We all know that Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest* man to ever assume the office of the President of the United States, but I’m betting that there are some of you who may not know just how colorful number 26 actually was!
It was a bullet that dropped the presidency into the lap of the former Rough Rider. President McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901. He died September 14, and Teddy Roosevelt became the President. In the election of 1904, Roosevelt was the clear winner of the office.
Roosevelt did not run for office in 1908, and he lost his bid for the Republican nomination in 1912, a loss that caused him to organize the Bull Moose Party, and old Teddy hit the stump as a third party candidate.
This is where our story begins.
On October 14, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was preparing to deliver a campaign speech in the city of Milwaukee. Fortunately for the former President, he was planning a lengthy speech and had his notes as well as his eye glasses case in his pocket, for it was at that moment that an unemployed saloonkeeper shot the man.
The bullet was slowed considerably by the contents of Roosevelt’s pocket before entering his chest. Refusing medical attention, the former President took the stump.
“Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot… It takes more than that to kill a bull moose,” Teddy told his audience.
It wasn’t enough. By throwing three candidates into the mix, Roosevelt pretty much assured that it would be Woodrow Wilson who became the next President of the United States.
*JFK was the youngest ELECTED president.