- Category : Political
- Type : ME
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
Theodore Roosevelt; October 27, 1858—January 6, 1919) was the 26th President of the United States (1901–1909). He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the first incarnation of the short-lived Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party of 1912. Before becoming President, he held offices at the city, state, and federal levels. Roosevelt's achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician. Roosevelt was 42 years old when sworn in as President of the United States in 1901, making him the youngest president ever; he beat out the youngest elected president, John F. Kennedy, by only one year. Roosevelt was also the first of only three sitting presidents to have won the Nobel Peace Prize. The Teddy bear is named after him, despite his dislike of being called "Teddy".
Born into a wealthy family in New York City, Roosevelt was a sickly child who suffered from asthma and stayed at home studying natural history. To overcome his physical weakness, he embraced a strenuous life. Home-schooled, he became an eager student of nature. He attended Harvard University, where he studied biology, boxed and developed an interest in naval affairs. In 1881, one year out of Harvard, he was elected to the New York State Assembly, where he became a leader of the reform faction of his Republican Party (the "GOP"). His The Naval War of 1812 (1882) established his professional reputation as a serious historian; he wrote numerous books on hunting, the outdoors, and current political issues, as well as frontier history. In 1884, his wife and his mother died on the same day. He left politics and went to the frontier, becoming a rancher in the "Badlands" in the Dakotas. Returning to New York City, he ran for mayor in 1886, finishing third with 60,000 votes. He later gained fame by taking vigorous charge of the city police. At the national level, he was a leader in civil service reform. The Spanish–American War broke out in 1898 while Roosevelt was, effectively, running the Department of the Navy. He promptly resigned and formed the Rough Riders – a volunteer cavalry regiment that fought in Cuba. The war hero was elected governor in 1898 and in 1900 was nominated for vice president. He successfully energized the GOP base as a highly visible campaigner to reelect President William McKinley on a platform of high tariffs, the gold standard, imperialism, prosperity at home and victory abroad.
In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated and Roosevelt became President at the age of 42; he remains the youngest president Roosevelt attempted to move the Republican Party (GOP) toward Progressivism, including trust busting and increased regulation of businesses. Roosevelt was elected in 1904 to a full term of his own, the first person to do so from the Vice-Presidency, winning the largest percentage of the popular vote since the uncontested election of 1820. Roosevelt coined the phrase "Square Deal" to describe his domestic agenda, emphasizing that the average citizen would get a fair share under his policies. As an outdoorsman and naturalist, he promoted the conservation movement. On the world stage, Roosevelt's policies were characterized by his slogan, "Speak softly and carry a big stick". Roosevelt was the force behind the completion of the Panama Canal; sent the Great White Fleet on a world tour to demonstrate American power; and negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the end of his second term, Roosevelt promoted his friend William Howard Taft for the 1908 Republican nomination. He toured Africa and Europe. On his return in 1910 he broke bitterly with President Taft on issues of progressivism and personalities. In the 1912 election Roosevelt tried and failed to block Taft's renomination. He launched the Bull Moose Party that called for far-reaching progressive reforms. He lost to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, as the Taft conservatives gained control of the Republican party for decades to come. Roosevelt led a major expedition to the Amazon jungles but contracted diseases which ruined his health. He died relatively young at the age of sixty. Roosevelt has consistently been ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents, having revived a declining presidency.
Roosevelt often described his ancestry as "half Irish and half Dutch." His patrilineal Roosevelt family, colonists of Dutch origin, had been in New York since the mid-17th century. Roosevelt was born into considerable wealth, for the family by the 19th century had grown in wealth 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, and then joined the new Republican Party. Theodore's father, known in the family as "Thee", was a New York philanthropist, merchant, and partner in the family glass-importing firm Roosevelt and Son. "Father," as the children called him, was an ardent patriot and a prominent supporter of Abraham Lincoln and the Union effort during the Civil War. His mother Martha "Mittie" Bulloch was a Southern belle from a slave-owning family in Roswell, Georgia, and she maintained Confederate sympathies. Mittie's brother, Theodore's uncle, James Dunwoody Bulloch, was a United States Navy officer who became a Confederate Navy commander and secret agent in Great Britain who was most responsible for the destruction of the United States merchant fleet and procuring ships and supplies to run through the Union blockade. Another uncle, Irvine Bulloch, was a midshipman on the Confederate raider CSS Alabama; both remained in England after the war.
Theodore Roosevelt was distantly related by birth to the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (they were fifth cousins), and he was the uncle and guardian of Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt.
Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858, in a four-story brownstone at 28 East 20th Street, in the modern-day Gramercy section of New York City, the second of four children of Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (1831–1878) and Martha "Mittie" Bulloch (1835–1884). He had an older sister, Anna, and two younger siblings: his brother Elliott (the father of future First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt) and his sister Corinne.
Sickly and asthmatic as a child, Roosevelt had to sleep propped up in bed or slouching in a chair during much of his early years, and had frequent ailments. Despite his illnesses, he was hyperactive and often mischievous. 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 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".
Encouraged by his father, the boy began exercising and boxing to combat his poor physical condition. Two trips abroad had a lasting impact: family tours of Europe in 1869 and 1870, and Egypt 1872 to 1873.
Theodore, Sr., had a tremendous influence on his son, who wrote of him, "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."
Young "Teedie", as he was nicknamed as a child, 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 well read in history, strong in biology, French, and German, but deficient in mathematics, Latin and Greek.
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 considerable interest and was already an accomplished naturalist and published ornithologist. He had a photographic memory and developed a lifelong habit of devouring books, memorizing every detail. He was an eloquent conversationalist who, throughout his life, sought out the company of the smartest people. He could multitask in impressive 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 Alpha Delta Phi literary society, the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and was a member of the Porcellian Club. He also edited The Harvard Advocate. He was runner-up in the Harvard boxing championship.
Upon graduating, Roosevelt underwent a physical examination, and his doctor advised him that because of serious heart problems, he should find a desk job and avoid strenuous activity. He chose to embrace strenuous life instead. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa (22nd of 177) from Harvard with an A.B. magna cum laude in 1880. He entered Columbia Law School, where he was a diligent student but showed little interest in a legal career; he spent much of his time writing a book on the War of 1812. When offered a chance to run for the New York Assembly as a Republican in 1881, he dropped out of law school to pursue his new goal: "I intended to be one of the governing class." He was elected and overnight became a prominent player in state politics, and a rising star in the Republican Party (the "GOP").
Diary entry February 14, 1884
In 1880, Roosevelt married Alice Hathaway Lee (July 29, 1861 – February 14, 1884) of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. She died young of an undiagnosed case of kidney failure (in those days called Bright's disease) two days after their infant Alice was born. Her pregnancy had masked the illness. Theodore Roosevelt's mother Mittie died of typhoid fever on the same day, at 3 am, some eleven hours earlier, in the same house. After the nearly 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 then, "The light has gone out of my life."
For the rest of his life, Roosevelt never spoke of his wife Alice publicly or privately and did not write about her in his autobiography. As late as 1919, when Roosevelt was working with Joseph Bucklin Bishop on a biography that included a collection of his letters, Roosevelt did not mention either his first or second marriage, which took place in London.
The Naval War of 1812
While at Harvard, Roosevelt began a systematic study of the role played by the nascent US Navy in the War of 1812, largely completing two chapters of a book he would publish after graduation. Helped in part by his two uncles, he did his own research using original source materials and official US Navy records. Roosevelt's carefully researched book was comparable to modern doctoral dissertations, complete with drawings of individual and combined ship maneuvers, charts depicting the differences in iron throw weights of cannon shot between American and British forces, and analyses of the differences between British and American leadership down to the ship-to-ship level. Published after Roosevelt's graduation from college, The Naval War of 1812 was praised for its scholarship and style. This book established Roosevelt's reputation as a serious historian. One modern naval historian wrote: "Roosevelt’s study of the War of 1812 influenced all subsequent scholarship on the naval aspects of the War of 1812 and continues to be reprinted. More than a classic, it remains, after 120 years, a standard study of the war."
Early political career
Roosevelt was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 21st D.) in 1882, 1883 and 1884. In 1883, he was the Republican minority candidate for Speaker. In 1884, he lost the nomination for Speaker to Titus Sheard by a vote of 41 to 29 in the Republican Assembly caucus. He was a Republican activist during his years in the Assembly, writing more bills than any other New York state legislator did. Already a leading 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 Grover Cleveland, the Democratic nominee, he debated with his friend Henry Cabot Lodge the pros and cons of staying loyal. 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." Upon leaving the convention, he complained "off the record" to a reporter about Blaine's nomination. In a crucial moment of his budding political career, he resisted the instinct to bolt from the Party that would overwhelm his political sense in 1912. In an account of the convention, another reporter quoted Roosevelt 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, disingenuous) pains to distance himself from his earlier comment, indicating that while he made it, it had not been made "for publication." Leaving the convention with his idealism disillusioned by party politics, Roosevelt said he had no further aspiration but to retire to his ranch in the Badlands of the Dakota Territory, which he had purchased the previous year while on a buffalo hunting expedition.
Cowboy in Dakota
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 western style, rope, and hunt. He rebuilt his life and began writing about frontier life for Eastern magazines, as well publishing three books:
Hunting Trips of a Ranchman, New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail, New York: The Century Co.
The Wilderness Hunter, New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons.
As a deputy sheriff, Roosevelt hunted down three outlaws who stole his riverboat and were escaping north with it up the Little Missouri. Capturing them, he decided against hanging them (apparently yielding to established law procedures in place of vigilante justice), 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 searching for a group of relentless horse thieves, Roosevelt met Seth Bullock, the famous sheriff of Deadwood, South Dakota. The two would remain friends for life.
Return to New York
After the uniquely severe U.S. winter of 1886-1887 wiped out his herd of cattle (together with those of his competitors) and most of his $80,000 investment, Roosevelt returned to the East. In 1885, he had built Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, New York on Long Island, which was his home and estate until his death.
In 1886, Roosevelt ran as the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, portraying himself as "The Cowboy of the Dakotas." Due to information on the in-progress election, Republican insiders warned voters that George was leading and that Roosevelt was likely beat, thus causing a last-minute defection of Republican voters to the Democratic candidate Hewitt. Theodore Roosevelt took third place. The election results showed Hewitt (D) with 90,552 votes, George (United Labor) with 68,110, and Roosevelt (R) with 60,435.
Following the election, he went to London in 1886 and married his childhood sweetheart, Edith Kermit Carow. They honeymooned in Europe, and Roosevelt led a group to the summit of Mont Blanc, an achievement that resulted in his induction into the British Royal Society. They had five children: Theodore Jr., Kermit, Ethel Carow, Archibald Bulloch "Archie", and Quentin.
Reentering public life
Civil Service Commission
In 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. In his term, Roosevelt vigorously fought the spoilsmen and demanded enforcement of civil service laws. His close associate, friend and biographer, Joseph Bucklin Bishop, described Roosevelt's assault on the spoils system:
The very citadel of spoils politics, the hitherto impregnable fortress that had existed unshaken since it was erected on the foundation laid by Andrew Jackson, was tottering to its fall under the assaults of this audacious and irrepressible young man.... Whatever may have been the feelings of the (fellow Republican party) President (Harrison) — and there is little doubt that he had no idea when he appointed Roosevelt that he would prove to be so veritable a bull in a china shop—he refused to remove him and stood by him firmly till the end of his term.
During this time, the New York Sun described Roosevelt as "irrepressible, belligerent, and enthusiastic"
Despite 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.
New York City Police Commissioner
Roosevelt became president of the board of New York City Police Commissioners in 1895. During his two years in 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." Roosevelt and his fellow commissioners established new disciplinary rules, created a bicycle squad to enforce New York's traffic laws, and standardized the use of pistols by officers. He selected the Colt New Police Revolver in .32 Colt Caliber as the first standard issue pistol for the NYPD. Roosevelt implemented regular inspections of firearms and annual physical exams, appointed 1,600 recruits based on their physical and mental qualifications and not on political affiliation, established meritorious service medals, and closed 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.
In 1894, Roosevelt met Jacob Riis, the muckraking Evening Sun newspaper journalist who was opening the eyes of New York's rich to the terrible conditions of the city's millions of poor immigrants with such books as, How the Other Half Lives. In Riis' autobiography, he described the effect of his book on the new police commissioner:
When Roosevelt read my book, he came....No one ever helped as he did. For two years we were brothers in (New York City's crime-ridden) Mulberry Street. When he left I had seen its golden age.... There is very little ease where Theodore Roosevelt leads, as we all of us found out. The lawbreaker found it out who predicted scornfully that he would “knuckle down to politics the way they all did,” and lived to respect him, though he swore at him, as the one of them all who was stronger than pull....that was what made the age golden, that for the first time a moral purpose came into the street. In the light of it everything was transformed.
Roosevelt made a habit of walking officers' beats late at night and early in the morning to make sure they were on duty. 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.
Emergence as a national figure
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 Roosevelt to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1897. Because of the inactivity of Secretary of the Navy John D. Long, this gave Roosevelt control over the department. Ten days after the battleship Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, the Secretary left for a massage, and Roosevelt became Acting Secretary for four hours. Roosevelt told the Navy worldwide to prepare for war, ordered ammunition and supplies, brought in experts, and went to Congress asking for authority to recruit as many sailors as he wanted, thus moving the nation toward war. Roosevelt was instrumental in preparing the Navy for the Spanish–American War and was an enthusiastic supporter of testing the U.S. military in combat, at one point saying, "I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one".
War in Cuba
Upon 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."
Landing in Cuba
The Rough Riders were part of the Cavalry Division commanded by the former dashing Confederate cavalry officer turned US representative, Joseph Wheeler. Wheeler was given command of the Cavalry Division which was one of 3 divisions that were part of V Corps under Lt General William Rufus Shafter. After landing in Daiquiri on 23 June 1898, the Rough Riders quickly marched past the 1st Infantry Division commanded by Lawton and got to Siboney, Cuba on the late afternoon of 24 June. With Shafter still at sea, Wheeler as senior general, was in command of ground forces. Not willing to be put on the march toward Santiago de Cuba behind the Infantry and hearing of Spaniards dug in at Las Guasimas, Cuba, without waiting for a change of orders from Schafter who said that the Cavalry Division was supposed to trail behind the infantry and that no one was to move forward until all soldiers had landed, after a conference with Cuban General, Calixto García. Hearing from Garcia, that Cuban insurrectos had clashed with the Spaniards left and right flanks that straddled the Camino Real road that went from Siboney to Santiago de Cuba, Wheeler was told that there were two largely parallel roads from the beaches of Siboney to Las Guasimas. Wheeler decided in a secret meeting with his brigade commanders late on 24 June that the following morning, 25 June 1898, that he would send elements of the 1st and 10th Regular Cavalry on the lower road northwest and the 1st Volunteers, "Rough Riders," commanded by Wood and Roosevelt and future Arizona territorial governor, Alexander Brodie as his two squadron commanders on the parallel road running along a ridge up from the beach. To throw off his infantry rival, Wheeler would leave one regiment of his Cavalry Division, the 9th, at Siboney so that he could claim that his move north was only a limited reconnaissance if things went wrong.
The Rough Riders met the Spaniards on the left trail (hardly more than a bridle path) just after the Regulars came within cannon fire distance of the Spaniards on the parallel Camino Real to their east. The ensuing fight was to be known as the Battle of Las Guasimas. While seen by some as a minor skirmish it was the first test of the new volunteer cavalry regiment under fire. The Rough Riders handled themselves fairly well and even though the Spaniards lines initially ran almost in an upside-down "U" shape around them, they fought their way through Spanish resistance and together with the Regulars forced the Spaniards to abandon their positions earlier than previously planned.
San Juan Hill
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, 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." Accordingly, Wood was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteer Forces, and Roosevelt was promoted to Colonel and given command of the Regiment.
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, as the troopers' horses had been left behind because transport ships were scarce. He rode back and forth between rifle pits at the forefront of the advance up Kettle Hill, an advance that he urged in absence of any orders from superiors. He was forced to walk up the last part of Kettle Hill on foot, because of barbed wire entanglement and after his horse, Little Texas, tired.
For his actions, Roosevelt was nominated for the Medal of Honor, which was later disapproved. As historian John Gable wrote, "In later years Roosevelt would describe the Battle of San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898, as 'the great day of my life' and 'my crowded hour.' But Malaria and other diseases now killed more troops than had died in battle. In August, Roosevelt and other officers demanded that the soldiers be returned home."
Medal of Honor
In 2001, Roosevelt was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He was the first and, to date, is the only President of the United States to be awarded 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. His son, Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., also earned a posthumous Medal of Honor during World War II, for rallying and leading troops in the midst of heavy German resistance during the invasion of Normandy in June 1944; he died a month later and was awarded the Medal of Honor in September. They are the second of only two fathers and sons to earn the Medal of Honor, the first being Arthur MacArthur, Jr. and his son Douglas.
After return to civilian life, Roosevelt preferred to be known as "Colonel Roosevelt" or "The Colonel." As a moniker, "Teddy" remained much more popular with the public, despite the fact he found it vulgar and called it "an outrageous impertinence." Political friends and others working closely with Roosevelt customarily addressed him by his rank.
Governor and Vice-President
On leaving the Army, Roosevelt was elected governor of New York in 1898 as a Republican. He made such an 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 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 six months as Vice President (March to September 1901) were uneventful. 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."
On September 6, President McKinley was shot while at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Initial reports in the succeeding days suggested his condition was improving, so Roosevelt embarked on a vacation at Mount Marcy in northeastern New York. He was returning from a climb to the summit on September 13 when a park ranger brought him a telegram informing him that McKinley's condition had deteriorated, and he was near death.
Roosevelt and his family immediately departed for Buffalo. When they reached the nearest train station at North Creek, at 5:22 am on September 14, he received another telegram informing him that McKinley had died a few hours earlier. Roosevelt arrived in Buffalo that afternoon, and was sworn in there as President at 3:30 pm by U.S. District Judge John R. Hazel at the Ansley Wilcox House.
Roosevelt kept McKinley's Cabinet and promised to continue McKinley's policies. One of his first notable acts as president was to deliver a 20,000-word address to Congress asking it to curb the power of large corporations (called "trusts"). For his aggressive attacks on trusts over his two terms, he has been called a "trust-buster."
In the 1904 presidential election, Roosevelt won the presidency in his own right in a landslide victory. His vice president was Charles Fairbanks.
Roosevelt also dealt with union workers. In May 1902, United Mine Workers went on strike to get higher pay wages and shorter workdays. He set up a fact-finding commission that stopped the strike, and resulted in the workers getting more pay for fewer hours.
In August 1902, Roosevelt was the first president to be seen riding in an automobile in public. This took place in Hartford, CT. The car was a Columbia Electric Victoria Phaeton, manufactured in Hartford. The police squad rode bicycles alongside the car. (The reference includes a photo of the event.)
In 1905, he issued a corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which allows the United States to "exercise international policy power" so they can intervene and keep smaller countries on their feet.
Issue of 1925
Roosevelt helped the wellbeing of people by passing laws such as The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and The Pure Food and Drug Act. The Meat Inspection Act of 1906 banned misleading labels and preservatives that contained harmful chemicals. The Pure Food and Drug Act banned food and drugs that are impure or falsely labeled from being made, sold, and shipped. Roosevelt was also served as honorary president of the school health organization American School Hygiene Association from 1907 to 1908, and in 1909 he convened the first White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children.
The Gentlemen's Agreement with Japan came into play in 1907, banning all school segregation of Japanese, yet controlling Japanese immigration in California. That year, Roosevelt signed the proclamation establishing Oklahoma as the 46th state of the Union.
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. After noticing the White House reporters huddled outside in the rain one day, he gave them their own room inside, effectively inventing the presidential press briefing. The grateful press, with unprecedented access to the White House, rewarded Roosevelt with ample coverage.
He chose not to run for another term in 1908, and supported William Taft for the presidency, instead of Fairbanks. Fairbanks withdrew from the race, and would later support Taft for re-election against Roosevelt in the 1912 election.
Roosevelt appointed a record 75 federal judges. Roosevelt appointed three Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1902), William Rufus Day (1903), William Henry Moody (1906). In addition to these three, Roosevelt appointed 19 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, and 53 judges to the United States district courts.
In March 1909, shortly after the end of his presidency, Roosevelt left New York for a safari in east and central Africa. Roosevelt's party landed in Mombasa, British East Africa (now Kenya), traveled to the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) before following the Nile to Khartoum in modern Sudan. Financed by Andrew Carnegie and by his own proposed writings, Roosevelt's party hunted for specimens for the Smithsonian Institution and for the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The group, led by the legendary hunter-tracker R. J. Cunninghame, included scientists from the Smithsonian and was joined from time to time by Frederick Selous, the famous big game hunter and explorer. Among other items, Roosevelt brought with him four tons of salt for preserving animal hides, a lucky rabbit's foot given to him by boxer John L. Sullivan, a Holland and Holland double rifle in .500/450 donated by a group of 56 admiring Britons, a Winchester 1895 rifle in .405 Winchester, an Army (M1903) Springfield in .30-06 caliber stocked and sighted for him, a Fox No. 12 shotgun, and the famous Pigskin Library, a collection of classics bound in pig leather and transported in a single reinforced trunk.
Roosevelt and his companions killed or trapped approximately 11,400 animals, from insects and moles to hippopotamuses and elephants. These included 512 big game animals, including six rare white rhinos. The expedition consumed 262 of the animals. Tons of salted animals and their skins were shipped to Washington; the quantity was so large that it took years to mount them all, and the Smithsonian shared many duplicate animals with other museums. Regarding 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."
Although the safari was ostensibly conducted in the name of science, it was as much a political and social event as it was a hunting excursion; Roosevelt interacted with renowned professional hunters and land-owning families, and met many native peoples and local leaders. Roosevelt became a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, while President, in 1907 after paying a $25 fee. He later wrote a detailed account in the book African Game Trails, where he describes the excitement of the chase, the people he met, and the flora and fauna he collected in the name of science.
Republican Party schism
"The right of the people to rule"
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 promoted 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. He again had managed to alienate all sides. While the crisis was building inside the Party, Roosevelt was touring Africa and Europe, to allow Taft to be his own man.
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 courts. His famous speech at Osawatomie, Kansas, in August 1910 was the most radical of his career and openly marked his break with the Taft administration and the conservative Republicans. Osawatomie was well known as the base used by John Brown when he launched his bloody attacks on slavery. Taft was deeply upset. Roosevelt was 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.
Election of 1912
Despite his new doubts about Taft's leadership abilities, Roosevelt still was friendly towards him and was in favor of his re-election. On October 27, 1911, however, Roosevelt and Taft's deteriorating friendship officially came to an end when Taft's administration filed an antitrust suit against US Steel, which Roosevelt labeled as a "good trust". After he finally broke with Taft, Roosevelt saw himself as the only person who could save the Republican party from defeat in the upcoming Presidential election and announced himself as a candidate for the Republican nomination. Roosevelt, however, 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 nine of the states that held 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 continuing popularity with the electorate, were not nearly as pivotal as primaries became later in the century. There were fewer states where a common voter had an opportunity to express a recorded preference. Many more states selected convention delegates at state party conventions, or in caucuses, which were not as open as they later became. While Roosevelt was popular with the public, most Republican politicians and party leaders supported Taft, and their support proved difficult to counter in states without primaries.
Formation of the Bull Moose Party
At the Republican Convention in Chicago, despite being the incumbent, Taft's victory was not immediately assured. After two weeks, Roosevelt, realizing he would not 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 fit as a bull moose." At the convention Roosevelt cried out, "We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord." Roosevelt's platform echoed his 1907–08 proposals, calling for vigorous government intervention to protect the people from the selfish interests.
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 and quoted again in his autobiography 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 program to which they objected, and they supported either Mr. Wilson or Mr. Taft.....
While Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper named John Schrank shot him, but the bullet lodged in his chest only after penetrating his steel eyeglass case and passing through a thick (50 pages) single-folded copy of the speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt, as an experienced hunter and anatomist, correctly concluded that since he was not coughing blood, the bullet had not completely penetrated the chest wall to his lung, and so declined suggestions he go to the hospital immediately. Instead, he delivered his scheduled speech with blood seeping into his shirt. He spoke for 90 minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, "Ladies and gentlemen, 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, probes and x-ray showed that the bullet had traversed three inches (76 mm) of tissue and lodged in Roosevelt's chest muscle but did not penetrate the pleura, and it would be more dangerous to attempt to remove the bullet than to leave it in place. Roosevelt carried it with him for the rest of his life.
Because of the bullet wound, Roosevelt was taken off the campaign trail in the final weeks of the race (which ended election day, November 5). Though the other two campaigners stopped their own campaigns in the week Roosevelt was in the hospital, they resumed it once he was released. The bullet lodged in his chest caused his chronic rheumatoid arthritis – which he had suffered from for years – to get worse and it soon prevented him from doing his daily stint of exercises; Roosevelt would soon become obese as well. Roosevelt, for many reasons, failed to move enough Republicans 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 to place third in a re-election bid. 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.
1913–1914 South American Expedition
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 the scientific discovery, scenic tropical vistas, and exotic flora and fauna experienced during the adventure. 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 persuaded 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 Madeira and thence to the Amazon River. It was later renamed Roosevelt River in honor of the former President. Roosevelt's crew consisted of his 24-year-old son Kermit, Colonel Rondon, a naturalist, George K. Cherrie, sent by the American Museum of Natural History, Brazilian Lieutenant Joao Lyra, team physician Dr. José Antonio Cajazeira, and 16 skilled paddlers and porters (called camaradas in Portuguese). The initial expedition started, probably unwisely, on December 9, 1913, at the height of the rainy season. The trip down the River of Doubt started on February 27, 1914.
During the trip down the river, Roosevelt suffered a minor leg wound after he jumped into the river to try to prevent two of his crew's canoes from smashing against the rocks. The flesh wound he received, however, soon gave him tropical fever that resembled the malaria he contracted while in Cuba fifteen years before. Because the bullet lodged in his chest from the failed assassination attempt in 1912 was never removed, his health worsened from the infection. This weakened Roosevelt so greatly that six weeks into the adventure he had to be attended day and night by the expedition's physician and his son, Kermit. By then he could not walk because of both the infection in his injured leg and an infirmity in his other from a traffic accident a decade earlier. Roosevelt was riddled with chest pains, fighting a fever that soared to 103 °F (39 °C), and at times so delirious that he would repeat endlessly the opening line from Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan. Regarding his condition as a threat to the survival of the others, Roosevelt insisted he be left behind to allow the by then poorly provisioned expedition to proceed as rapidly as it could. Only an appeal by his son persuaded him to continue.
Despite Roosevelt's continued decline and loss of over 50 pounds (20 kg) of his original 220, Commander Rondon had been repeatedly slowing down the pace of the expedition in dedication to his commission's mapmaking and other geographical goals that demanded regular stops to fix the expedition's position by sun-based survey.
Upon Roosevelt's return to New York, friends and family were startled by his physical appearance and fatigue. Roosevelt wrote to a friend that the trip had cut his life short by ten years. He might not have known just how accurate that analysis would prove. For the rest of his few remaining years he would be plagued by flare-ups of malaria and leg inflammations so severe that they would require surgery.
Before Roosevelt had even completed his sea voyage home, doubts were raised over his claims of exploring and navigating a completely uncharted river over 625 miles (1,000 km) long. When he had recovered sufficiently he addressed a standing-room-only convention organized in Washington, D.C. by the National Geographic Society and satisfactorily defended his claims. The River of Doubt later was named the Rio Roosevelt.
World War I
When World War I began in 1914, Roosevelt strongly supported the Allies and demanded a harsher policy against Germany, especially regarding submarine warfare. Roosevelt angrily denounced the foreign policy of President Wilson, calling it a failure regarding the atrocities in Belgium and the violations of American rights. In 1916, he campaigned energetically for Charles Evans Hughes and repeatedly denounced Irish-Americans and German-Americans who Roosevelt said were unpatriotic because they put the interest of Ireland and Germany ahead of America's by supporting neutrality. He insisted 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.
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 family and supporters threw their support to Roosevelt's old military companion, General Leonard Wood, who was ultimately defeated by Taft supporter Warren G. Harding.
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 his favorite. It is said the death of his son distressed him so much that Roosevelt never recovered from his loss.
Despite his rapidly declining health, 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 Teddy Roosevelt's jingoism."
On January 6, 1919, Roosevelt died in his sleep at Oyster Bay of a coronary thrombosis (heart attack), preceded by a 2½-month illness described as inflammatory rheumatism, and was buried in nearby Youngs Memorial Cemetery. Upon receiving word of his death, his son Archie telegraphed his siblings simply, "The old lion is dead." The U.S. vice president, Thomas R. Marshall, said that "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight."
Political positions and speeches
Theodore Roosevelt introduced the phrase "Square Deal" to describe his progressive views in a speech delivered after leaving the office of the Presidency in August 1910. In his broad outline, he stressed equality of opportunity for all citizens and emphasized the importance of fair government regulations of corporate 'special interests'.
Roosevelt was one of the first Presidents to make conservation a national issue. In a speech that Roosevelt gave at Osawatomie, Kansas, on August 31, 1910, he outlined his views on conservation of the lands of the United States. He favored using America's natural resources, but opposed wasteful consumption. One of his most lasting legacies was his significant role in the creation of 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, and 150 National Forests, among other works of conservation. Roosevelt was instrumental in conserving about 230 million acres (930,000 km2) of American soil among various parks and other federal projects.
In the Eighth Annual Message to Congress (1908), Roosevelt mentioned the need for federal government to regulate interstate corporations using the Interstate Commerce Clause, also mentioning how these corporations fought federal control by appealing to states' rights.
Positions on immigration, minorities, and civil rights
In an 1894 article on immigration, Roosevelt said, "We must Americanize in every way, in speech, in political ideas and principles, and in their way of looking at relations between church and state. We welcome the German and the Irishman who becomes an American. We have no use for the German or Irishman who remains such... He must revere only our flag, not only must it come first, but no other flag should even come second."
Roosevelt was the first president to appoint a representative of the Jewish minority to a cabinet position – Secretary of Commerce and Labor, Oscar S. Straus, 1906–09.
In 1886 he said: "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn't like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian. Turn three hundred low families of New York into New Jersey, support them for fifty years in vicious idleness, and you will have some idea of what the Indians are. Reckless, revengeful, fiendishly cruel, they rob and murder, not the cowboys, who can take care of themselves, but the defenseless, lone settlers on the plains. As for the soldiers, an Indian chief once asked Sheridan for a cannon. "What! Do you want to kill my soldiers with it?" asked the general. "No," replied the chief, "want to kill the cowboy; kill soldier with a club." He later became much more favorable.
About African Americans, Roosevelt said, "I have not been able to think out any solution of the terrible problem offered by the presence of the Negro on this continent, but of one thing I am sure, and that is that inasmuch as he is here and can neither be killed nor driven away, the only wise and honorable and Christian thing to do is to treat each black man and each white man strictly on his merits as a man, giving him no more and no less than he shows himself worthy to have."
Roosevelt appointed numerous African Americans to federal office, such as Walter L. Cohen of New Orleans, Louisiana, a leader of the Black and Tan Republican faction whom he named register of the federal land office.
Contrasting the European conquest of North America with that of Australia, Roosevelt wrote: "The natives [of Australia] were so few in number and of such a low type, that they practically offered no resistance at all, being but little more hindrance than an equal number of ferocious beasts" however, the Native Americans were "the most formidable savage foes ever faced ever encountered by colonists of European stock." He regarded slavery as "a crime whose shortsighted folly was worse than its guilt" because it "brought hordes of African slaves, whose descendants now form immense populations in certain portions of the land." Contrasting the European conquest of North America with that of South Africa, Roosevelt felt that the fate of the latter's colonists would be different because, unlike the Native American, the African "neither dies out nor recedes before their advance", meaning the colonists would likely "be swallowed up in the overwhelming mass of black barbarism.”
Starting in 1907 eugenicists in many States started the forced sterilization of the sick, unemployed, poor, criminals, prostitutes, and the disabled. Roosevelt said in 1914: "I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feeble-minded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them."
Roosevelt was a prolific author, writing with passion on subjects ranging from foreign policy to the importance of the national park system. Roosevelt was also an avid reader of poetry. American poet, Robert Frost said of TR, "He was our kind. He quoted poetry to me. He knew poetry."
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, The Rough Riders History of the Naval War of 1812, and others on subjects such as ranching, explorations, and wildlife. His most ambitious book was the four volume narrative The Winning of the West, which connected the origin of a new "race" of Americans (i.e. what he considered the present population of the United States to be) to the frontier conditions their ancestors endured throughout the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries.
In 1907, Roosevelt became embroiled in a widely publicized literary debate known as the nature fakers controversy. A few years earlier, naturalist John Burroughs had published an article entitled "Real and Sham Natural History" in the Atlantic Monthly, attacking popular writers of the day such as Ernest Thompson Seton, Charles G. D. Roberts and William J. Long for their fantastical representations of wildlife. Roosevelt agreed with Burroughs' criticisms, and published several essays of his own denouncing the booming genre of "naturalistic" animal stories as "yellow journalism of the woods". It was the President himself who popularized the negative term "nature faker" to describe writers who depicted their animal characters with excessive anthropomorphism.
Character and beliefs
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 church regularly. Of including the motto "In God We Trust" on money, in 1907 he wrote, "It seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements." He was also a member of the Freemasons and Sons of the American Revolution.
Roosevelt had a lifelong interest in pursuing what he called, in an 1899 speech, "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 judo attaining a third degree brown belt and continued his habit of skinny-dipping in the Potomac River during winter.
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. 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.
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". 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.
Roosevelt was included with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln at the Mount Rushmore Memorial, designed in 1927 with the approval of Republican President Calvin Coolidge.
For his gallantry at San Juan Hill, Roosevelt's commanders recommended him for the Medal of Honor. In the late 1990s, Roosevelt's supporters again took up the flag for him. 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 (the other pair being Arthur and Douglas MacArthur).
Roosevelt's legacy includes several other important commemorations. The United States Navy named two ships for Roosevelt: the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a submarine that was in commission from 1961 to 1982; and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier that has been on active duty in the Atlantic Fleet since 1986.
On November 18, 1956, the United States Postal Service released a 6¢ Liberty Issue postage stamp honoring Roosevelt.
The Roosevelt Memorial Association (now the Theodore Roosevelt Association) or "TRA", was founded in 1920 to preserve Roosevelt's legacy. The Association preserved Roosevelt's birthplace, "Sagamore Hill" home, papers, and video film. In 1941, it published the Theodore Roosevelt Cyclopedia, a compendium of Roosevelt's key writings, sayings and conversations, which is available online.
In 2008 Columbia Law School awarded a law degree to Roosevelt, posthumously making him a member of the class of 1882. Among the hundreds of schools and streets named in Roosevelt's honor are Roosevelt High School in Seattle, Washington, the surrounding Roosevelt neighborhood, the district's main arterial, Roosevelt Way N.E., and Roosevelt Middle School in Eugene, Oregon.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles is named after him, as is the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
In Chicago, the city renamed 12th Street to Roosevelt Road four months after Roosevelt's death. In Philadelphia, Roosevelt Boulevard, also known as U.S. 1, was named in his honor in 1918.
In popular culture
Roosevelt's 1901 saying "Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick" is still quoted by politicians and columnists in different countries—not only in English but also in translation to various other languages.
A quote from Roosevelt's 1912 Progressive Party platform was cited as an epigram by Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, in his 2006 manifesto: "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. 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."
Roosevelt's lasting popular legacy, however, is the stuffed toy bears—teddy bears—named after him following an incident on a hunting trip in Mississippi in 1902. Roosevelt famously ordered the mercy killing of a wounded black bear. After the cartoonist Clifford K. Berryman illustrated the President with a bear, a toy maker heard the story and asked Roosevelt if he could use his name on a toy bear. Roosevelt approved, and the teddy bear was born. Bears and later bear cubs became closely associated with Roosevelt in political cartoons thereafter.
On June 26, 2006, Roosevelt, 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."
In 1905, Roosevelt, an admirer of various western figures, named Captain Bill McDonald of the Texas Rangers, as his bodyguard and entertained the legendary Texan in the White House. Ironically, in the 1912 campaign, McDonald was Woodrow Wilson's bodyguard. Wilson thereafter named the Democrat McDonald as U.S. Marshal for the Northern district of Texas.
Roosevelt has been portrayed many times in film and on television. The actor Karl Swenson played him in the 1967 western picture Brighty of the Grand Canyon, the story of a real-life burro who guided Roosevelt on a hunting trip to find mountain lions.
Brian Keith portrayed Roosevelt in the 1975 film The Wind and the Lion, a dramatization of the Perdicaris incident of 1904.</p