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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | October 14, 2009

Theodore Roosevelt 1912

This is one of the most interesting stories about – in my opinion – one of America’s greatest presidents. Enjoy!

October 14, 1912 – Theodore Roosevelt Shot In Milwaukee

Before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Theodore Roosevelt, the presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, is shot at close range by saloonkeeper John Schrank while greeting the public in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel. Schrank’s .32-caliber bullet, aimed directly at Roosevelt’s heart, failed to mortally wound the former president because its force was slowed by a glasses case and a bundle of manuscript in the breast pocket of Roosevelt’s heavy coat–a manuscript containing Roosevelt’s evening speech. Schrank was immediately detained and reportedly offered as his motive that “any man looking for a third term ought to be shot.”

Roosevelt, who suffered only a flesh wound from the attack, went on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still in his body. After a few words, the former “Rough Rider” pulled the torn and bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket and declared, “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose.” He spoke for nearly an hour and then was rushed to the hospital.

“TR” spoke for an hour with a bullet lodged in his chest. Tough? Damned straight!

Despite his vigorous campaign, Roosevelt, who served as the 26th U.S. president from 1901 to 1909, was defeated by Democrat Woodrow Wilson in November. Shrank was deemed insane and committed to a mental hospital, where he died in 1943. (H/

The true shame of this story is not that Roosevelt was shot. It is that he could not defeat Woodrow Wilson, a man who wound up being one of the country’s most mediocre presidents.

Topics: HHH | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. RT Says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Wonder how the next term would have been had he won. Interesting and a really good story. :)

  2. John D Says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    It’s a good think he used a manuscript instead of index cards. And it was 50 pages, so being long winded saved TR’s life.

    As for Wilson, TR and Taft split the anti-Wilson vote, which stuck us with Woodrow (and his busy-body Mrs.). And Taft was the only incumbent ever to come in third in a presidential election.

  3. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    RT – I’m biased, but I would assume the next term would be fantastic.

    John D – A long-winded politician. That’s the norm nowadays.

  4. kaveman Says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    His wife, Eleanor(sp?) has some some interesting history as well concerning carrying a firearm in lieu of Secret Service protection.

    The long and short of it is the the SS were kinda pissed that she didn’t want them shawdowing her besides overt threats against her so they gave her a gun to carry, which she did.

    When I read this, I called the Secret service and asked if they would give me a gun for my birthday or Christmas or whatever. They asked for my full name and address which I gave with enthusiasm. It’s been several years now and I’m still waiting for my gun to show up.

    Maybe I should call them every day to remind them or perhaps that could be seen as a bit pushy.

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Kaveman – TR’s wife was Alice. FDR’s wife was Eleanor.

  6. piperfromtn Says:
    October 14th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I saw the glasses case in the Smithsonian in 2004 as well as the manuscript; the glasses case took the brunt of the .32 ACP FMJ. Thankfully, that round was and is very underpowered.

    Eleanor was Teddy’s niece and probably got her gun toting, from what I’ve read, from her Uncle Teedie. I’m suprised that Teddy didn’t return fire.

    Taft was known for his ‘aft’, which the SS had to free from the White House bathtub once.

  7. Hyman Roth Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Wilson. Arrogant ivory-tower blowhard liberal busybody. Great job starting the League of Nations, Woody. Real effective, wasn’t it?

    Woody’s SecNav (Josephus Daniels) is the putz who banned booze from Navy ships, and prohibited prostitution within 5 miles of naval installations (which in effect closed down the Storyville section of New Orleans). Thus coffee acquired the nickname “a cup of Joe”.

  8. Wyatt Earp Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Piper – I remember that story. Damned thankless job, the USSS is.

    Hyman Roth – I never knew the origin of that phrase. You learn something new here every day.

  9. WALTERC Says:
    October 15th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Keep this in mind when people start talking about starting a third party to beat the GOP.

    A third party would just give OB an 2nd term.

  10. Hyman Roth Says:
    October 16th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Speaking of the Secret Service:

    Apparently, Carter is not just a nasty antisemite, he is also a phony and a thoroughly unlikeable human being.

    “Inside the White House, Carter treated with contempt the little people who helped and protected him,” and told agents not to look at him or speak to him — even to say hello — when he went to the Oval Office.

    “At the same time, Carter tried to project an image of himself as man of the people by carrying his own luggage when traveling. But that was often for show. When he was a candidate in 1976, Carter would carry his own bags when the press was around but ask the Secret Service to carry them the rest of the time.”

    “On one occasion, disgruntled agents deliberately left Carter’s luggage in the trunk of his car at an airport, and Carter “was without clothes for two days.” ”

    Revenge is sweet!