The President Theodore Roosevelt
“Roosevelt was among the best-liked Presidents and, in many respects, the most interesting” (World Book 149). Theodore Roosevelt did many things, some in which impacted America. Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, 1858 in New York City, making him the only president born there (Lamb 152). As a child Roosevelt was always very sick and frail, and had bad asthma (Kent 13). Despite this he never got tired of playing with his friends and inventing new games to play.
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Since he was always sick, a nanny tutored Roosevelt until he was old enough to attend college (Kent 14). When Roosevelt turned ten, his father had told him, “Theodore, you have the mind but you have not the body. You must make your body. “, and Roosevelt’s response to that was “I’ll make my body. ” (Kent 16). He was so determined to build his body strength that he spent hours at Woods’ Gymnasium near his house until his father installed exercise equipment in a room in his house (Kent 16).
At the age of 16, Roosevelt went to Harvard University because his father, Theodore Roosevelt Sr. was a millionaire (Kent 13). While attending Harvard, Roosevelt was a boxer. During his junior year, he made it to the boxing finals of the annual competition (Kent 19-20). Along with boxing Roosevelt did swimming, rowing, hiking, hunting, running, and horseback riding. At Harvard he studied natural history, which involves more information than today (Lamb 153). While he was studying natural history, he met Alice Lee, his future wife.
He then changed his major to law so he wouldn’t have to leave her to go to Germany for a natural history course (Lamb 153). Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Lee, got married on October 27, 1878. Alice got pregnant but never mothered any children. In 1884 she died giving birth to a daughter who was named after her (Lamb 153). In December 1886, Roosevelt married Edith Carow, two years after Alice died (Lamb 153). Edith was a childhood friend whom Roosevelt knew since he was five years old. The couple produced four boys and two girls (The Saturday Evening Post 90).
The six kids made the White House a play house; they brought everything into the house including roller-skates, stilts, and even pets (World Book 149). Before Roosevelt was president he did many different things including being a policeman and owning a ranch. In 1885, Roosevelt worked out of grief in the Dakota Territory on a cattle ranch that he bought along the Little Missouri River (World Book 148). While he was at the ranch he learned things like how to heard cattle, organize a roundup, and how to run a ranch (World Book 148).
He stopped ranching after three-fourths of his herd died in the winter of 1886-1887 (World Book 148-9). Roosevelt was also a very important policeman before he became president. As a New York City police commissioner in the 1890’s he battled corruption in the department (World Book 149). He would personally patrol the streets at night by checking on police performance and law enforcement (World Book 149). In 1897, William McKinley made him assistant secretary of the navy, and he supported McKinley on almost everything except his attempts to avoid war (World Book 149).
After the navy Roosevelt volunteered for the army in 1898 at the beginning of the Spanish-American war (Lamb 154). Roosevelt was very active in this war. His regiment was called “Roosevelt’s Rough Riders” (The Saturday Evening Post 90). The Rough Riders were the only ones that were active in this war, and they did most of the fighting and traveling on foot (Lamb 154). He got out of the army when he was elected governor of New York. Roosevelt also did some political things before he was a president.
Roosevelt served in the New York state assembly, and he was a governor of New York. His career in politics began when he was a state assemblyman; this job was extremely important for his career (Lamb 153). Even though he was advanced to minority leader, his job as a state assemblyman made a prominent public figure making him “the most famous politician in New York State” (Lamb 154). He was later elected governor of New York and became known as a “trust buster,” fighting the power of big business (The Saturday Evening Post 90).
Along with being very trustworthy, his war record also helped him become the governor of New York (World Book 149). As the presidential elections approached, Roosevelts stay as governor of New York came to a close. Roosevelt, who wasn’t to concerned about who was running for president this early in the election, was nominated for vice-president (Saturday Evening Post 90). The party bosses wanted to get Roosevelt out of the way because he always wanted to do everything, so they nominated him for vice president under McKinley (The Saturday Evening Post 90).
When McKinley won the presidency, Roosevelt was the youngest person to have ever hold the office of vice president (Melitzer, 113). Six months into McKinley’s second term as president, he was shot while he was visiting the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo. The visit had been open to anyone, and there was a huge line of people (Lamb 154). In the line of people there was a man with a bandage on his hand who wanted to shake his hand. When McKinley lifted his hand to shake the mans hand, the man shot him in the stomach three times (Lamb 154).
McKinley died ten days later from the wounds. When the news got to the office, Roosevelt was sworn in to office making him the 26th president of the United States (Lamb, 155). While Roosevelt was in office he did many things to help his country. One of the things he endorsed was the pure food and drug law; many people of the time believed that this would bring down prices while increasing competition (World Book 149-150). The pure food and drug law was put in affect to show people how unsanitary the meat packing in the United States is, and this is how the FDA was formed.
In 1903, the United States and Panama signed a treaty for the canal; construction soon followed (Meltzer 157). After the newspaper readers heard about this they gave Roosevelt the phrase ” walk softly and carry a big stick’ which means, in foreign policy, the United States should negotiate, should arbitrate, but always have a big stick in hand in case reasonableness would not be met” (Lamb 155). Roosevelt loved to travel to many places throughout the United States. In 1903, he took a trip to Yellowstone National Park (Meltzer 151).
When he got back from his trip to Wyoming, he realized that the United States only had five national parks, Yellowstone, Sequoia, Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and General Grant, so Congress added five more under Roosevelt’s pressure (Meltzer 151). In 1907 Roosevelt announced his plan to send 16 new battleships, all painted white, and 12,000 officers and men on a trip around the world (Whitelaw 146). Roosevelt called in his “Great White Fleet”, and he used this trip as a way to show Japan how powerful the United States really is (Whitelaw 146). All of his battleships made it back from the journey.
Roosevelt believed very deeply in exercising, so while he was at the White House he exercised as much as he could. During his presidency he exercised regularly with enthusiasm (World Book 149). He would briskly walk with his members of Congress and members of his Cabinet everyday, even though it was hard for them to keep up with him most of the time (World Book 149). Roosevelt enjoyed fencing, boxing, tossing a medicine ball, and playing tennis (World Book 149). It is important for the presidents to be active to help him relieve a lot of the stress they have. After his presidency, Roosevelt took many trips to different parts of the world.
His first trip was on an African expedition (Whitelaw 154). While he was there he studied animals and brought back specimens for the Smithsonian Institution (Whitelaw 154). In 1913 he took his next big trip. Roosevelt and his youngest sons trampled through the Grand Canyon on a camping trip (Kent 150). Within the next year Roosevelt traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on a lecture trip (Whitelaw 171-2). In Brazil he hunted jaguar and tapir, he hacked his way through hip-deep swamps, and he studied many things like birds, fish, animals, plants, and trees (Whitelaw 171-2).
In his 60 years Roosevelt wrote 150,000 letters, 40 books, and a lot of magazine articles (Lamb 155). At the age of 23 he wrote a book entitled The Naval War of 1812, and it was a great success for him (Lamb 153). In 1913 Roosevelt wrote his autobiography (Kent 83). Along with writing books he did a lot of reading; he read a new book everyday (Lamb 155). After his presidency, in 1912, he became so frustrated with the current president at the time, Taft, that he decided to run for president against him under a Republican nomination in the Bull Moose party (Lamb 156).
While campaigning for presidency he was to give a speech in Milwaukee, WI, on October 14 on his way there he was shot by John Schrank (Lamb 157). Luckily the bullet was stopped by his campaign speech and his glass case, and he wasn’t hurt (Whitelaw 169). When he got to Milwaukee he still gave his speech and he said, “It takes more than that to kill a bull moose! ” (Whitelaw 169). Unfortunately Roosevelt did not win that election. Theodore Roosevelt has impacted America in many ways from being our 26th president to refusing to shoot and bear and giving us the “teddy bear” (The Saturday Evening Post 91).
Roosevelt gave the “teddy bear” the name teddy bear because he went to Arkansas on a hunting trip and he shot a mama cub, but when he saw that she had two baby cubs he didn’t shoot them (The Saturday Evening Post 91). Roosevelt was also one of the few presidents to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize. In 1906 he was awarded the prize for his war efforts in putting the Russo-Japanese War to a close in 1905 (World Book 150). When Roosevelt died he was deaf in one ear, blind in one eye, and crippled by attacks of rheumatism (Melitzer, 179).
The 60 year old died in his sleep of a blood clot in his coronary artery on January 5, 1919 (Whitelaw, 180). This president will never be forgotten. The many changes that he has made for America has impacted everyone. For example, he is one of the four heads on Mount Rushmore and in the current war the United States is having with Afghanistan has an army ship named the Theodore Roosevelt. Now it is understandable why people believe “Roosevelt was among the best-liked Presidents and, in many respects, the most interesting” (World Book 149).