Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA

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Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, Jr.

Nicknames: "Teddy", "Teddy Bear", "Theodore /Roosevelt /", "Pres Theodore /Roosevelt/"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: New York, New York County, New York, United States
Death: Died in Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York, United States
Cause of death: Coronary Embolism
Place of Burial: Young's Mem. Cem., Oyster Bay, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. and Martha "Mittie" Stewart Roosevelt
Husband of Alice Hathaway Roosevelt and Edith Kermit Carow, First Lady
Father of Alice Lee Longworth; (No Name); Gen. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Medal of Honor; Kermit B. Roosevelt, I; Ethel Carow Derby and 5 others
Brother of Anna L Cowles; Elliot Roosevelt I; Corinne Roosevelt; Quentin Roosevelt and Baime Roosevelt

Occupation: 26th President of the United States of America
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, Jr.

  • Theodore Roosevelt became the first American President to take seriously the concept of the preservation of nature. As President from 1901 to 1909, he designated 150 National Forests, the first 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 5 National Parks (including the Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, and Mesa Verde), the first 18 national monuments (including the Chaco Canyon, Petrified Forest, Muir Woods and Devils Tower), the first 4 National Game Preserves, and the first 21 Reclamation Projects. Altogether, in the seven-and-one-half years he was in office, he provided federal protection for almost 230 million acres, a land area equivalent to that of all the East coast states from Maine to Florida. For more information on Theodore Roosevelt visit http://www.theodoreroosevelt.org.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt

Teddy, was the twenty-sixth President of the United States. A leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Party, he was a Governor of New York and a professional historian, naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier. He is most famous for his personality: his energy, his vast range of interests and achievements, his model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" image. Originating from a story from one of Roosevelt's hunting expeditions, Teddy bears are named after him.

As Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt prepared for and advocated war with Spain in 1898. He organized and helped command the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment—the Rough Riders—during the Spanish-American War. Returning to New York as a war hero, he was elected governor. An avid writer, his 35 books include works on outdoor life, natural history, the American frontier, political history, naval history, and his autobiography.

In 1901, as Vice President, the 42-year-old Roosevelt succeeded President William McKinley after McKinley's assassination by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. As of 2008, he remains the youngest person to become President. He was a Progressive reformer who sought to move the dominant Republican Party into the Progressive camp. He distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved forty monopolistic corporations as a "trust buster". He was clear, however, to show he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle but was only against corrupt, illegal practices. His "Square Deal" promised a fair shake for both the average citizen (through regulation of railroad rates and pure food and drugs) and the businessmen. He was the first U.S. president to call for universal health care and national health insurance. As an outdoorsman, he promoted the conservation movement, emphasizing efficient use of natural resources. After 1906 he attacked big business and suggested the courts were biased against labor unions. In 1910, he broke with his friend and anointed successor William Howard Taft, but lost the Republican nomination to Taft and ran in the 1912 election on his own one-time Bull Moose ticket. He beat Taft in the popular vote and pulled so many Progressives out of the Republican Party that Democrat Woodrow Wilson won in 1912, and the conservative faction took control of the Republican Party for the next two decades.

Roosevelt negotiated for the U.S. to take control of the Panama Canal and its construction in 1904; he felt the Canal's completion was his most important and historically significant international achievement. He was the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize, winning its Peace Prize in 1906, for negotiating the peace in the Russo-Japanese War, an interesting irony considering his promotion of national warfare as a useful tool.

Historian Thomas Bailey, who disagreed with Roosevelt's policies, nevertheless concluded, "Roosevelt was a great personality, a great activist, a great preacher of the moralities, a great controversialist, a great showman. He dominated his era as he dominated conversations....the masses loved him; he proved to be a great popular idol and a great vote getter." His image stands alongside Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. Roosevelt has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents. Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt were related but only distantly. They were fifth cousins

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Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), also known as T.R. and to the public (but never to friends and intimates) as Teddy, was the 26th President of the United States, and a leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Movement, as well as being the youngest President in the United States's history. He served in many roles including Governor of New York, historian, naturalist, explorer, author, and soldier. Roosevelt is most famous for his personality: his energy, his vast range of interests and achievements, his model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" persona. His last name, often mispronounced, per Roosevelt, is correctly pronounced "Rosavelt."[2][3]

As Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy, he prepared for and advocated war with Spain in 1898. He organized and helped command the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, the Rough Riders, during the Spanish-American War. Returning to New York as a war hero, he was elected Republican governor in 1898. He was a professional historian, a lawyer, a naturalist and explorer of the Amazon Basin; his 35 books[4] include works on outdoor life, natural history, the American frontier, political history, naval history, and his autobiography.

In 1901, as Vice President, Roosevelt succeeded President William McKinley after an assassination. He is the youngest person ever to become President (John F. Kennedy is the youngest elected President). Roosevelt was a Progressive reformer who sought to move the dominant Republican Party into the Progressive camp. He distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved 40 monopolistic corporations as a "trust buster". He was clear, however, to show that he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle but was only against their corrupt, illegal practices. His "Square Deal" promised a fair shake for both the average citizen, including regulation of railroad rates and pure foods and drugs, and the businessmen. As an outdoorsman, he promoted the conservation movement, emphasizing efficient use of natural resources. After 1906 he attacked big business and suggested the courts were biased against labor unions. In 1910, he broke with his friend and anointed successor William Howard Taft, but lost the Republican nomination to Taft and ran in the 1912 election on his own one-time Bull Moose ticket. Roosevelt lost but pulled so many Progressives out of the Republican Party that Democrat Woodrow Wilson won in 1912, and the conservative faction took control of the Republican Party for the next two decades.

Roosevelt understood the strategic significance of the Panama Canal, and negotiated for the U.S. to take control of its construction in 1904; he felt that the Canal's completion was his most important and historically significant international achievement. He was the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize, winning its Peace Prize in 1906, for negotiating the peace in the Russo-Japanese War.

Historian Thomas Bailey, who disagreed with Roosevelt's policies, nevertheless concluded, "Roosevelt was a great personality, a great activist, a great preacher of the moralities, a great controversialist, a great showman. He dominated his era as he dominated conversations....the masses loved him; he proved to be a great popular idol and a great vote getter."[5] His image stands alongside Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. Surveys of scholars have consistently ranked him from #3 to #7 on the list of greatest American presidents.

Theodore Roosevelt was born at 28 East 20th Street in the modern-day Gramercy section of New York City on October 27, 1858, the second of four children of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1831–1877) and Mittie Bullock (1834–1884). He had an elder sister Anna, nicknamed "Bamie" as a child and "Bye" as an adult for being always on the go; and two younger siblings — his brother Elliott (the father of Eleanor Roosevelt) and his sister Corinne, (grandmother of newspaper columnists, Joseph and Stewart Alsop). Young Teddy also experienced some major cases of diarrhea while growing up.

The Roosevelts had been in New York since the mid 18th century and had grown with the emerging New York commerce class after the American Revolution. Unlike many of the earlier "log cabin Presidents," Roosevelt was born into a wealthy family. By the 19th Century, the family had grown in wealth, power and influence from the profits of several businesses including hardware and plate-glass importing. The family was strongly Democratic in its political affiliation until the mid-1850s, then joined the new Republican Party. Theodore's father, known in the family as "Thee", was a New York City philanthropist, merchant, and partner in the family glass-importing firm Roosevelt and Son. He was a prominent supporter of Abraham Lincoln and the Union effort during the American Civil War. Theodore's mother Mittie Bulloch was a Southern belle from a slave-owning family in Savannah, Georgia and had quiet Confederate sympathies. Mittie's brother, Theodore's uncle, James Dunwoody Bulloch, "Uncle Jimmy", was a U.S. Navy officer who became a Confederate admiral and naval procurement agent in Britain. Another uncle Irvine Bulloch was a midshipman on the Confederate raider, CSS Alabama; both remained in England after the war.[6]

Sickly and asthmatic as a youngster, Roosevelt had to sleep propped up in bed or slouching in a chair during much of his early childhood, and had frequent ailments. Despite his illnesses, he was a hyperactive and often mischievous young man. His lifelong interest in zoology was formed at age seven upon seeing a dead seal at a local market. After obtaining the seal's head, the young Roosevelt and two of his cousins formed what they called the "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History". Learning the rudiments of taxidermy, he filled his makeshift museum with many animals that he killed or caught, studied, and prepared for display. At age nine, he codified his observation of insects with a paper titled "The Natural History of Insects".[7]

To combat his poor physical condition, his father compelled the young Roosevelt to take up exercise. To deal with bullies, Roosevelt started boxing lessons.[8] Two trips abroad had a permanent impact: family tours of Europe in 1869 and 1870, and of the Middle East 1872 to 1873.

Theodore Sr. had a tremendous influence on young Theodore and was a life-long source of inspiration. Of him Roosevelt wrote, "My father, Theodore Roosevelt, was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness."[9] Roosevelt's sister later wrote, "He told me frequently that he never took any serious step or made any vital decision for his country without thinking first what position his father would have taken."[10]

Young "Teedie", as he was nicknamed as a child, (the nickname "Teddy" was from his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, and he later harbored an intense dislike for it) was mostly home schooled by tutors and his parents. A leading biographer says: "The most obvious drawback to the home schooling Roosevelt received was uneven coverage of the various areas of human knowledge." He was solid in geography (thanks to his careful observations on all his travels) and very well read in history, strong in biology, French and German, but deficient in mathematics, Latin and Greek.[11] He matriculated at Harvard College in 1876, graduating magna cum laude. His father's death in 1878 was a tremendous blow, but Roosevelt redoubled his activities. He did well in science, philosophy and rhetoric courses but fared poorly in Latin and Greek. He studied biology with great interest and indeed was already an accomplished naturalist and published ornithologist. He had a photographic memory and developed a life-long habit of devouring books, memorizing every detail.[12] He was an unusually eloquent conversationalist who, throughout his life, sought out the company of the smartest men and women. He could multitask in extraordinary fashion, dictating letters to one secretary and memoranda to another, while browsing through a new book. During his adulthood, a visitor would get a not-so-subtle hint that Roosevelt was losing interest in the conversation when he would pick up a book and begin looking at it now and then as the conversation continued.

While at Harvard, Roosevelt was active in numerous clubs, such as rowing and boxing. Other clubs included the Alpha Delta Phi and Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternities. He also edited a student magazine. He was runner-up in the Harvard boxing championship, losing to C.S. Hanks. The sportsmanship Roosevelt showed in that fight was long remembered. Upon graduating from Harvard, Roosevelt underwent a physical examination and his doctor advised him that due to serious heart problems, he should find a desk job and avoid strenuous activity. Roosevelt disregarded the advice and chose to embrace the strenuous life instead.[13]

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude (22nd of 177) from Harvard in 1880, and entered Columbia Law School. When offered a chance to run for New York Assemblyman in 1881, he dropped out of law school to pursue his new goal of entering public life.[14]

Roosevelt was a Republican activist during his years in the Assembly, writing more bills than any other New York state legislator. Already a major player in state politics, he attended the Republican National Convention in 1884 and fought alongside the Mugwump reformers; they lost to the Stalwart faction that nominated James G. Blaine. Refusing to join other Mugwumps in supporting Democrat Grover Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, he stayed loyal.

[edit] First marriage

On his 22nd birthday, Roosevelt married his first wife, 19-year-old Alice Hathaway Lee, on October 27, 1880, at the Unitarian Church in Brookline, Massachusetts. Alice was the daughter of the prominent banker George Cabot Lee and Caroline Haskell Lee. (George Cabot Lee's sister Rose Smith Lee was the paternal Grandmother of Massachusetts Governor Leverett Saltonstall). The couple first met in 1878. He proposed in June 1879. However, Alice waited another six months before accepting the proposal. They announced their engagement on Valentine's Day 1880. Alice Roosevelt died exactly four years later, only two days after the birth of their first child, also named Alice. In a tragic coincidence, Roosevelt's mother died of typhoid fever on the same day, also at the Roosevelt family home in Manhattan.

Although he noted her loss in his diary and made several references to her in the subsequent months, from the next year on Roosevelt refused to speak his first wife's name again (even omitting her name from his autobiography) and did not allow others to speak of her in his presence. With his daughter, Alice, the siblings were taught to call her "sister," and Alice's half-brother Ted, Jr. would have to ask "has anyone seen sister this morning?"

This practice put an early strain on his relationship with his daughter who was given his late wife's name. However, as she grew into adulthood and better understood her father's deep moral convictions, the bond between them became strong. Alice continued to support her father's ideas after his death in 1919.

Later in 1884, Roosevelt left the General Assembly and put his infant daughter Alice in the long-term care of his older sister, Bamie. In letters to Bamie, he would refer to Alice as Baby Lee. Roosevelt moved to his Maltese Cross ranch seven miles from Medora in the Badlands of the Dakota Territory to live a more simple life as a rancher and lawman.

Roosevelt built a second ranch he named Elk Horn thirty five miles north of the boomtown, Medora, North Dakota. On the banks of the "Little Missouri", Roosevelt learned to ride, rope, and hunt. There, in the waning days of the American Old West, he rebuilt his life and began writing about frontier life for Eastern magazines. As a deputy sheriff, Roosevelt hunted down three outlaws who stole his river boat and were escaping north with it up the Little Missouri River. Capturing them, he decided against hanging them and sending his foreman back by boat, he took the thieves back overland for trial in Dickinson, guarding them forty hours without sleep and reading Tolstoy to keep himself awake. When he ran out of his own books he read a dime store western that one of the thieves was carrying.

While working on a tough project aimed at hunting down a group of relentless horse thieves, Roosevelt came across the famous Deadwood, South Dakota Sheriff Seth Bullock. The two would remain friends for life. (Morris, Rise of, 241-245, 247-250)

After a winter wiped out his herd of cattle and his $60,000 investment (together with those of his competitors), he returned to the East, where in 1885, he had purchased Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, New York. It would be his home and estate until his death. Roosevelt ran as the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City in 1886 as "The Cowboy of the Dakotas"[15] to assert his manliness. Despite his change of image, he still came in third.

In the 1880s, he gained recognition as a serious historian. His The Naval War of 1812 (1882) was the standard history for two generations. For that book, Roosevelt undertook extensive and original research going as far as computing British and American man-of-war broadside throw weights.[19] As recently as 2006, no fewer than three American books on the birth of the US Navy and the War of 1812 quote from and comment extensively on Roosevelt's book.

By comparison, however, his hastily-written biographies of Thomas Hart Benton (1887) and Gouverneur Morris (1888) are considered superficial.[20] His major achievement was a four-volume history of the frontier, The Winning of the West (1889-1896), which had a notable impact on historiography as it presented a highly original version of the frontier thesis elaborated upon in 1893 by his friend Frederick Jackson Turner. Roosevelt argued that the harsh frontier conditions had created a new "race": the American people. He was using a Lamarkean model in which new environmental conditions allow a new species to form. His many articles in upscale magazines provided a much-needed income, as well as cementing a reputation as a major national intellectual. He was later chosen president of the United States American Historical Association

In the 1888 presidential election, Roosevelt campaigned for Benjamin Harrison in the Midwest. President Harrison appointed Roosevelt to the United States Civil Service Commission, where he served until 1895.[21] In his term, he vigorously fought the spoilsmen and demanded the enforcement of civil service laws. In spite of Roosevelt's support for Harrison's reelection bid in the presidential election of 1892, the eventual winner, Grover Cleveland (a Bourbon Democrat), re appointed him to the same post.

In 1895, he became president of the board of New York City Police Commissioners. During the two years that he held this post, Roosevelt radically changed the way the police department was run. The police force was reputed as one of the most corrupt in America. NYPD's history division records that Roosevelt was, "an iron-willed leader of unimpeachable honesty, (who) brought a reforming zeal to the New York City Police Commission in 1895."[22] Roosevelt and his fellow commissioners established new disciplinary rules, created a bicycle squad to police New York's traffic problems and standardized the use of pistols by officers.[23] Roosevelt implemented regular inspections of firearms, annual physical exams, appointed 1,600 new recruits based on their physical and mental qualifications and not on political affiliation, opened the department to ethnic minorities and women, established meritorious service medals, and shut down the corrupt police hostelries. During his tenure a Municipal Lodging House was established by the Board of Charities and Roosevelt required his officers to register with the Board. He also had telephones installed in station houses. Always an energetic man, he made a habit of walking officers' beats late at night and early in the morning to make sure that they were on duty.[24] He became caught up in public disagreements with commissioner Parker, who sought to negate or delay the promotion of many officers put forward by Roosevelt.

Roosevelt had always been fascinated by navies and their history. Urged by Roosevelt's close friend, Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge, President William McKinley appointed a delighted Roosevelt to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. (Because of the inactivity of Secretary of the Navy John D. Long at the time, this basically gave Roosevelt control over the department.) Roosevelt was instrumental in preparing the Navy for the Spanish-American War[25] and was an enthusiastic proponent of testing the U.S. military in battle, at one point stating "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one".[26]

Upon the declaration of war in 1898 that would be known as the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt resigned from the Navy Department and, with the aid of U.S. Army Colonel Leonard Wood, organized the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment out of a diverse crew that ranged from cowboys from the Western territories to Ivy League friends from New York. The newspapers called them the "Rough Riders." Originally Roosevelt held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and served under Colonel Wood, but after Wood was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteer Forces, Roosevelt was promoted to Colonel and given command of the Regiment.

Under his leadership, the Rough Riders became famous for their dual charges up Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill in July 1898 (the battle was named after the latter hill). Out of all the Rough Riders, Roosevelt was the only one who had a horse, and was forced to dismount and walk up Kettle Hill on foot after his horse, Little Texas, became tired. Roosevelt was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2001 for his actions.[27] He was the first and, as of 2007, the only President of the United States to be awarded with America's highest military honor, and the only person in history to receive both his nation's highest honor for military valor and the world's foremost prize for peace.

On leaving the Army, Roosevelt re-entered New York state politics and was elected governor of New York in 1898 on the Republican ticket. He made such a concerted effort to root out corruption and "machine politics" that Republican boss Thomas Collier Platt forced him on McKinley as a running mate in the 1900 election, against the wishes of McKinley's manager Senator Mark Hanna. Roosevelt was a powerful campaign asset for the Republican ticket, which defeated William Jennings Bryan in a landslide based on restoration of prosperity at home and a successful war and new prestige abroad. Bryan stumped for Free Silver again, but McKinley's promise of prosperity through the Gold Standard, high tariffs, and the restoration of business confidence proved far more attractive to voters and he enlarged his margin of victory. Bryan had strongly supported the war against Spain, but denounced the annexation of the Philippines as imperialism that would spoil America's innocence. Roosevelt countered with many speeches that argued it was best for the Filipinos to have stability, and the Americans to have a proud place in the world. Roosevelt's few months as Vice President (March to September, 1901) were uneventful.[28] On September 2, 1901, at the Minnesota State Fair, Roosevelt first used in a public speech a saying that would later be universally associated with him: "Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far." Twelve days later, President McKinley would be dead, and Roosevelt would succeed him.

President McKinley was shot by Leon Czolgosz (Zol-gash), an anarchist, on September 6, 1901. When he first heard of the shooting, Roosevelt had been giving a speech in Vermont. Assured by McKinley's people that the crisis had passed and that the President would recover, Roosevelt had gone on to a planned family camping and hiking trip to Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks when a runner finally caught up with him and told him that McKinley's condition had greatly worsened and that he was on his death bed. Not wanting to simply show up in Buffalo and wait on McKinley's death, Roosevelt was pondering with his wife, Edith, how best to respond to this turn of events, when additional news reached him that McKinley would soon die. Roosevelt was rushed by a series of stagecoaches to North Creek train station. At the station, Roosevelt was handed a telegram that said only that the President had died. Turning the telegram upside down and reading it again, Roosevelt expressed a sense of helplessness that the telegram contained no additional information and said only that McKinley had died at 2:30 AM that morning. Officially having learned that he was now President of the United States, he continued by train from North Creek to Buffalo. He arrived in Buffalo later that same day, accepting an invitation to stay at the home of Ansley Wilcox, a prominent lawyer and friend since the early 1880s when they had both worked closely with New York State Governor Grover Cleveland on civil service reform. Wilcox would recall that "the family and most of the household were in the country, but he [Roosevelt] was offered a quiet place to sleep and eat, and accepted it."[29] Roosevelt took the oath of office in the Ansley Wilcox House at Buffalo, New York borrowing Wilcox's morning coat. Roosevelt did not swear on the Bible nor on any other book, making him unique among presidents.[30] Mark Hanna lamented that "that damned cowboy is president now," giving expression to the fears of many old line Republicans.[31] Roosevelt was the youngest person to assume the presidency, at 42, and he promised to continue McKinley's cabinet and his basic policies. Roosevelt did so, but after winning election in 1904, he moved to the political left, stretching his ties to the Republican Party's conservative leaders.[32]

A national emergency was averted in 1902 when Roosevelt found a compromise to the anthracite coal strike by the United Mine Workers of America that threatened the heating supplies of most urban homes. Roosevelt called the mine owners and the labor leaders to the White House and negotiated a compromise. Miners were on strike for 163 days before it ended; they were granted a 10% pay increase and a 9-hour day (from the previous 10 hours), but the union was not officially recognized and the price of coal went up.[33]

Theodore Roosevelt promised to continue McKinley's program, and at first he worked closely with McKinley's men. His 20,000-word address to the Congress in December 1901, asked Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits." They did not act but Roosevelt did, issuing 44 lawsuits against major corporations; he was called the "trust-buster."

Mark Hanna was the rival power in the Republican party. Hanna died, and Roosevelt had an easy renomination and reelection in 1904. He won 336 of 476 electoral votes, and 56.4% of the total popular vote. He therefore became the first President who came into office due to the death of his predecessor to be elected in his own right.

Building on McKinley's effective use of the press, Roosevelt made the White House the center of news every day, providing interviews and photo opportunities. His children were almost as popular as he was, and their pranks in the White House made headlines. His daughter, Alice Lee Roosevelt, became quite popular in Washington.

Roosevelt firmly believed: "The Government must in increasing degree supervise and regulate the workings of the railways engaged in interstate commerce." Inaction was a danger, he argued: "Such increased supervision is the only alternative to an increase of the present evils on the one hand or a still more radical policy on the other."[34] His biggest success was passage of the Hepburn Act of 1906, granting the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) the power to set maximum railroad rates; it also stopped free passes given to friends of the railroad. At that time it was universally assumed that railroads would continue to be a vast and powerful force. No one dreamed they would eventually be challenged by truck and automobile traffic, and hence struggle to survive under the provisions of the Hepburn Act designed to protect merchants and consumers.

In response to public clamor, Roosevelt pushed Congress to pass the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906, as well as the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. These laws provided for labeling of foods and drugs, inspection of livestock and mandated sanitary conditions at meatpacking plants. Congress replaced Roosevelt's proposals with a version supported by the major meatpackers who worried about the overseas markets, and did not want small unsanitary plants undercutting their domestic market.[35]

Roosevelt was the first American president to consider the long-term needs for efficient conservation of national resources, winning the support of fellow hunters and fishermen to bolster his political base. Roosevelt was the last trained observer to ever see a passenger pigeon, and on March 14, 1903, Roosevelt created the first National Bird Preserve, (the beginning of the Wildlife Refuge system), on Pelican Island, Florida. Assuming the conservationist role was a natural step for him, and he decided that it was overdue to put the issue high on the national agenda. He worked with all the major figures of the movement, especially his chief advisor on the matter Gifford Pinchot. Roosevelt urged Congress to establish the United States Forest Service (1905), to manage government forest lands, and he appointed Gifford Pinchot to head the service. Roosevelt set aside more land for national parks and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined, 194 million acres. In all, by 1909, the Roosevelt administration had created an unprecedented 42 million acres of national forests, 53 national wildlife refuges and 18 areas of "special interest", including the Grand Canyon. The Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands commemorates his conservationist philosophy. In 1903, Roosevelt toured the Yosemite Valley with John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, but he rejected Muir's philosophy that privileged nature, and emphasized instead the more efficient use of nature. In 1907, with Congress about to block him, Roosevelt hurried to designate 16 million acres (65,000 km²) of new national forests. In May 1908, he sponsored the Conference of Governors held in the White House, with a focus on the most efficient planning, analysis and use of water, forests and other natural resources. Roosevelt explained, "There is an intimate relation between our streams and the development and conservation of all the other great permanent sources of wealth." During his presidency, Roosevelt promoted the nascent conservation movement in essays for Outdoor Life magazine. Roosevelt, like Pinchot (but unlike Muir), believed in the more efficient use of natural resources by corporations like lumber companies. To Roosevelt, conservation meant more and better usage and less waste, and a long-term perspective.

Roosevelt's conservationist leanings also impelled him to preserve national sites of scientific, particularly archaeological, interest. The 1906 passage of the Antiquities Act gave him a tool for creating national monuments by presidential proclamation, without requiring Congressional approval for each monument on an item-by-item basis. The language of the Antiquities Act specifically called for the preservation of "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest," and was primarily construed by its creator, Congressman James F. Lacey (assisted by the prominent archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett), as targeting the prehistoric ruins of the American Southwest. Roosevelt, however, applied a typically broad interpretation to the Act, and the first national monument he proclaimed, Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming, was preserved for reasons tied more to geology than archaeology.

Roosevelt's administration was marked by an active approach to foreign policy. Roosevelt saw it as the duty of more developed ("civilized") nations to help the underdeveloped ("uncivilized") world move forward. In Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the Panama Canal Zone, he used the Army's medical service, under Walter Reed and William C. Gorgas, to eliminate the yellow fever menace and install a new regime of public health. He used the army to build up the infrastructure of the new possessions, building railways, telegraph and telephone lines, and upgrading roads and port facilities.

Roosevelt dramatically increased the size of the navy, forming the Great White Fleet, which toured the world in 1907. This display was designed as a show of force to impress the Japanese. Yet, the ships were almost forced to return because of the inadequacy of American ports in the Pacific.See Edward S Miller,War Plan Orange (Annapolis, 1991) Roosevelt also added the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the United States could intervene in Latin American affairs when corruption of governments made it necessary.

Roosevelt gained international praise for helping negotiate the end of the Russo-Japanese War, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Roosevelt later arbitrated a dispute between France and Germany over the division of Morocco. Some historians have argued these latter two actions helped in a small way to avert a world war.[36]

Roosevelt's most famous foreign policy initiative, following the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, was the construction of the Panama Canal, which upon its completion shortened the route of freighters between San Francisco, California and New York City by 8,000 miles (13,000 km).

Colombia first proposed the canal in their country as opposed to rival Nicaragua, and Colombia signed a treaty for an agreed-upon sum. At that time, Panama was a province of Colombia. According to the treaty, in 1902, the U.S. was to buy out the equipment and excavations from France, which had been attempting to build a canal since 1881. While the Colombian negotiating team had signed the treaty, ratification by the Colombian Senate became problematic.

The Colombian Senate balked at the price and asked for 10 million dollars over the original agreed upon price. When the U.S. refused to re-negotiate the price, the Colombian politicians proposed cutting the original French company that started the project out of the deal and giving that difference to Colombia. The original deal stipulated that the French company was to be reasonably compensated. Realizing that the Colombian Senate was no longer bargaining in good faith, Roosevelt tired of these last-minute attempts by the Colombians to cheat the French out of their entire investment.

Roosevelt ultimately decided, with the encouragement of Panamanian business interests, to help Panama declare independence from Colombia in 1903. A brief revolution, of only a few hours, followed the declaration, and Colombian soldiers were bribed $50 each to lay down their arms. On November 3, 1903, the Republic of Panama was created, with its constitution written in advance by the United States. Shortly thereafter, a treaty was signed with Panama. After the signing of the treaty with Panama, a man named Nathan Johnson Forest assisted in Panama with the idea of the canal. The U.S. then paid $10 million to secure rights to build on and control the Canal Zone. Construction began in 1904 and was completed in 1914.

It took a long time to build the Panama Canal because illness spread quickly in Panama. Over 200 workers died of yellow fever and malaria, spread by mosquitoes. Roosevelt worked on clearing swamps and other areas in which the insects bred. Finally the health threat receded, and facilitated the construction of the Canal.

As Roosevelt's administration drew to a close, the president dispatched a fleet consisting of four US Navy battleship squadrons and their escorts, on a world-wide voyage of circumnavigation from December 16, 1907, to February 22, 1909. With their hulls painted white except for the beautiful gilded scrollwork with a red, white, and blue banner on their bows, these ships would come to be known as The Great White Fleet. Roosevelt wanted to demonstrate to his country and the world that the US Navy was capable of operating in a global theater, particularly in the Pacific. This was extraordinarily important at a time when tensions were slowly growing between the United States and Japan. The latter had recently shown its navy's competence in defeating the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War and the US Navy fleet to the west was relatively small. The Atlantic Fleet battleships only later came to be known as the "Great White Fleet." When the fleet sailed into Yokahama, Japan, the Japanese went to extraordinary lengths to show that their country desired peace with the US. Thousands of Japanese school children waving American flags purchased by the government greeted the Navy brass as they came ashore. In February 1909, Roosevelt was in Hampton Roads, Virginia to witness the triumphant return of the fleet and indicate that he saw the fleet's long voyage as a fitting finish for his administration. Roosevelt said to the officers of the Fleet, "Other nations may do what you have done, but they'll have to follow you." This parting act of grand strategy by Roosevelt greatly expanded the respect for as well as the role of the United States in the international arena. The visit of the Great White Fleet to Tokyo, nevertheless encouraged Japanese militarists, who argued for an aggressive Japanese ship building and naval expansion program.

Roosevelt relished the presidency and seemed to be everywhere at once. He took Cabinet members and friends on long, fast-paced hikes, boxed in the state rooms of the White House, romped with his children, and read voraciously.[37] In 1908, he was permanently blinded in his left eye during one of his boxing bouts, but this injury was kept from the public at the time.[38] His many enthusiastic interests and limitless energy led one ambassador to wryly explain, "You must always remember that the President is about six."[39]

During his presidency, Roosevelt tried but did not succeed to advance the cause of simplified spelling. He tried to force government to adopt the system, sending an order to the Public Printer to use the system in all public documents. The order was obeyed, and among the documents thus printed was the President's special message regarding the Panama Canal. The New York World translated the Thanksgiving Day proclamation:

When nearly three centuries ago, the first settlers came to the country which has become this great republic, that confronted not only hardship and privashun, but terrible risk of their lives. . . . The custom has now become national and hallowed by immemorial usage.

The reform annoyed the public, forcing him to rescind the order. Roosevelt's friend, literary critic Brander Matthews, one of the chief advocates of the reform, remonstrated with him for abandoning the effort. Roosevelt replied on December 16: "I could not by fighting have kept the new spelling in, and it was evidently worse than useless to go into an undignified contest when I was beaten. Do you know that the one word as to which I thought the new spelling was wrong — thru — was more responsible than anything else for our discomfiture?" Next summer Roosevelt was watching a naval review when a launch marked "Pres Bot" chugged ostentatiously by. The President waved and laughed with delight.[40]

Roosevelt's oldest daughter, Alice, was a controversial character during Roosevelt's stay in the White House. When friends asked if he could rein in his elder daughter, Roosevelt said, "I can be President of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both."[37] In turn, Alice said of him that he always wanted to be "the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral."[41]

Roosevelt's contribution to the White House was the construction of the original West Wing, which he had built to free up the second floor rooms in the residence that formerly housed the president's staff. He and Edith also had the entire house renovated and restored to the federal style, tearing out the Victorian furnishings and details (including Tiffany windows) that had been installed over the previous three decades.

In March 1909, shortly after the end of his second term, Roosevelt left New York for a safari in Africa. Financed by Andrew Carnegie and by his own proposed writings, Roosevelt hunted for specimens for the Smithsonian Institution and for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. His party, which included scientists from the Smithsonian and was led by Frederick Selous, the famous big game hunter and explorer, killed or trapped over 11,397 animals, from insects and moles to hippopotamuses and elephants. 512 of the animals were big game animals, of which 262 were consumed by the expedition. This included six white rhinos. Tons of salted animals and their skins were shipped to Washington; the number of animals was so large, it took years to mount them. The Smithsonian was able to share many duplicate animals with other museums. Of the large number of animals taken, Roosevelt said, "I can be condemned only if the existence of the National Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and all similar zoological institutions are to be condemned."[42] Although based in the name of science, there was a large social element to the safari. Interaction with many native peoples, local leaders, renowned professional hunters, and land owning families made the safari much more than a hunting excursion. Roosevelt wrote a detailed account of this adventure; "African Game Trails" describes the excitement of the chase, the people he met, and flora and fauna he collected in the name of science.

Roosevelt certified William Howard Taft to be a genuine "progressive" in 1908, when Roosevelt pushed through the nomination of his Secretary of War for the Presidency. Taft easily defeated three-time candidate William Jennings Bryan. Taft had a different progressivism, one that stressed the rule of law and preferred that judges rather than administrators or politicians make the basic decisions about fairness. Taft usually proved a less adroit politician than Roosevelt and lacked the energy and personal magnetism, not to mention the publicity devices, the dedicated supporters, and the broad base of public support that made Roosevelt so formidable. When Roosevelt realized that lowering the tariff would risk severe tensions inside the Republican Party—pitting producers (manufacturers and farmers) against merchants and consumers—he stopped talking about the issue. Taft ignored the risks and tackled the tariff boldly, on the one hand encouraging reformers to fight for lower rates, and then cutting deals with conservative leaders that kept overall rates high. The resulting Payne-Aldrich tariff of 1909 was too high for most reformers, but instead of blaming this on Senator Nelson Aldrich and big business, Taft took credit, calling it the best tariff ever. Again he had managed to alienate all sides. While the crisis was building inside the Party, Roosevelt was touring Africa and Europe, so as to allow Taft to be his own man.[43]

Unlike Roosevelt, Taft never attacked business or businessmen in his rhetoric. However, he was attentive to the law, so he launched 90 antitrust suits, including one against the largest corporation, U.S. Steel, for an acquisition that Roosevelt had personally approved. Consequently, Taft lost the support of antitrust reformers (who disliked his conservative rhetoric), of big business (which disliked his actions), and of Roosevelt, who felt humiliated by his protégé. The left wing of the Republican Party began agitating against Taft. Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin created the National Progressive Republican League (precursor to the Progressive Party (United States, 1924)) to defeat the power of political bossism at the state level and to replace Taft at the national level. More trouble came when Taft fired Gifford Pinchot, a leading conservationist and close ally of Roosevelt. Pinchot alleged that Taft's Secretary of Interior Richard Ballinger was in league with big timber interests. Conservationists sided with Pinchot, and Taft alienated yet another vocal constituency.

Roosevelt, back from Europe, unexpectedly launched an attack on the federal courts, which deeply upset Taft. Not only had Roosevelt alienated big business, he was also attacking both the judiciary and the deep faith Republicans had in their judges (most of whom had been appointed by McKinley, Roosevelt or Taft.) In the 1910 Congressional elections, Democrats swept to power, and Taft's reelection in 1912 was increasingly in doubt. In 1911, Taft responded with a vigorous stumping tour that allowed him to sign up most of the party leaders long before Roosevelt announced.

Late in 1911, Roosevelt finally broke with Taft and LaFollette and announced himself as a candidate for the Republican nomination. But Roosevelt had delayed too long, and Taft had already won the support of most party leaders in the country. Because of LaFollette's nervous breakdown on the campaign trail before Roosevelt's entry, most of LaFollette's supporters went over to Roosevelt, the new progressive Republican candidate.

Roosevelt, stepping up his attack on judges, carried 9 of the states with preferential primaries, LaFollette took two, and Taft only one. The 1912 Primaries represented the first extensive use of the Presidential Primary, a reform achievement of the progressive movement. However, these primary elections, while demonstrating Roosevelt's popularity with the electorate, were in no ways as important as primaries are today. First of all, there were fewer states where the common voter was given a forum to express himself, such as a primary. Many more states selected convention delegates either at party conventions, or in caucuses, which were not as open as today's caucuses. So while the man in the street still adored Roosevelt, most professional Republican politicians were supporting Taft, and they proved difficult to upset in non-primary states.

At the Republican Convention in Chicago, despite being the incumbent, Taft's victory was not immediately assured. But after two weeks, Roosevelt, realizing that he would not be able to win the nomination outright, asked his followers to leave the convention hall. They moved to the Auditorium Theatre, and then Roosevelt, along with key allies such as Pinchot and Albert Beveridge created the Progressive Party, structuring it as a permanent organization that would field complete tickets at the presidential and state level. It was popularly known as the "Bull Moose Party", which got its name after Roosevelt told reporters, "I'm as tough as a bull moose." At the convention Roosevelt cried out, "We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord." The crusading rhetoric resonated well with the delegates, many of them long-time reformers, crusaders, activists and opponents of politics as usual. Included in the ranks were Jane Addams and many other feminists and peace activists. The platform echoed Roosevelt's 1907-08 proposals, calling for vigorous government intervention to protect the people from the selfish interests.[44]

"To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." - 1912 Progressive Party Platform, attributed to him[45] and quoted again in his autobiography[46] where he continues "'This country belongs to the people. Its resources, its business, its laws, its institutions, should be utilized, maintained, or altered in whatever manner will best promote the general interest.' This assertion is explicit. ... Mr. Wilson must know that every monopoly in the United States opposes the Progressive party. ... I challenge him ... to name the monopoly that did support the Progressive party, whether ... the Sugar Trust, the Steel Trust, the Harvester Trust, the Standard Oil Trust, the Tobacco Trust, or any other. ... Ours was the only programme to which they objected, and they supported either Mr. Wilson or Mr. Taft..."

While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper named John Schrank failed in an assassination attempt on Roosevelt. Schrank did shoot the former President, but the bullet lodged in Roosevelt's chest only after hitting both his steel eyeglass case and a copy of his speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt declined suggestions that he go to the hospital, and delivered his scheduled speech. He spoke vigorously for ninety minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose." Afterwards, doctors determined that he was not seriously wounded and that it would be more dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet than to leave it in his chest. Roosevelt carried it with him until he died.[47]

Due to the bullet wound, Roosevelt was taken out of the final months of the race. The effect was that he failed to move the political system in his direction. He did win 4.1 million votes (27%), compared to Taft's 3.5 million (23%). However, Wilson's 6.3 million votes (42%) were enough to garner 435 electoral votes. Roosevelt had 88 electoral votes to Taft's 8 electoral votes. (This meant that Taft became the only incumbent President in history to actually come in third place in an attempt to be re-elected.) But Pennsylvania was Roosevelt's only Eastern state; in the Midwest he carried Michigan, Minnesota and South Dakota; in the West, California and Washington; he did not win any Southern states. Although he lost, he won more votes than former presidents Martin Van Buren and Millard Fillmore who also ran again and also lost. More important, he pulled so many progressives out of the Republican party that it took on a much more conservative cast for the next generation.

Roosevelt's popular book Through the Brazilian Wilderness describes his expedition into the Brazilian jungle in 1913 as a member of the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition co-named after its leader, Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon. The book describes all of the scientific discovery, scenic tropical vistas and exotic flora, fauna and wild life experienced on the expedition. A friend, Father John Augustine Zahm, had searched for new adventures and found them in the forests of South America. After a briefing of several of his own expeditions, he convinced Roosevelt to commit to such an expedition in 1912. To finance the expedition, Roosevelt received support from the American Museum of Natural History, promising to bring back many new animal specimens. Once in South America, a new far more ambitious goal was added: to find the headwaters of the Rio da Duvida, the River of Doubt, and trace it north to the Madiera and thence to the Amazon River. It was later renamed Rio Roosevelt in honor of the former President. Roosevelt's crew consisted of his 24-year-old son Kermit, Colonel Cândido Rondon, a naturalist sent by the American Museum of Natural History named George K. Cherrie, Brazilian Lieutenant Joao Lyra, team physician Dr. José Antonio Cajazeira, and sixteen highly skilled paddlers (called camaradas in Portuguese). The initial expedition started, probably unwisely, on December 9, 1913, at the height of the rainy season. The trip up the River of Doubt started on February 27, 1914.

During the trip up the river, Roosevelt contracted malaria and a serious infection resulting from a minor leg wound. These illnesses so weakened Roosevelt that, by six weeks into the expedition, he had to be attended day and night by the expedition's physician, Dr. Cajazeira and his son, Kermit. By this time, Roosevelt considered his own condition a threat to the survival of the others. At one point, Kermit had to talk him out of his wish to be left behind so as not to slow down the expedition, now with only a few weeks rations left. Roosevelt was having chest pains when he tried to walk, his temperature soared to 103°F (39°C), and at times he was delirious. He had lost over fifty pounds (20 kg). Without the constant support of his son, Kermit, Dr. Cajazeira, and the continued leadership of Colonel Rondon, Roosevelt would likely have perished. Despite his concern for Roosevelt, Rondon had been slowing down the pace of the expedition by his dedication to his own map-making and other geographical goals that demanded regular stops to fix the expedition's position via sun-based survey.

Upon his return to New York, friends and family were startled by Roosevelt's physical appearance and fatigue. Roosevelt wrote to a friend that the trip had cut his life short by ten years. He might not have really known just how accurate that analysis would prove to be, because the effects of the South America expedition had so greatly weakened him that they significantly contributed to his declining health. For the rest of his life, he would be plagued by flareups of malaria and leg inflammations so severe that they would require hospitalization.[37][48]

When Roosevelt had recovered enough of his strength, he found that he had a new battle on his hands. In professional circles, there was doubt about his claims of having discovered and navigated a completely uncharted river over 625 miles (1,000 km) long. Roosevelt would have to defend himself and win international recognition of the expedition's newly-named Rio Roosevelt. Toward this end, Roosevelt went to Washington, D.C., and spoke at a standing-room-only convention to defend his claims. His official report and its defense silenced the critics, and he was able to triumphantly return to his home in Oyster Bay.

Despite his weakened condition and slow recovery from his South America expedition, Roosevelt continued to write with passion on subjects ranging from foreign policy to the importance of the national park system. As an editor of Outlook magazine, he had weekly access to a large, educated national audience. In all, Roosevelt wrote about 18 books (each in several editions), including his Autobiography, Rough Riders and History of the Naval War of 1812, ranching, explorations, and wildlife. His most important book was the 4 volume narrative The Winning of the West, which traced the origin of a new "race" of Americans to frontier conditions in the 18th century.

Roosevelt angrily complained about the foreign policy of President Wilson, calling it "weak". This caused him to develop an intense dislike of Woodrow Wilson. When World War I began in 1914, Roosevelt strongly supported Britain, France and the Allies of World War I because he admired their fight for civilization; he demanded a harsher policy against Germany, especially regarding submarine warfare. In 1916, he campaigned energetically for Charles Evans Hughes and repeatedly denounced those Irish-Americans and German-Americans whose pleas for neutrality Roosevelt said were unpatriotic because they put the interest of Ireland and Germany ahead of America's. He insisted that one had to be 100% American, not a "hyphenated American" who juggled multiple loyalties. When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Roosevelt sought to raise a volunteer infantry division, but Wilson refused.[49]

Roosevelt's attacks on Wilson helped the Republicans win control of Congress in the off-year elections of 1918. Roosevelt was popular enough to seriously contest the 1920 Republican nomination, but his health was broken by 1918 because of the lingering malaria. His son Quentin, a daring pilot with the American forces in France, was shot down behind German lines in 1918. Quentin was his youngest son and probably the most like him. It is said that the death of his son distressed him so much that Roosevelt never recovered from his loss.[50]

Despite his debilitating diseases, Roosevelt remained active to the end of his life. He was an enthusiastic proponent of the Scouting movement. The Boy Scouts of America gave him the title of Chief Scout Citizen, the only person to hold such title. One early Scout leader said, "The two things that gave Scouting great impetus and made it very popular were the uniform and Teddie Roosevelt's jingoism."[51]

On January 6, 1919, at the age of 60, Roosevelt died in his sleep of a coronary embolism at Oyster Bay, and was buried in nearby Young's Memorial Cemetery. Upon receiving word of his death, his son, Archie, telegraphed his siblings simply, "The old lion is dead."[52] Woodrow Wilson's vice president at the time Thomas R. Marshall said of his death "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight."[53]

Roosevelt intensely disliked being called "Teddy," and was quick to point out this fact to those who used the nickname, though it would become widely used by newspapers during his political career. He attended the Madison Square Presbyterian Church until the age of 16. Later in life, when Roosevelt lived at Oyster Bay he attended an Episcopal church with his wife. While in Washington he attended services at Grace Reformed Church.[54] As President he firmly believed in the separation of church and state and thought it unwise to have In God We Trust on currency, because he thought it sacrilegious to put the name of the Deity on something so common as money.[55] He was also a Freemason, and regularly attended the Matinecock Lodge's meetings. He once said that "One of the things that so greatly attracted me to Masonry that I hailed the chance of becoming a Mason was that it really did act up to what we, as a government, are pledged to — namely to treat each man on his merit as a man."[56]

Roosevelt had a lifelong interest in pursuing what he called "the strenuous life." To this end, he exercised regularly and took up boxing, tennis, hiking, rowing, polo, and horseback riding. As governor of New York, he boxed with sparring partners several times a week, a practice he regularly continued as President until one blow detached his left retina, leaving him blind in that eye (a fact not made public until many years later). Thereafter, he practiced jujutsu and continued his habit of skinny-dipping in the Potomac River during winter.[57][58]

He was an enthusiastic singlestick player and, according to Harper's Weekly, in 1905 showed up at a White House reception with his arm bandaged after a bout with General Leonard Wood.[59] Roosevelt was also an avid reader, reading tens of thousands of books, at a rate of several a day in multiple languages. Along with Thomas Jefferson Roosevelt is often considered the most well read of any American politician.[60]

His younger two sons made up a part of what was called the "White House Gang".

For his gallantry at San Juan Hill, Roosevelt's commanders recommended him for the Medal of Honor, but his subsequent telegrams to the War Department complaining about the delays in returning American troops from Cuba doomed his chances. In the late 1990s, Roosevelt's supporters again took up the flag on his behalf and overcame opposition from elements within the U.S. Army and the National Archives. On January 16, 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded Theodore Roosevelt the Medal of Honor posthumously for his charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War. Roosevelt's eldest son, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., received the Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Normandy in 1944. The Roosevelts thus became one of only two father-son pairs to receive this honor.

Roosevelt's legacy includes several other important commemorations. Roosevelt was included with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at the Mount Rushmore Memorial, designed in 1927. The United States Navy named two ships for Roosevelt: the USS Theodore Roosevelt (SSBN-600), a submarine was in commission from 1961 to 1982; and the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), an aircraft carrier that has been on active duty in the Atlantic Fleet since 1986.

The Roosevelt Memorial Association (later the Theodore Roosevelt Association) or "TRA", was founded in 1919 to preserve Roosevelt's legacy. The Association preserved TR's birthplace, "Sagamore Hill" home, papers, and video film.

Overall, historians credit Roosevelt for changing the nation's political system by permanently placing the presidency at center stage and making character as important as the issues. His notable accomplishments include trust-busting and conservationism. However, he has been criticized for his interventionist and imperialist approach to nations he considered "uncivilized". Even so, history and legend have been kind to him. His friend, historian Henry Adams, proclaimed, "Roosevelt, more than any other living man ....showed the singular primitive quality that belongs to ultimate matter — the quality that mediaeval theology assigned to God — he was pure act." Historians typically rank Roosevelt among the top five presidents.[61][62]

Roosevelt's 1901 saying "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick" is still being occasionally quoted by politicians and columnists in different countries - not only in English but also in translation to various other languages. For example, following the Second Lebanon War of August 2006, opponents of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accused him of "Speaking loudly and carrying a small stick".

The phrase is also used in a popular Bugs Bunny Cartoon in which Bugs runs for office against a crooked Yosemite Sam. Bugs in the dress of Roosevelt proclaims the phrase and Sam runs in and says "I have a bigger stick and I use it too!" Then Sam bops Bugs with the stick on the top of the head.

As a charismatic President often considered larger than life, Roosevelt (or characters using his name loosely based on him) has appeared in numerous fiction books, television shows, films, and other media of popular culture.

In the Scrooge McDuck comics by Keno Don Rosa, Roosevelt appears several times, often as the mentor of an adolescent Scrooge, teaching him the values of self-confidence and self-reliance.

Theodore Roosevelt was used in an episode of the Disney cartoon version of The Legend of Tarzan on his African excursion after the Presidency. He is voiced by Stephen Root.

He is also a major character in Harry Turtledove's fictional Timeline-191 alternate history, along with Caleb Carr's novels The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, and is the protagonist of Benito Cereno's Tales From the Bully Pulpit comic book. In the comic play and movie Arsenic and Old Lace part of the zany atmosphere is created by a character who holds the delusion that he is Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt appeared as a guest host in the Histeria! episode "The Teddy Roosevelt Show". The episode opened with a sketch where Roosevelt meets with the show's "writers", and it featured a sketch in which Roosevelt appears as Panama Teddy (a play on Indiana Jones) to help with the construction of the Panama Canal, and also a song based on his nickname "Trust Buster" (sung to the tune of the theme from Ghostbusters). Also, the episode "Presidential People" included a song about Roosevelt, named after his catch phrase, "Bully!" (which, as Toast put it, he liked to say instead of "cool").

Roosevelt and his daughter were the title characters in the short-lived 1987 Broadway musical Teddy & Alice.

Filmmaker John Milius directed two films in which Roosevelt was a central character: The Wind and the Lion (1975) in which he was played by Brian Keith; and Rough Riders (1997) in which he was played by Tom Berenger. Keith's performance is widely considered to be the definitive screen depiction of Roosevelt.

Roosevelt's lasting popular legacy is the stuffed toy bears (teddy bears), named after him following an incident on a hunting trip in 1902. Roosevelt famously refused to kill a captured black bear simply for the sake of making a kill. Bears and later bear cubs became closely associated with Roosevelt in political cartoons thereafter.[63]

On June 26, 2006, Roosevelt, once again, made the cover of TIME magazine with the lead story, "The Making of America—Theodore Roosevelt—The 20th Century Express": "At home and abroad, Theodore Roosevelt was the locomotive President, the man who drew his flourishing nation into the future."[64]

Claude Akins played him in Incident at Victoria Falls (1991 TV film).

Roosevelt (in Rough Rider garb) is also in the movie Night at the Museum, played by Robin Williams, where he helps out Ben Stiller's character throughout the night. He has also developed a crush on Sacagawea (played by Mizuo Peck).

A film adaptation of Edmund Morris's biography The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt is planned for released in 2008, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Di Caprio as Roosevelt.

The Washington Nationals major league baseball team has a fan tradition called the Presidents Race. In it four caricatures of President's Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt race against each other. A running gag has been Theodore Roosevelt's inability to win a single Presidents Race.

Matthew Amerling named the high school in his book The Midknight after one of his favorite presidents, Roosevelt.

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From: http://www.nnp.org/nni/Publications/Dutch-American/rooseveltt.html

The two youngest U.S. Presidents at the time they became president were Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. Roosevelt was 42 and Kennedy was 43 years old upon becoming president. However, Kennedy was the youngest elected president. Roosevelt succeeded McKinley following McKinley's assassination in Buffalo, New York in 1901. Roosevelt was 46 years old when he was elected president for the first time in 1904.

Theodore Roosevelt was probably the most energetic U.S. president of all the presidents up to that time. He did not like to be depicted as fitting in a niche. To become a U.S. president you clearly must be a politician. But he was much more. He was a conversationalist, a historian, a naturalist, an art patron, a rancher, an advocate of social order and justice, an advocate of food and drug safety, a trust buster, an advocate of management-labor negotiation, an advocate of democratic politics including women's suffrage and a world peacemaker for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. In other words he was a leader without peers. And by being all of the above he set a model for future American presidents. Unfortunately not many followed his example.

Theodore Roosevelt became president on September 14, 1901 when President McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo, New York while visiting the Pan American Exhibition. Roosevelt was only 42 years old at the time of the assassination. He became the 26th US president, the youngest ever and since then. Interestingly, his inauguration took place in the State [New York] in which he was born on October 27, 1858, where he served as a New York State Assembly Man from 1881 to 1884, and where he served as a New York State Governor from 1897 to 1898. At the time of his inauguration he had only been a vice-president for six months, so as a result he would serve nearly a full first term. He was re-elected to another full term in 1904, and decided that it would be his final term, a decision he later clearly regretted.

The major areas where he left an impact during his presidency were conservation, the arts and history, order and social justice, foreign policy, including peace making, trust busting and food and safety legislation.

In the area of conservation he provided federal protection for nearly 230 million acres equivalent to almost 360,000 square miles, an area 600 miles long and 600 miles wide. This area came to include 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reservations, 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, 4 national game preserves and 21 reclamation projects.

Other areas where he stood out were as a patron of the arts, as one of the founding members of the American Institute of Arts and Letters, as the founding member of the Long Island Bird Club, as president of the American Historical Association, and as a naturalist. He led two major international expeditions to Africa and South America to collect information, data and artifacts for American museums. As a result of the above activities he was recognized as a historian, a naturalist and a man of letters. He was also interested in collegiate sports and founded the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

His platform in the 1912 presidential election, on the Bull Moose Party ticket, consisted of the democratization of American politics, reversal of judicial decisions by popular vote, direct election of U.S. Senators, women suffrage, and direct popular vote on legislation. Earlier as U.S. President he supported labor-management negotiations through his donation of $40,000 to a foundation which supported labor-management relations. Many of his platform proposals were subsequently adopted by the Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt Administrations.

In the foreign policy area he was exemplary. He was able to defuse the Russian-Japanese war in the Far East, for which he was subsequently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. During his nearly eight years as president not a single member of the U.S. forces died in combat. He expanded the U.S. Navy and had the Navy conduct a world tour from 1907 to 1909 to show case and demonstrate U.S. sea power. He was the driving force behind the building of the Panama Canal and the establishment of the Canal Zone in Panama which allowed the building of the Canal. Unfortunately he used strong arm tactics to accomplish the Canal Treaty for which he received a considerable amount of criticism.

Roosevelt was a major trustbuster. Although he was not anti-business at all, he felt that the large railroad, bank and oil trusts had too much power which enabled them to fix prices and control markets. He instituted more than 30 court cases, mostly successful, against corporations. He also forced the coal mine operators to negotiate with the mine workers. The Hepburn Railroad Act and the Elkins Act also strengthened the enforcement power of the Interstate Commerce Commission in its control over the railroads.

The Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act were established in 1906. Both acts established new standards and provided protection and safety in the consumption of food and the use of drugs. Consumer Protection was needed and overdue.

Unlike his fellow Dutch-American President, Martin Van Buren who was born in an apartment above a tavern and was the son of a tavern keeper, Roosevelt was born in an affluent family in New York City on October 2, 1858. The Roosevelt family lived in a house on East Twentieth Street built by Theodore's grandfather. His parents were Theodore Roosevelt [1831-1878] and Martha Bulloch [1834-1884]. Both of his parents died at relatively young ages. His paternal grandparents were Cornelius Van Schaick Roosevelt [1794-1871] and Margaret Barnhill [1759-1861]. Where the family's wealth came from is unclear.

Roosevelt was able to attend Harvard University and earned his A.B. degree in 1880. He then went to Columbia University's School of Law, but only stayed for one year. The reason of why he left is unclear, but he probably had a taste for politics even then. The same year he left Law School he became a New York State Assembly Man and served from 1881 to 1884. From 1889 to 1895 he was the U.S. Civil Service Commissioner. In 1895 he became the president of the New York City Board of Police Commissioners. Two years later, in 1897, he became an Assistant Secretary of the Navy and served in that position until 1898. He served as Governor of New York State from 1899 to 1901, whereupon he became a Vice President of the United States in the McKinley Administration.

Roosevelt married his first wife, Alice Hatheway Lee, on his birthday, October 27, 1880, in Brookline, Massachusetts. Alice died in childbirth in 1884, on the same day Roosevelt learned of his mother's death. Fortunately, the baby survived and Alice Lee Roosevelt [1884-1980] became Theodore's first child. As a devoted family man the two deaths were a major shock, and he retreated to a ranch in Wyoming where he stayed for two years. In 1886 he returned to run for mayor of New York City, but he lost. That same year he also traveled to London, England to marry his second wife, a childhood friend, Edith Kermit Carow on December 2, 1886. Edith would bear him five children consisting of Theodore Roosevelt Jr. [1887-1944], Kermit Roosevelt [1889-1943], Ethel Carow Roosevelt [1891-1977], Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt [1894-1979], and Quentin Roosevelt [1897-1918].

Theodore Roosevelt had two sisters and a brother. They were Anne Roosevelt [1855-1931], Corinne Roosevelt [1861-1933] and Elliott Roosevelt [1860-1894]. Elliott was the father of Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt passed away on January 6, 1919 at his Sagamore Hill Estate in Oyster Bay, New York. There are many sites across the country that commemorate the most unusual and most energetic president this country has ever had. The sites consist of the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic site in New York City, the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York, The Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo, New York, and the Theodore Roosevelt Island in McLean, Virginia.

The Roosevelts, Theodore, Franklin Delano and Eleanor, were all descendants of Claes Martenszen Van Rosevelt [?-1658] and Jannetje Toms [?-1660], who were both part of the original contingent of Dutch immigrants who settled in New Amsterdam in the 1640's. Their grandsons, Jacobus Roosevelt [1692-1776] and Johannes Roosevelt [1689-1750], became the forefathers of the two Roosevelt clans that produced our Roosevelt presidents. The Jacobus branch was called the Hyde Park branch, and the Johannes branch represented the Oyster Bay branch.

Theodore Roosevelt was the great great great grandson of Johannes Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt was the great great great grandson of Jacobus Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt was the niece of Theodore Roosevelt. She was thus the fifth cousin of Franklin Roosevelt once removed.

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Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), also known as T.R., and to the public (but never to friends and intimates) as Teddy, was the twenty-sixth President of the United States. A leader of the Republican Party and of the Progressive Party, he was a Governor of New York and a professional historian, naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier. He is most famous for his personality: his energy, his vast range of interests and achievements, his model of masculinity, and his "cowboy" personality. Originating from a story from one of Roosevelt's hunting expeditions, Teddy bears are named after him.

As Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Roosevelt prepared for and advocated war with Spain in 1898. He organized and helped command the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment – the Rough Riders – during the Spanish-American War. Returning to New York as a war hero, he was elected governor. An avid writer, his 35 books include works on outdoor life, natural history, the American frontier, political history, naval history, and his autobiography.[3]

In 1901, as Vice President, the 42-year-old Roosevelt succeeded President William McKinley after McKinley's assassination by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. He is the youngest person to become President.[4] He was a Progressive reformer who sought to move the dominant Republican Party into the Progressive camp. He distrusted wealthy businessmen and dissolved forty monopolistic corporations as a "trust buster". He was clear, however, to show he did not disagree with trusts and capitalism in principle but was only against corrupt, illegal practices. His "Square Deal" promised a fair shake for both the average citizen (through regulation of railroad rates and pure food and drugs) and the businessmen. He was the first U.S. president to call for universal health care and national health insurance.[5][6] As an outdoorsman, he promoted the conservation movement, emphasizing efficient use of natural resources. After 1906 he attacked big business and suggested the courts were biased against labor unions. In 1910, he broke with his friend and anointed successor William Howard Taft, but lost the Republican nomination to Taft and ran in the 1912 election on his own one-time Bull Moose ticket. He beat Taft in the popular vote and pulled so many Progressives out of the Republican Party that Democrat Woodrow Wilson won in 1912, and the conservative faction took control of the Republican Party for the next two decades.

Roosevelt negotiated for the U.S. to take control of the Panama Canal and its construction in 1904; he felt the Canal's completion was his most important and historically significant international achievement. He was the first American to be awarded the Nobel Prize, winning its Peace Prize in 1906, for negotiating the peace in the Russo-Japanese War.

Historian Thomas Bailey, who disagreed with Roosevelt's policies, nevertheless concluded, "Roosevelt was a great personality, a great activist, a great preacher of the moralities, a great controversialist, a great showman. He dominated his era as he dominated conversations....the masses loved him; he proved to be a great popular idol and a great vote getter."[7] His image stands alongside Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln on Mount Rushmore. Surveys of scholars have consistently ranked him from third to seventh on the list of greatest American presidents.

Childhood, education and personal life

Theodore Roosevelt at age 11Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, in a four-story brownstone at 28 East 20th Street,[8] in the modern-day Gramercy section of New York City, the second of four children of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1831–1877) and Mittie Bulloch (1835–1884). He had an elder sister Anna, nicknamed "Bamie" as a child and "Bye" as an adult for being always on the go, and two younger siblings—his brother Elliott (the father of Eleanor Roosevelt) and his sister Corinne (grandmother of newspaper columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop).

The Roosevelts had been in New York since the mid-17th century. Roosevelt was born into a wealthy family; by the 19th century, the family had grown in wealth, power and influence from the profits of several businesses including hardware and plate-glass importing. The family was strongly Democratic in its political affiliation until the mid-1850s, then joined the new Republican Party. Theodore's father, known in the family as "Thee", was a New York City philanthropist, merchant, and partner in the family glass-importing firm Roosevelt and Son. He was a prominent supporter of Abraham Lincoln and the Union effort during the American Civil War. His mother Mittie Bulloch was a Southern belle from a slave-owning family in Roswell, Georgia and had quiet Confederate sympathies. Mittie's brother, Theodore's uncle, James Dunwoody Bulloch, was a United States Navy officer who became a Confederate admiral and naval procurement agent in Britain. Another uncle, Irvine Bulloch, was a midshipman on the Confederate raider CSS Alabama; both remained in England after the war.[9] From his grandparents' home, a young Roosevelt witnessed Abraham Lincoln's funeral in New York.

Sickly and asthmatic as a youngster, Roosevelt had to sleep propped up in bed or slouching in a chair during much of his early childhood, and had frequent ailments. Despite his illnesses, he was a hyperactive and often mischievous boy. His lifelong interest in zoology was formed at age seven upon seeing a dead seal at a local market. After obtaining the seal's head, the young Roosevelt and two of his cousins formed what they called the "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History". Learning the rudiments of taxidermy, he filled his makeshift museum with many animals that he killed or caught, studied, and prepared for display. At age nine, he codified his observation of insects with a paper titled "The Natural History of Insects".[10]

To combat his poor physical condition, his father compelled the young Roosevelt to take up exercise. To deal with bullies, Roosevelt started boxing lessons.[11] Two trips abroad had a permanent impact: family tours of Europe in 1869 and 1870, and of the Middle East 1872 to 1873.

Theodore, Sr. had a tremendous influence on his son. Of him Roosevelt wrote, "My father, Theodore Roosevelt, was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness."[12] Roosevelt's sister, Corinne, later wrote, "He told me frequently that he never took any serious step or made any vital decision for his country without thinking first what position his father would have taken."[13]

Young "Teedie", as he was nicknamed as a child, (the nickname "Teddy" was from his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee, and he later harbored an intense dislike for it) was mostly home schooled by tutors and his parents. A leading biographer says: "The most obvious drawback to the home schooling Roosevelt received was uneven coverage of the various areas of human knowledge." He was solid in geography (thanks to his careful observations on all his travels) and very well read in history, strong in biology, French and German, but deficient in mathematics, Latin and Greek.[14] He matriculated at Harvard College in 1876. His father's death in 1878 was a tremendous blow, but Roosevelt redoubled his activities. He did well in science, philosophy and rhetoric courses but fared poorly in Latin and Greek. He studied biology with great interest and indeed was already an accomplished naturalist and published ornithologist. He had a photographic memory and developed a life-long habit of devouring books, memorizing every detail.[15] He was an eloquent conversationalist who, throughout his life, sought out the company of the smartest people. He could multitask in extraordinary fashion, dictating letters to one secretary and memoranda to another, while browsing through a new book.

While at Harvard, Roosevelt was active in rowing, boxing, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and was a member of the Porcellian Club. He also edited a student magazine. He was runner-up in the Harvard boxing championship, losing to C.S. Hanks. Upon graduating, he underwent a physical examination and his doctor advised him that due to serious heart problems, he should find a desk job and avoid strenuous activity. He chose to embrace strenuous life instead.[16]

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa(22nd of 177) from Harvard in 1880, and entered Columbia Law School. When offered a chance to run for New York Assemblyman in 1881, he dropped out of law school to pursue his new goal of entering public life.[17]


Roosevelt as NY State Assemblyman, 1883 photo

[edit] First marriage

Alice Hathaway Lee (July 29, 1861 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts – February 14, 1884 in Manhattan, New York) was the first wife of Theodore Roosevelt and mother of their child, Alice. Roosevelt's wife, Alice died of an undiagnosed case of kidney failure called, in those days, Bright's disease at 2pm in the afternoon, two days after Alice Lee was born. Theodore Roosevelt's mother, Mittie, had died of typhoid fever in the same house, on the same day, at 3am, some eleven hours earlier. After the near simultaneous deaths of his mother and wife, Roosevelt left his daughter in the care of his sister, Anna "Bamie/Bye" in New York City. In his diary he wrote a large X on the page and indicated that "the light has gone out of my life." See diary photo.


Diary Entry Feb 14, 1884A short time later, Roosevelt also wrote a short tribute to his wife published privately. To the immense disappointment of his wife's namesake and daughter, Alice, he would not speak of his wife publicly or privately for the rest of his life and made no mention of her in his autobiography. He would later indicate that this was his only method of dealing with a such a debilitating loss.[citation needed]

[edit] Early political career

Roosevelt was a Republican activist during his years in the Assembly, writing more bills than any other New York state legislator. Already a major player in state politics, he attended the Republican National Convention in 1884 and fought alongside the Mugwump reformers; they lost to the Stalwart faction that nominated James G. Blaine. Refusing to join other Mugwumps in supporting Democrat Grover Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, he debated with his friend Henry Cabot Lodge the plusses and minuses of staying loyal or straying. When asked by a reporter whether he would support Blaine, he replied, "That question I decline to answer. It is a subject I do not care to talk about."[18] Upon leaving the convention, he complained "off the record" to a reporter about Blaine's nomination. But, in probably the most crucial moment of his young political career, he resisted the very instinct to bolt from the Party that would overwhelm his political sense in 1912. In an account of the Convention, another reporter quoted him as saying that he would give "hearty support to any decent Democrat." He would later take great (and to some historical critics such as Henry Pringle, rather disingenuous) pains to distance himself from his own earlier comment, indicating that while he made it, it had not been made "for publication."[19] Leaving the convention, his idealism quite disillusioned by party politics, Roosevelt indicated that he had no further aspiration but to retire to his ranch in the wild Badlands of the Dakota Territory that he had purchased the previous year while on a buffalo hunting expedition.

[edit] Life in Badlands

Theodore Roosevelt as Badlands hunter in 1885. New York studio photo.Roosevelt built a second ranch, which he named Elk Horn, thirty-five miles (56 km) north of the boomtown of Medora, North Dakota. On the banks of the Little Missouri, Roosevelt learned to ride, rope, and hunt. He rebuilt his life and began writing about frontier life for Eastern magazines. As a deputy sheriff, Roosevelt hunted down three outlaws who stole his river boat and were escaping north with it up the Little Missouri. Capturing them, he decided against hanging them, and sending his foreman back by boat, he took the thieves back overland for trial in Dickinson, guarding them forty hours without sleep and reading Tolstoy to keep himself awake. When he ran out of his own books, he read a dime store western that one of the thieves was carrying. ."[20] While working on a tough project aimed at hunting down a group of relentless horse thieves, Roosevelt came across the famous Deadwood Sheriff, Seth Bullock. The two would remain friends for life.[21]

After the uniquely severe U.S. winter of 1886-1887 wiped out his herd of cattle and his $60,000 investment (together with those of his competitors), he returned to the East, where in 1885 he had built Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, New York. It would be his home and estate until his death. Roosevelt ran as the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City in 1886 as "The Cowboy of the Dakotas"; he came in third.

[edit] Second marriage

Following the election, he went to London in 1886 and married his childhood sweetheart, Edith Kermit Carow.[22] They honeymooned in Europe, and Roosevelt led a party to the summit of Mont Blanc, a feat which resulted in his induction into the British Royal Society.[23] They had five children: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel Carow, Archibald Bulloch "Archie", and Quentin.[24]

[edit] Historian

Roosevelt's definitive 1882 book The Naval War of 1812 was standard history for two generations. Roosevelt undertook extensive and original research, computing British and American man-of-war broadside throw weights.[25] However, his biographies Thomas Hart Benton (1887) and Gouverneur Morris (1888) are considered hastily-written and superficial.[26] His four-volume history of the frontier titled The Winning of the West (1889–1896) had a notable impact on historiography, as it presented a highly original version of the frontier thesis elaborated upon by his friend Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893.

Roosevelt argued the frontier conditions created a new race: the American people that replaced the "scattered savage tribes, whose life was but a few degrees less meaningless, squalid, and ferocious than that of the wild beasts with whom they held joint ownership." He believed, "the conquest and settlement by the whites of the Indian lands was necessary to the greatness of the race and to the well-being of civilized mankind." His many articles in upscale magazines provided a much-needed income. He was later chosen president of the American Historical Association.

[edit] Views on race

In The Winning of the West (1889–1896), Roosevelt's frontier thesis stressed a racial struggle between "civilization" (white, especially Germanic peoples) and supposed savagery (of people of color, i.e., Native American Indians). Excerpts:

"The settler and pioneer have at bottom had justice on their side; this great continent could not have been kept as nothing but a game preserve for squalid savages."

"The most ultimately righteous of all wars is a war with savages."

"American and Indian, Boer and Zulu, Cossack and Tartar, New Zealander and Maori, – in each case the victor, horrible though many of his deeds are, has laid deep the foundations for the future greatness of a mighty people."

"..it is of incalculable importance that America, Australia, and Siberia should pass out of the hands of their red, black, and yellow aboriginal owners, and become the heritage of the dominant world races."

"The world would have halted had it not been for the Teutonic conquests in alien lands; but the victories of Moslem over Christian have always proved a curse in the end. Nothing but sheer evil has come from the victories of Turk and Tartar."

On August 13 and 14, 1906, Brownsville, Texas was the site of what has come to be known as the Brownsville Affair. Racial tensions were high between white townsfolk and black infantrymen stationed at Fort Brown. On the night of August 13th, one white bartender was killed and a white police officer was wounded by rifle shots in the street. Townsfolk, including the mayor, accused the infantrymen as the murderers. Without a chance to defend themselves in a hearing, President Roosevelt dishonorably discharged the entire 167 member regiment due to their accused "conspiracy of silence". Further investigations in the 1970s found that the black infantrymen were not at fault, and the Nixon Administration reversed all of the dishonorable discharges.[27]

[edit] Return to public life

New York City Police Commissioner 1896In the 1888 presidential election, Roosevelt campaigned in the Midwest for Benjamin Harrison. President Harrison appointed Roosevelt to the United States Civil Service Commission, where he served until 1895.[28] In his term, he vigorously fought the spoilsmen and demanded the enforcement of civil service laws. In spite of Roosevelt's support for Harrison's reelection bid in the presidential election of 1892, the eventual winner, Grover Cleveland (a Bourbon Democrat), reappointed him to the same post.[citation needed]

Roosevelt became president of the board of New York City Police Commissioners in 1895. During the two years he held this post, Roosevelt radically reformed the police department. The police force was reputed as one of the most corrupt in America. The NYPD's history division records that Roosevelt was "an iron-willed leader of unimpeachable honesty, (who) brought a reforming zeal to the New York City Police Commission in 1895."[29] Roosevelt and his fellow commissioners established new disciplinary rules, created a bicycle squad to police New York's traffic problems and standardized the use of pistols by officers.[30] Roosevelt implemented regular inspections of firearms, annual physical exams, appointed 1,600 new recruits based on their physical and mental qualifications and not on political affiliation, established meritorious service medals, and shut down corrupt police hostelries. During his tenure, a Municipal Lodging House was established by the Board of Charities, and Roosevelt required officers to register with the Board. He also had telephones installed in station houses. Always an energetic man, he made a habit of walking officers' beats late at night and early in the morning to make sure they were on duty.[31] He became caught up in public disagreements with Commissioner Parker, who sought to negate or delay the promotion of many officers put forward by Roosevelt.[citation needed] As Governor of New York State before becoming Vice President in March 1901, Roosevelt signed an act replacing the Police Commissioners with a single Police Commissioner.[citation needed]


Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt (front center) at the Naval War College, c. 1897

[edit] Assistant Secretary of the Navy

Roosevelt had always been fascinated by naval history. Urged by Roosevelt's close friend, Congressman Henry Cabot Lodge, President William McKinley appointed a delighted Roosevelt to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. (Because of the inactivity of Secretary of the Navy John D. Long at the time, this basically gave Roosevelt control over the department.) Roosevelt was instrumental in preparing the Navy for the Spanish-American War[32] and was an enthusiastic proponent of testing the U.S. military in battle, at one point stating "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one".[33][34]

[edit] War in Cuba

Main article: Battle of San Juan Hill

Colonel Roosevelt and the Rough Riders after capturing San Juan HillUpon the 1898 Declaration of War launching the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt resigned from the Navy Department. With the aid of U.S. Army Colonel Leonard Wood, Roosevelt found volunteers from cowboys from the Western territories to Ivy League friends from New York, forming the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. The newspapers called them the "Rough Riders."

Originally Roosevelt held the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and served under Colonel Wood. In Roosevelt's own account, The Rough Riders, "after General Young was struck down with the fever, and Wood took charge of the brigade. This left me in command of the regiment, of which I was very glad, for such experience as we had had is a quick teacher."[35] Accordingly, Wood was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteer Forces, Roosevelt was promoted to Colonel and given command of the Regiment.[36]

Under his leadership, the Rough Riders became famous for dual charges up Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898 (the battle was named after the latter "hill," which was the shoulder of a ridge known as San Juan Heights). Out of all the Rough Riders, Roosevelt was the only one with a horse, and used it to ride back and forth between rifle pits at the forefront of the advance up Kettle Hill; an advance which he urged in absence of any orders from superiors. However, he was forced to walk up the last part of Kettle Hill on foot, due to barbed wire entanglement and after his horse, Little Texas, became tired.


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Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, 26th President of the USA's Timeline

1858
October 27, 1858
New York, New York County, New York, United States
1876
1876
- 1880
Age 17
MA, United States
1880
October 27, 1880
Age 22
Brookline, Mass.
1880
- 1881
Age 21
Columbia Law School
1880
Age 21
New York (Manhattan), New York City-Greater, New York, United States
1884
February 12, 1884
Age 25
New York, New York, New York, United States
1886
December 2, 1886
Age 28
London, England
1887
November 13, 1887
Age 29
Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York, United States
1889
October 10, 1889
Age 30
Sagamore Hill, NY
1891
August 13, 1891
Age 32
Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York, United States