Theodore Roosevelt reading aboard the Imperator, returning from Europe, 1914
Roosevelt was a lifelong prodigious reader. In her new book, The Bully Pulpit, Doris Kearns Goodwin writes about William Howard Taft’s amazement at Roosevelt’s ability to find time to read: “He always carried a book with him to the Executive Office, and though there were but few intervals during the business hours, he made the most of them in his reading,” Taft said. Charles Washburn, a classmate of Roosevelt’s from Harvard, remembered, “If he were reading, the house might fall about his head, he could not be diverted.”
Roosevelt himself wrote to his parents during his freshman year at college: “My library has been the greatest possible pleasure to me, as whenever I have any spare time I can immediately take up a book.”
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (Flickr)
Teddy Roosevelt speaks at the 1902 Charleston South Carolina Exposition
On August 13, people in Brownsville, Texas, were outraged when a bartender was shot and a policeman injured. White residents blamed men from the Twenty-Fifth Infantry, a regiment of “Buffalo Soldiers" stationed at Fort Brown.
Despite dubious witnesses and contradictory evidence - and the fact that white commanders on the base said the black infantrymen were in their barracks at the time - Roosevelt ordered 167 soldiers dishonorably discharged, stripping them of their salaries, pensions and military honors. Roosevelt was widely criticized but never backed down.
Years later, work by an investigative journalist prompted Congress to commission a new study, and led the Army to reverse the order in 1972 and grant honorable discharges. Only one solder was living at the time, Dorsie Willis, who received $25,000.
Quick, nobody smile! Teddy Roosevelt and his sons sit somewhat morosely for a photo in New York in 1904.
Cool button from Teddy Roosevelt’s winning 1898 campaign for governor of New York.
Via the Clinton Ivan Winslow Political Memorabilia Collection in the Goucher College Library Special Collections
Do you for progression stand? Vote for Teddy!
And reform in this great land? Vote for Teddy!
Teddy Roosevelt bandana used at a Milwaukee rally on October 14, 1912 . Roosevelt was on his way to address a crowd of about 10,000 people in the Milwaukee Auditorium when he was shot by a would-be assassin. He chose to complete the speech with the bullet lodged in his chest before going to the hospital.
From the Wisconsin Historical Society