanding their school trips to Asia, particularly Japan. This academy is usually in charge of hosting Japanese students on their visits to Hawaii to study how schools there operate.


Theodore Roosevelt

With the assassination of President William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, not quite 43, became the 26th and youngest President in the Nation’s history (1901-1909). He brought new excitement and power to the office, vigorously leading Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.

With the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, not quite 43, became the youngest President in the Nation’s history. He brought new excitement and power to the Presidency, as he vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.

He took the view that the President as a “steward of the people” should take whatever action necessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or the Constitution.” I did not usurp power,” he wrote, “but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power.”

Roosevelt’s youth differed sharply from that of the log cabin Presidents. He was born in New York City in 1858 into a wealthy family, but he too struggled–against ill health–and in his triumph became an advocate of the strenuous life.

In 1884 his first wife, Alice Lee Roosevelt, and his mother died on the same day. Roosevelt spent much of the next two years on his ranch in the Badlands of Dakota Territory. There he mastered his sorrow as he lived in the saddle, driving cattle, hunting big game–he even captured an outlaw. On a visit to London, he married Edith Carow in December 1886.

During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was lieutenant colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment, which he led on a charge at the battle of San Juan. He was one of the most conspicuous heroes of the war.

Boss Tom Platt, needing a hero to draw attention away from scandals in New York State, accepted Roosevelt as the Republican candidate for Governor in 1898. Roosevelt won and served with distinction.

As President, Roosevelt held the ideal that the Government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the Nation, especially between capital and labor, guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none.

Roosevelt emerged spectacularly as a “trust buster” by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the Northwest. Other antitrust suits under the Sherman Act followed.

Roosevelt steered the United States more actively into world politics. He liked to quote a favorite proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick. . . . ”

Aware of the strategic need for a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific, Roosevelt ensured the construction of the Panama Canal. His corollary to the Monroe Doctrine prevented the establishment of foreign bases in the Caribbean and arrogated the sole right of intervention in Latin America to the United States.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War, reached a Gentleman’s Agreement on immigration with Japan, and sent the Great White Fleet on a goodwill tour of the world.

Some of Theodore Roosevelt’s most effective achievements were in conservation. He added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects.

He crusaded endlessly on matters big and small, exciting audiences with his high-pitched voice, jutting jaw, and pounding fist. “The life of strenuous endeavor” was a must for those around him, as he romped with his five younger children and led ambassadors on hikes through Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.

Leaving the Presidency in 1909, Roosevelt went on an African safari, then jumped back into politics. In 1912 he ran for President on a Progressive ticket. To reporters he once remarked that he felt as fit as a bull moose, the name of his new party.

While campaigning in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest by a fanatic. Roosevelt soon recovered, but his words at that time would have been applicable at the time of his death in 1919: “No man has had a happier life than I have led a happier life in every way.”

The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.

Learn more about Theodore Roosevelt’s spouse, Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt.


Theodore Roosevelt

With the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, age 42, became the youngest president in the nation’s history. He brought new excitement and power to the presidency, as he briskly led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and an aggressive foreign policy.

He took the view that the president as a “steward of the people” should take whatever action necessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or the Constitution. "I did not usurp power," he wrote in 1913, “but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power."

Roosevelt's youth differed sharply from that of the log cabin presidents. He was born on October 27, 1858 in New York City into a wealthy family, but he too struggled—with asthma and other health ailments—and in his triumph became an advocate of the strenuous life.

In 1884, his first wife Alice Lee Roosevelt and his mother Martha died on the same day and only two days after the birth of his daughter, Alice. Roosevelt spent much of the next two years on his properties in the Dakota Badlands. There he mastered his sorrow as he lived in the saddle, driving cattle, hunting big game—he even chased outlaws as a local sheriff. Feeling reinvigorated, Roosevelt returned from the West and began courting his childhood friend Edith Carow. The couple married in London in December 1886. They raised six children together, including Alice.

During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt resigned his position as assistant secretary of the Navy to command the U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, more famously known as the Rough Riders. Roosevelt led his company’s charge up Kettle Hill during the Battle of San Juan, and his military exploits brought him considerable attention, elevating his profile within the Republican Party. In 1898, he ran for governor of New York and won he then was asked to join the 1900 Republican ticket as a vice-president under President William McKinley.

As president, Roosevelt held the ideal that the government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the nation, especially between capital and labor, guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none.

Roosevelt emerged spectacularly as a “trust buster” by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the Northwest. Other antitrust suits under the Sherman Act followed, and his willingness to take on corporations and monopolies enhanced his popularity with the American public.

Roosevelt also steered the United States more into world politics. He liked to quote a favorite proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Aware of the strategic need for a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific for American vessels, Roosevelt facilitated the construction of the Panama Canal by sending naval ships to support the Panamanians' independence movement. Once Columbia recognized Panama's independence, the new government gave the U.S. control of the canal for $10 million and a yearly payment. Additionally, the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine prevented the establishment of foreign bases in the Caribbean and arrogated the sole right of intervention in Latin America to the United States.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War, the first American president to receive this honor. Roosevelt also believed that a powerful navy was key to maintaining peace. In 1907, he sent the “Great White Fleet” around the world to demonstrate U.S. naval power and gain valuable experience on the open seas.

Some of Theodore Roosevelt's most enduring achievements were in conservation. He added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects.

He crusaded endlessly on matters big and small, exciting audiences with his high-pitched voice, jutting jaw, and pounding fist. “The life of strenuous endeavor” was a must for those around him, as he romped with his five younger children and led ambassadors on hikes through Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.

Leaving the presidency in 1909, Roosevelt went on an African safari, then jumped back into politics. In 1912 he ran for president on the Progressive Party ticket. To reporters he once remarked that he felt as fit as a “bull moose,” the nickname of his new party.

While campaigning in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest by a fanatic. Roosevelt soon recovered, but his words at that time remained applicable at the time of his death on January 6, 1919: “No man has had a happier life than I have led a happier life in every way.”


Travel and Post-Presidency Politics

When Roosevelt left office in 1909, he felt assured that he was leaving the nation able hands Roosevelt&aposs successor was his friend, former Secretary of War William Howard Taft. Having enjoyed his travels in Europe and the Middle East with his family as a young boy, as well as his two years as a rancher in the Dakotas and countless hunting trips, it seems only logical that Roosevelt&aposs next move would be embarking on an African safari.

But after two years of collecting specimens, speaking engagements and traveling — including as special ambassador to England for the funeral of King Edward VII — Roosevelt became disgruntled with Taft’s weak enforcement of progressive policies and decided to make another run for the presidency. To do so, though, meant launching a third-party initiative, as Taft was running on the Republican Party ticket. So Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party, also known as the "Bull Moose Party," and began campaigning for the 1912 election. While delivering a speech on the campaign trail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Roosevelt was shot in the chest in an assassination attempt by John Nepomuk Schrank. Shockingly, he continued his speech for 90 minutes before seeing a doctor, later chalking up the incident to the hazards of the business.

Roosevelt lost to Woodrow Wilson in the 1912 election, in a rather close popular vote. He considered running again in 1916, winning the Progressive nomination, but bowed out in favor of Republican Party nominee Charles Evans Hughes.

His political aspirations, however, would soon prove to be far from over. In 1914 when war broke out in Europe, Roosevelt became frustrated with Wilson’s stance on neutrality and continually criticized the president’s policy. When the U.S. finally declared war, Roosevelt requested permission to head a volunteer division for service in France in World War I, but Wilson had the Secretary of War turn him down.

Roosevelt was proud that all four of his sons enlisted for service during WWI, but brokenhearted when his youngest son, Quentin, was shot and killed in Germany.


The early years

Roosevelt was the second of four children born into a socially prominent family of Dutch and English ancestry his father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., was a noted businessman and philanthropist, and his mother, Martha Bulloch of Georgia, came from a wealthy, slave-owning plantation family. In frail health as a boy, Roosevelt was educated by private tutors. From boyhood he displayed intense, wide-ranging intellectual curiosity. He graduated from Harvard College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, in 1880. He then studied briefly at Columbia Law School but soon turned to writing and politics as a career. In 1880 he married Alice Hathaway Lee, by whom he had one daughter, Alice. After his first wife’s death, in 1886 he married Edith Kermit Carow (Edith Roosevelt), with whom he lived for the rest of his life at Sagamore Hill, an estate near Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. They had five children: Theodore, Jr., Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin.

As a child, Roosevelt had suffered from severe asthma, and weak eyesight plagued him throughout his life. By dint of a program of physical exertion, he developed a strong physique and a lifelong love of vigorous activity. He adopted “the strenuous life,” as he entitled his 1901 book, as his ideal, both as an outdoorsman and as a politician.

Elected as a Republican to the New York State Assembly at 23, Roosevelt quickly made a name for himself as a foe of corrupt machine politics. In 1884, overcome by grief by the deaths of both his mother and his wife on the same day, he left politics to spend two years on his cattle ranch in the badlands of the Dakota Territory, where he became increasingly concerned about environmental damage to the West and its wildlife. Nonetheless, he did participate as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1884. His attempt to reenter public life in 1886 was unsuccessful he was defeated in a bid to become mayor of New York City. Roosevelt remained active in politics and again battled corruption as a member of the U.S. Civil Service Commission (1889–95) and as president of the New York City Board of Police Commissioners. Appointed assistant secretary of the navy by President William McKinley, he vociferously championed a bigger navy and agitated for war with Spain. When war was declared in 1898, he organized the 1st Volunteer Cavalry, known as the Rough Riders, who were sent to fight in Cuba. Roosevelt was a brave and well-publicized military leader. The charge of the Rough Riders (on foot) up Kettle Hill during the Battle of Santiago made him the biggest national hero to come out of the Spanish-American War.

On his return, the Republican bosses in New York tapped Roosevelt to run for governor, despite their doubts about his political loyalty. Elected in 1898, he became an energetic reformer, removing corrupt officials and enacting legislation to regulate corporations and the civil service. His actions irked the party’s bosses so much that they conspired to get rid of him by drafting him for the Republican vice presidential nomination in 1900, assuming that his would be a largely ceremonial role.

Elected with McKinley, Roosevelt chafed at his powerless office until September 14, 1901, when McKinley died after being shot by an assassin and he became president. Six weeks short of his 43rd birthday, Roosevelt was the youngest person ever to enter the presidency. Although he promised continuity with McKinley’s policies, he transformed the public image of the office at once. He renamed the executive mansion the White House and threw open its doors to entertain cowboys, prizefighters, explorers, writers, and artists. His refusal to shoot a bear cub on a 1902 hunting trip inspired a toy maker to name a stuffed bear after him, and the teddy bear fad soon swept the nation. His young children romped on the White House lawn, and the marriage of his daughter Alice in 1905 to Representative Nicholas Longworth of Ohio became the biggest social event of the decade.

From what he called the presidency’s “bully pulpit,” Roosevelt gave speeches aimed at raising public consciousness about the nation’s role in world politics, the need to control the trusts that dominated the economy, the regulation of railroads, and the impact of political corruption. He appointed young, college-educated men to administrative positions. But active as he was, he was cautious in his approach to domestic affairs. Roosevelt recognized that he had become president by accident, and he wanted above all to be elected in 1904. Likewise, as sensitive as he was to popular discontent about big business and political machines, he knew that conservative Republicans who were bitterly opposed to all reforms controlled both houses of Congress. Roosevelt focused his activities on foreign affairs and used his executive power to address problems of business and labour and the conservation of natural resources.

Above all, Roosevelt relished the power of the office and viewed the presidency as an outlet for his unbounded energy. He was a proud and fervent nationalist who willingly bucked the passive Jeffersonian tradition of fearing the rise of a strong chief executive and a powerful central government. “I believe in a strong executive I believe in power,” he wrote to British historian Sir George Otto Trevelyan. “While President, I have been President, emphatically I have used every ounce of power there was in the office.…I do not believe that any President ever had as thoroughly good a time as I have had, or has ever enjoyed himself as much.”


Impact of Roosevelt on New York's Police

Theodore Roosevelt spent less than two years with the New York Police Department, and his tenure was marked with nearly constant controversy. While the job burnished his credentials as a reformer, most of what he tried to accomplish ended in frustration. The campaign against corruption proved essentially hopeless. New York City remained much the same after he left.

However, in later years Roosevelt's time at police headquarters on Mulberry Street in lower Manhattan took on legendary status. He would be remembered as a police commissioner who cleaned up New York, even though his accomplishments on the job didn't live up to the legend.


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