The only story you need to hear about Teddy Roosevelt

by Rick Roberts
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Theodore Roosevelt, affectionately known as Teddy, may sound like a soft touch to those unfamiliar with history. Teddy Roosevelt was a good president. He served from 1901 to 1909 and could have won a third term if he had run. He is the youngest person to become president in the history of America and championed many fine causes including fighting against racism during his time. However, he was not a cute teddy bear by any means. This story is surely proof of that.

When Roosevelt was touring America during his second term of president he was set to give a speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As he stood on the platform in front of the crowd a man named John Schrank emerged with a .32 caliber pistol and shot Roosevelt in the chest. If you are wondering why you never heard of this presidential assassination it is because it was unsuccessful. Roosevelt miraculously survived.

Roosevelt was wearing a large jacket when he was shot. In the inside pocket, he had the case for his glasses and a large manuscript with his speech written on it. It is lucky that Roosevelt has poor eyesight and enjoys long speeches because these two things slowed down the bullet enough to save his life. The bullet lodged in his body but he managed to only suffer a flesh wound. 

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As clear evidence of what a tough man he was, Roosevelt pulled the blood soak pages from his pocket and started his speech. He continued to talk for over an hour before finishing and being brought to a hospital. Do you think Trump could manage the same feat today?

Four American presidents have been assassinated while serving the role, both John F Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln are the standout cases but also James A. Garfield and William McKinley. In fact, it was the assassination of McKinley in 1901 that allowed Vice President Roosevelt to take office at the time. All of these murders are heavily covered with conspiracy theories. The John f Kennedy story, in particular, is one where every couple of years a new theory emerges over who could have killed him. Was it his own family, the mafia, the government, or Elvis?

Yet there have been two attempted assassinations in the history of US presidents and as the presidents survived, neither is really treated as a big occurrence or especially interesting. Teddy Roosevelt is one example and Ronald Regan the second. Regan famously gave a speech soon after his assassination attempt when a balloon in the crowd popped. He jokingly said “missed me” to the crowd. Both men clearly were able to take murder attempts in their stride. 

Despite being able for the bullet Teddy Roosevelt would not take up the opportunity to run for a third term as he felt that it was better for democracy to avoid too many terms. Instead of serving as president for a third term, he chose to go to Africa and hunt animals for the American museums. Roosevelt and his party allegedly killed or captured 11,400 animals. This included six rare white rhinos. When asked about the high number taken he said he could only be condemned if all museums were condemned too. Clearly having taken a shot to the chest did nothing to stop him shooting a whole host of animals.

While Theodore Roosevelt will always be known as a good president and by the name Teddy, he was clearly a strong man that could not be easily wavered too. While these are good qualities in a president it is of no question that we have fallen a long way with the current choice of global leaders.

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