Theodore Roosevelt: 26th President

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Born in New York, New York to a wealthy family, Theodore Roosevelt grew up as a sickly child who had asthma, nearsightedness, and was very thin and weak. He was unable to attend school; therefore was homeschooled by his parents and tutors. Fortunately due to his father's wealth, they were able to have a gym upstairs in their home. This allowed Teddy to become more fit and become an accomplished boxer.

Roosevelt's Early Careers

He was married to his first wife, Alice Lee, as a young man, unfortunately in 1884 she died on the same day his mother passed away. He then spent the next two years as a cowboy and rancher for the Dakota Territory in the Badlands, where he drove cattle, hunted big game, and even captured an outlaw. He married his second wife Edith Carow in December 1886.

Later he moved back to New York where he worked as a police officer, and became well-known for firing cops who were acting illegally. Due to those feeling threatened by him, he gained the nickname, "Teddy the Scorcher."

President McKinley took notice of Roosevelt's great qualities and made him Assistant Secretary of the Navy. While in the Navy, as the Spanish-American War began, he organized the Rough Riders cavalry unit where he acted as lieutenant colonel and became well known for leading the charge at the battle of San Juan.

His success as Assistant Secretary brought him national attention, and he was soon elected governor of New York. Many people felt intimidated by his strict values and ambition and felt that placing him as Vice-President would get him out of the way. Unbeknownst to them, McKinley would soon be assassinated leaving Roosevelt as the youngest president ever to assume the position at age 42, becoming the 26th President of the United States. Later he was elected for the following term, allowing him to serve almost two full terms.

Colonel Theodore Roosevelt

Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, in rough rider uniform, full-length portrait, standing and facing slightly left.
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, in rough rider uniform, full-length portrait, standing and facing slightly left. | Source

List of United States Presidents

1. George Washington

2. John Adams

3. Thomas Jefferson

4. James Madison

5. James Monroe

6. John Quincy Adams

7. Andrew Jackson

8. Martin Van Buren

9. William Henry Harrison

10. John Tyler

11. James K. Polk

12. Zachary Taylor

13. Millard Fillmore

14. Franklin Pierce

15. James Buchanan

16. Abraham Lincoln

17. Andrew Johnson

18. Ulysses S. Grant

19. Rutherford B. Hayes

20. James Garfield

21. Chester A. Arthur

22. Grover Cleveland

23. Benjamin Harrison

24. Grover Cleveland

25. William McKinley

26. Theodore Roosevelt

27. William Howard Taft

28. Woodrow Wilson

29. Warren G. Harding

30. Calvin Coolidge

31. Herbert Hoover

32. Franklin D. Roosevelt

33. Harry S. Truman

34. Dwight D. Eisenhower

35. John F. Kennedy

36. Lyndon B. Johnson

37. Richard M. Nixon

38. Gerald R. Ford

39. James Carter

40. Ronald Reagan

41. George H. W. Bush

42. William J. Clinton

43. George W. Bush

44. Barack Obama

Roosevelt's Presidency

His dynamic personality and strong heart caused him to succeed as president. He felt that the President's job was to be a "steward of the people" and once wrote, "I did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power." He felt that in the executive position that he should do whatever he could to help the public without breaking the law or going against the Constitution.

Roosevelt felt that it was important not just to look at our nation's issues, but stretched his views internationally as well. He recognized a need for there to be a shortcut between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in order to ship goods around the world more efficiently. It was then that he sought to have a canal that would connect the two oceans. On June 19, 1902, the Senate voted to have the canal built in Panama. Unfortunately, Colombia, which controlled the area, rejected the plan. Roosevelt sent U.S. warships to the area in support of Panamanian independence. This resulted in them gaining their independence on November 3, 1903, which then in turn allowed for the construction of the Panama Canal, making transport of goods much less costly and more efficient.

One of Theodore's greatest frustrations was that of giant trusts. He felt that large companies that controlled the lucrative industries such as steel and coal, should not be allowed to retain so much power. He then decided to enforce antitrust laws, because he felt that being unchecked, these companies could become more powerful than the United States government.

In 1906, he became the first American to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize, although he did not formally accept the award until after his presidency in 1910. The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to him for his efforts to end conflict between the Russians and the Japanese in 1905. The previous year, Japan had offered the Russians control over Manchuria as long as they could have control over the northern part of Korea. They were unable to reach an agreement, and Japan officially severed ties and declared war against Russia on February 8, 1904. After a year of fighting, Roosevelt invited both leaders to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he, along with the citizens of Portsmouth, encouraged diplomacy between the two nations. His efforts succeeded resulting in peace between the two nations.

When he accepted the award, he recognized that the only reason he was capable of doing such a noble act, was because he was president and felt slightly unworthy of the award. He attempted to decline the cash portion of the award, but when they insisted, he donated the funds to help support war relief at the end of World War II.

In addition to his great achievements in international affairs, he also was a great conservationist. In the West, he added over 125 million acres to the national forest system, protecting the wilderness lands and its natural resources from destruction.

Not only was he a great leader, he was also a father of six very rambunctious children who often made headlines. The younger ones often would slide down the banisters in the White House or walk on stilts inside. It is even reported they took a pony upstairs in the White House elevator.

Due to his love for adventure and nature, after his presidency he went on an African safari and eventually toured the jungles of Brazil. He did not stay away from politics too long, for he ran for President a second time, but under the "Bull Moose" party, in which he lost.

During his campaign, a fanatic shot him in the chest, but fortunately he quickly recovered. His response to the tragedy was taken with grace, as he stated, "No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way."

Years later he did die of a pulmonary embolism in Oyster Bay on January 6, 1919.

Excerpt from the History Channel

Fun Facts

  • Officially named the White House, the White House in 1901, prior to being called the White House, people referred to it as the President's House, the Executive Mansion, or even the President's Palace.
  • First president to ride in a car, during his presidency, and was photographed on official White House business doing so on August 22, 1902.
  • 5th cousin to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • First American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • On November 14, 1906, he became first president to travel outside the United States on official business. He travelled to Panama.
  • Youngest man to ever serve as president, but not the youngest to be elected, that honor goes to John F. Kennedy.
  • The teddy bear was named after him.
  • Oklahoma became a state while he was in office in 1907, becoming our 46th state.

Battle of San Juan

“Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill which they captured, Battle of San Juan”
“Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the top of the hill which they captured, Battle of San Juan” | Source

Basic Facts

Question
Answer
Born
October 27, 1858 - New York
President Number
26th
Party
Republican (1880–1909) Progressive "Bull Moose" (1912)
Military Service
United States Army - Colonel
Wars Served
Spanish–American War • Battle of Las Guasimas • Battle of San Juan Hill
Age at Beginning of Presidency
42 years old
Term of Office
September 14, 1901 to March 3, 1909
How Long President
8 years
Vice-President
None (1901–1905) Charles W. Fairbanks (1905–1909)
Age and Year of Death
January 6, 1919 (aged 60)
Cause of Death
pulmonary embolism

Mount Rushmore

Source

Sources

  • Building the Panama Canal, 1903–1914 - 1899–1913 - Milestones - Office of the Historian. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2016, from https://history.state.gov/milestones/1899-1913/panama-canal
  • Freidel, F., & Sidey, H. (2006). Theodore Roosevelt. Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/theodoreroosevelt
  • King, L. (2016, November 06). Theodore Roosevelt. Retrieved April 21, 2016, from http://abouttheodoreroosevelt.com/roosevelt-peace-prize/291/
  • Sullivan, G. (2001). Mr. President: A book of U.S. presidents. New York: Scholastic.
  • U.S. Presidential Fun Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/history/presidential-fun-facts/#geo-washington.jpg
  • What are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies? (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from https://www.whitehousehistory.org/questions/what-are-some-interesting-facts-about-presidents-first-ladies

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lions44 7 months ago from Auburn, WA

Great Bio. Good hub. Shared.

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