44 Days of Presidents: Theodore Roosevelt
Posted On: 10/20/2016 - 1:55pm, Posted By: David Conzett, Curator of History Objects & Fine Art
In our series, 44 Days of Presidents, we present artifacts, documents, and connections to our local and national history from our collections that represent each of the 44 Presidents of the United States as we gear up for the 2016 Presidential election.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919), 26th President of the United States
Theodore Roosevelt was born to a prominent New York family on October 27, 1858. A reformer and leader of the Progressive Movement, he would become a larger than life U.S. President.
Roosevelt graduated from Harvard College magna cum laude in 1880. He entered Columbia Law School that same year, but soon withdrew from his studies to enter Republican Politics. Between 1880 and 1898, Roosevelt served as New York City Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Governor of New York. When war was declared against Spain in 1898, he organized and trained the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry (The Rough Riders), and won a decisive victory over Spanish forces at the Battle of San Juan Hill near Santiago, Cuba.
With the sudden death of vice-president Garret Hobart in 1899, he was nominated as President McKinley’s running mate in the 1900 election. An aggressive campaigner, Roosevelt toured the country and helped propel McKinley to victory. In September 1901, six months into his second term, William McKinley was assassinated and Roosevelt assumed the office of president. At the age of forty-two he was the youngest president in U.S. History.
A leader in the Progressive Movement, Roosevelt moved the Republican Party to the left in favor of labor and against the large corporations. He won reelection in 1904 with a landslide victory over his democratic opponent Alton Brooks Parker. Among his many accomplishments, Roosevelt initiated construction of the Panama Canal, created the U.S. Forest Service and the National Parks System. A leader on the world stage, he negotiated the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Roosevelt broke with the Republican Party in 1912 and ran as a progressive of the Bull Moose Party, but lost to Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Theodore Roosevelt died on January 6, 1919 at his home at Sagamore Hill.
Theodore Roosevelt 1904 Political Campaign Button