Theodore Roosevelt Shot, Finishes Speech

Theodore Roosevelt in Milwaukee. (Image via
Theodore Roosevelt in Milwaukee. (Image via

On this date in 1912, former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was shot before giving a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Here are some things you may not have known about the unsuccessful assassination attempt.

Roosevelt became president in 1901 upon the assassination of William McKinley. He won re-election in 1904. Before his inauguration for his second term, Roosevelt announced that he wouldn’t seek another term as president in 1908.

In 1908, Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor William Howard Taft was elected, but the pair quickly drifted apart politically. Roosevelt was a progressive Republican, while Taft aligned himself with the more conservative branch of the party.

In 1911, after a group of Ohio Republicans endorsed Roosevelt for the party’s presidential nomination, Roosevelt threw his hat in the ring again.

Taft won the primary in Roosevelt’s home state of New York, while Roosevelt took Taft’s home state of Ohio. The incumbent president emerged from the party convention with the nomination.

The party, however, was fractured. Roosevelt decided to run as a third-party candidate, representing his newly formed Progressive Party, better known as the Bull Moose Party.

Roosevelt centered his campaign on railing against big business and its influence on government.

On October 14, a saloonkeeper named John Flammang Schrank, shot Roosevelt in the chest before a planned speech in Milwaukee.

The bullet passed through his steel eyeglass case and a folded copy of his speech, before lodging in his chest.

Roosevelt correctly surmised that, because he was not coughing blood,  the bullet did not reach his lung, and refused immediate medical attention.

Roosevelt gave his planned 90-minute speech before heading to the hospital. During the speech he told the crowd: “I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.”

Doctors decided that it would be less dangerous to leave the bullet in place, and Roosevelt carried it for the rest of his life.

Roosevelt ended up beating Taft in the 1912 election, but both of them lost badly to New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, who became the 28th President of the United States.

Roosevelt died in his sleep on January 6, 1919, of a blood clot. He was 60 years old.

Wilson’s vice president, Thomas Marshall, said “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.”

Our question: What university was Woodrow Wilson president of?

Today is World Standards Day, Mother’s Day in Belarus, and National Education Day in Poland.

It’s unofficially World Egg Day, National Dessert Day and National Chocolate-Covered Insect Day.

It’s the birthday of former US president and five star general Dwight Eisenhower who was born in 1890; writer e.e. cummings who was born in 1894; and College basketball coach John Wooden who was born in 1910.

Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.

This week in 1985, the top song in the U.S. was “Take On Me” by A-Ha.

The No. 1 movie was “Commando,” while the novel “Texas” by James Michener topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.



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