Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bullish on Teddy: Our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt















Theodore Roosevelt became our nation’s 26th president --and the youngest in US history ---in 1901, after the assassination of President William McKinley. He was elected to a second term on November 8, 1904. He had previously held posts in the US Assembly (the youngest man ever to do so) and as the Governor of NY, elected November 8, 1898. Roosevelt, a Republican, was a prolific writer, conservationist and champion of civil rights.

On Valentine’s Day in 1880 -–the same year he graduated from Harvard-- Roosevelt became engaged to Alice Hathaway Lee. They married in October of that year. Tragedy struck in 1884, when two days after giving birth to their daughter, Alice, Mrs. Roosevelt died from complications of Bright’s disease. That same day, Mrs. Martha Bulloch Roosevelt, the future president’s mother, also died from typhoid fever. Theodore Roosevelt wrote in his diary that night that, “The light has gone out of my life.” The Roosevelt women are buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in a circular, family plot in which Roosevelt’s father is also buried.

A month later, Roosevelt entered into a contract for a new home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, to be called Sagamore Hill, in which to raise his daughter. It was completed a year later, and Roosevelt –who remarried and had five more children-- lived in that house until he died in his sleep on January 6, 1919 at the age of 60. He is buried in Youngs Memorial Cemetery, about a mile from his home.

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