On January 6, 1919, the twenty-sixth president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died at his estate overlooking New York’s Long Island Sound. Roosevelt was born into a wealthy New York family in 1858, and as a young boy he was frail and sickly. As a teenager he followed a program of gymnastics and weight lifting to build up his strength. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1882 and served two terms. His mother and his first wife died on the same day in 1884, and a grieving Roosevelt left public service for two years to live on a ranch in the Dakota Territory before returning to public life in 1886. When the Spanish-American War began, Roosevelt formed the Rough Riders, a volunteer cavalry that gained fame through its part in the victory at San Juan Hill in Cuba. That fame helped elect Roosevelt to the office of New York governor in 1898 and to the vice-presidency in 1900. When President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901, Roosevelt became the youngest person to assume the presidency. Roosevelt sought to balance the interests of farmers, workers, and business people, advocated a strong navy, encouraged the building of the Panama Canal, and set aside land for America’s first national parks and monuments. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for leading negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War. He was elected to a second term in 1904. Roosevelt was defeated in 1912 when he ran for the presidency on the Bull Moose Party.
From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution