Theodore Roosevelt - 26th President
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., was born OCTOBER 27, 1858.
As a child, he had debilitating asthma, often waking up at night as if being smothered to death.
At 6-years-old, he watched Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession from the window of his grandfather's mansion in Union Square, New York City.
Theodore was home-schooled as a child, becoming fascinated with animals and zoology after seeing a dead seal in a local market.
His father, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., was a successful New York business leader, who helped raise support for the Union during the Civil War.
Young Theodore described him:
"My father, Theodore Roosevelt, was the best man I ever knew. He combined strength and courage with gentleness, tenderness, and great unselfishness. He would not tolerate in us children selfishness or cruelty, idleness, cowardice, or untruthfulness."
His father took the family on trips to Europe in 1869 and 1870, and Egypt in 1872, and helped found New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
At 15-years-old, Roosevelt wrote of their trip to Jerusalem:
"In the afternoon we went to the Wailing Place of the Jews."
After being accosted by older boys on a camping trip, Roosevelt began exercising.
He became an accomplished boxer and a third-degree brown belt in judo.
He entered Harvard in 1876.
He was devastated in 1878 upon news of the sudden death of his father, who had told him:
"Take care of your morals first, your health next, and finally your studies."
After graduation, he attended Columbia University Law School in New York.
While there, at the age of 23, he wrote a significant book, The Naval War of 1812 (published in 1882).
The book was so well received that just four years later, the U.S. Navy ordered a copy of it to be placed on every ship.
The book influenced Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan to write The Influence of Sea Power Upon the French Revolution and Empire, 1793–1812 (published in 1892).
This book revolutionized naval warfare, causing not only the United States, but Britain and Germany, to improve their navies.
Roosevelt began attending meetings of New York's 21st District Republican Association.
When 20th President, Republican President James Garfield, was assassinated in 1881, and Chester Arthur became the 21st President, Roosevelt decided to run for state assemblyman.
He won in 1882, and dropped out of law school to pursue politics.
He was reelected in 1883, and again in 1884, the year Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected the 22nd U.S. President.
Theodore married Alice Hathaway Lee, and four years later, in 1884, their daughter, Alice Lee Roosevelt, was born.
Tragically, two days later, on February 14, 1884, Roosevelt's mother, Mittie, died of typhoid, and later that afternoon, in the same house, his wife, Alice, died of kidney failure.
Roosevelt scratched in his diary a large black "X" with the words "The light has gone out of my life."
Attending the Republican National Convention in June of 1884, he gave a speech in support of John Roy Lynch, an African-American former slave, recommending he be chosen as the temporary chair of the Convention.
After bitter political battles, Roosevelt retired from politics, left his baby daughter with his sister, and went to ranch in the Dakotas.
Roosevelt wrote that a cattle rancher had:
"... few of the emasculated, milk-and-water moralities admired by the pseudo-philanthropists; but he does possess, to a very high degree, the stern, manly qualities that are invaluable to a nation."
While there, he wrote three books: Hunting Trips of a Ranchman; Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail; and The Wilderness Hunter.
Roosevelt bought a herd and ranched for three years, till the severe winter on 1886-1887 killed most of his cattle.
He returned east and married a childhood friend, Edith Kermit Carowto, on December 2, 1886, at St George's Church in Hanover Square, London.
Together they had five children, and also raised daughter Alice from his first marriage.
In 1886, he ran for Mayor of New York City, but lost.
He wrote another book The Winning of the West.
Roosevelt campaigned for Republican Benjamin Harrison, who won election as the 23rd U.S. President.
Harrison appointed Roosevelt to the United States Civil Service Commission.
In 1892, Democrat Grover Cleveland won his second term, as the 24th President, and reappointed Roosevelt to the same position.
Before the mafia came to New York, the local police "ran" the crime in their districts.
In 1894, the Mayor of New York appointed Roosevelt to the City Police Commissioners, where he became president of the board, reforming the department, cleaning out corruption, and installing telephones in the station houses.
He walked officers' beats on the streets after midnight to make sure they were on duty, and on Sundays to make sure all stores were closed to comply with New York's Sunday Closing Blue Laws, which were put in place to promote observance of the Lord's day of worship.
Roosevelt was the first to bring Jews into the police force, calling them his “Maccabees.”
Journalist Jacob Riis of the Evening Sun newspaper, wrote in his book How the Other Half Lives, of the terrible conditions the millions of immigrants suffered:
"When Roosevelt read my book, he came ... No one ever helped as he did. For two years we were brothers in (New York City's crime-ridden) Mulberry Street ...
There is very little ease where Theodore Roosevelt leads, as we all of us found out. The lawbreaker found it out ... and lived to respect him ...
For the first time a moral purpose came into the street. In the light of it everything was transformed."
When William McKinley was elected the 25th President, he appointed Roosevelt as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
With the help of Alfred Thayer Mahan, Roosevelt built up the U.S. Navy, especially battleships.
On February 15, 1898, USS Maine exploded in Cuba's Havana Harbor, beginning the Spanish-American War.
Roosevelt immediately sent orders for the Navy to prepare for war. Admiral George Dewey later credited this as a key factor in quick victory in the Battle of Manila Bay.
Roosevelt resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and organized the first Volunteer Cavalry, "the Rough Riders," which helped capture Cuba's San Juan Hill.
Upon his return to New York in 1898, Roosevelt ran for Governor and won.
In the 1900 Republican Convention, he was chosen to be the Vice-Presidential running-mate for William McKinley's reelection.
When McKinley was assassinated on September 6, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became America's youngest President.
As the 26th U.S. President, Republican Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to invite an African American, Booker T. Washington, to dine in the White House on October 16, 1901.
Southern Democrat newspapers condemned him, as printed in The Memphis Scimitar:
"The most damnable outrage which has ever been perpetrated by any citizen of the United States was committed yesterday by the President, when he invited a n- to dine with him at the White House.
It would not be worth more than a passing notice if Theodore Roosevelt had sat down to dinner in his own home with a Pullman car porter, but Roosevelt the individual and Roosevelt the President are not to be viewed in the same light."
Roosevelt addressed the Long Island Bible Society in 1901:
"Every thinking man ... realizes ... that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally—I do not mean figuratively, I mean literally—impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed.
We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards toward which we, with more or less of resolution, strive to raise ourselves.
Almost every man who has by his lifework added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, has based his lifework largely upon the teachings of the Bible ...
Among the greatest men a disproportionately large number have been diligent and close students of the Bible at first hand."
Roosevelt took on his era's version of big tech globalist elites by being a "trust-buster," breaking up monopolies, such as John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company.
He exposed deep-state corruption in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Land Office, and Post Office.
After Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle (1906), Roosevelt harnessed public opinion to pass the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
He intervened to settle labor disputes.
In politics, he sought to replace the concentrated power of big business with the concentrated power of big government, which, unbeknownst to him, would create its own set of problems in the future.
He created the U.S. Forest Service, designating:
5 National Parks;
18 U.S. National Monuments;
51 bird reserves,
4 game preserves,
150 National Forests,
being responsible for a total of 121 forest reserves in 31 states.
He set 230,000,000 acres under public protection and by the end of his second term established 150 million acres of reserved forestry land.
In 1904, he assisted in negotiating a Japan-Russian Treaty, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize.
He intervened in the First Moroccan Crisis, the Venezuelan Crisis, and settled the dispute with Britain over the Alaskan border.
He helped Panama separate from Columbia, and began building the Panama Canal.
Roosevelt argued for the protection of Jews of North Africa.
Ambassador Michael B. Oren noted in Power, Faith and Fantasy, that in Roosevelt's negotiations with Morocco, he insisted they:
"... secured his country's customary concerns in the area, protecting North African Jews from oppression and American merchants from unfair restrictions and fees."
He pressured Romania and Russia to treat their Jewish populations fairly.
After a massacre of Jews in Kishinev, in the Bessarabia Governorate of the Russian Empire, Roosevelt wrote:
"I need not dwell upon a fact so patent as the widespread indignation with which the Americans heard of the dreadful outrages up on the Jews in Kishineff.”
In 1906, Roosevelt became the first president to appoint a Jew as a Cabinet Member - Secretary of Commerce and Labor Oscar Solomon Straus, who owned, with his brother, the Macy's Department Store.
He wrote to Straus:
“I don’t know whether you know it or not, but I want you to become a member of my Cabinet. I have a very high estimate of your character, your judgment and your ability, and I want you for personal reasons. There is still a further reason: I want to show Russia and some other countries what we think of Jews in this country.”
“To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular Church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any Church, is an outrage against the liberty of conscience …
In my Cabinet at the present moment there sit side by side Catholic and Protestant, Christian and Jew, each man chosen because in my belief he is peculiarly fit to exercise on behalf of all our people the duties of the office.”
A member of the Dutch Reformed Church, Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1909:
"After a week on perplexing problems ... it does so rest my soul to come into the house of The Lord and to sing and mean it, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty' ...
(My) great joy and glory that, in occupying an exalted position in the nation, I am enabled, to preach the practical moralities of The Bible to my fellow-countrymen and to hold up Christ as the hope and Savior of the world."
After his Presidency, he helped William Howard Taft to be elected the 27th President.
Roosevelt then led a Smithsonian safari in Africa in 1909, traveled to Egypt, met with Austrian-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II, England's King George V, and other European leaders.
In St. Louis, Missouri, 1910, Roosevelt was the first person who had been President to fly in an airplane.
When a proposal was in 1910 to add a designation of religion to passport, it was opposed by American Jews, who were being denied entrance into Russia.
Roosevelt opposed this proposal, writing to Israel Fischer, June 30, 1911:
"I would not put in the word Hebrew. I believe that from the standpoint of the Christian, just as much as from the standpoint of the Jew, it is ill-advised to treat what is really a religious matter as a race matter.
I know plenty of men, some of them very prominent man, who are of mixed race; and personally I should no more have a man entered on a passport as a Hebrew, than as an Episcopalian, or a Baptist, or a Roman Catholic.”
"It seems to me that it is entirely proper to start a Zionist State around Jerusalem."
He attempted to run for President again in 1912, forming the Bull Moose Party,
His platform was:
"To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics."
At a campaign speech in Milwaukee, October 14, 1912, a saloonkeeper shot Roosevelt in the chest. As the bullet did not hit any vital organs, Roosevelt stood back up and finished his speech, with blood staining his shirt.
The Bull Moose Party effectively split the Republican Party, allowing Woodrow Wilson to be elected the 28th President.
Europe headed into World War I.
Winston Churchill transitioned the British Navy from coal to oil, and as oil was just discovered in Iran, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (BP) was formed in 1908.
Kaiser Wilhelm II industrialized Germany and also needed oil.
He made a treaty with the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II to build a Berlin-Baghdad Railway
On June 28, 1914, Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, beginning World War I.
Half of World War I took place in the Middle East.
In Ottoman Empire, Three Young Turk Pashas orchestrated the massacre of millions of Kurds, Assyrians, Syrians, and Armenians.
Roosevelt wrote of the Turkish Ottoman Empire that:
"... peace could only be real when the Armenians and the Arabs were given their independence, and the Jews given control of Palestine.”
Theodore Roosevelt wrote of this in his book Fear God and Take Your Own Part (NY: George H. Doran Co., 1916), wrote:
"Armenians ... for some centuries have sedulously avoided militarism and war ... are so suffering precisely and exactly because they have been pacifists whereas their neighbors, the Turks, have not been pacifists but militarists." (T. Roosevelt, Fear God, p. 61, 64)
Roosevelt criticized Woodrow Wilson's Administration for doing nothing:
"Armenians, have been subjected to wrongs far greater than any that have been committed since the close of the Napoleonic Wars ... the wars of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane in Asia.
Yet this government has not raised its hand to do anything to help the people who were wronged ...
This course of national infamy ... began when the last Administration surrendered to the peace at-any-price people, and started the negotiation of its foolish and wicked all inclusive arbitration treaties ...
Individuals and nations who preach the doctrine of milk-and-water invariably have in them a softness of fiber which means that they fear to antagonize those who preach and practice the doctrine of blood-and-iron." (T. Roosevelt, Fear God, p. 111)
As America was preparing to enter the War, the New York Bible Society published a pocket New Testament and Book of Psalms in 1917 to be handed out to all the U.S. soldiers, with Theodore Roosevelt writing the introduction:
"The teachings of the New Testament are foreshadowed in Micah's verse (Micah vi. 8):
'What more does the Lord require of thee than to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?'
DO JUSTICE; and therefore fight valiantly against the armies of Germany and Turkey, for these nations in this crisis stand for the reign of Moloch and Beelzebub on this earth.
LOVE MERCY; treat prisoners well, succor the wounded, treat every woman as if she was your sister, care for the little children, and be tender to the old and helpless.
WALK HUMBLY; You will do so if you study the life and teachings of the Saviour.
May the God of justice and mercy have you in His keeping.
-(signed) Theodore Roosevelt."
During World War I, Roosevelt's son Quentin was pilot in Europe, but was tragically shot down and killed July 14, 1918.
Theodore Roosevelt died less than six months later, on January 6, 1919, at the age of 60.
Vice-President Thomas R. Marshall stated:
"Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight."
Of the situation in Turkey, Roosevelt had written in Fear God and Take Your Own Part (1916):
"American eye-witness of the fearful atrocities, Mr. Arthur H. Gleason (New York Tribune, Nov. 25, 1915) ...
Serbia is at this moment passing under the harrow of torture and mortal anguish.
Now, the Armenians have been butchered under circumstances of murder and torture and rape that would have appealed to an old-time Apache Indian ...
Even to nerves dulled and jaded by the heaped-up horrors of the past year and a half, the news of the terrible fate that has befallen the Armenians must give a fresh shock of sympathy and indignation.
Let me emphatically point out that the sympathy is useless unless it is accompanied with indignation, and that the indignation is useless if it exhausts itself in words instead of taking shape in deeds ...
If this people through its government had not shirked its duty ... we would now be able to take effective action on behalf of Armenia.
Mass meetings on behalf of the Armenians amount to nothing whatever if they are mere methods of giving a sentimental but ineffective and safe outlet to the emotion of those engaged in them ...
The principles of the peace-at-any-price men, of the professional pacifists ... will be as absolutely ineffective for international righteousness ...
This crowning iniquity of the wholesale slaughter of the Armenians ... must be shared by the neutral powers headed by the United States for their failure to protest when this initial wrong was committed ..."
Theodore Roosevelt wrote further in Fear God and Take Your Own Part (1916):
"The devastation of Poland and Serbia has been awful beyond description and has been associated with infamies surpassing those of the dreadful religious and racial wars of the seventeenth-century Europe ...
Weak and timid milk-and-water policy of the professional pacifists is just as responsible as the blood-and-iron policy of the ruthless and unscrupulous militarist for the terrible recrudescence of evil on a gigantic scale in the civilized world.
The crowning outrage has been committed by the Turks on the Armenians.
They have suffered atrocities so hideous that it is difficult to name them, atrocities such as those inflicted upon conquered nations by the followers of Attila and of Genghis Khan.
It is dreadful to think that these things can be done and that this nation nevertheless remarks 'neutral not only in deed but in thought,' between right and the most hideous wrong, neutral between despairing and hunted people, people whose little children are murdered and their women raped, and the victorious and evil wrong-doers ...
I trust that all Americans worthy of the name feel their deepest indignation and keenest sympathy aroused by the dreadful Armenian atrocities. I trust that they feel ... that a peace obtained without ... righting the wrongs of the Armenians would be worse than any war ...
Wrongdoing will only be stopped by men who are brave as well as just, who put honor above safety, who are true to a lofty ideal of duty, who prepare in advance to make their strength effective, and who shrink from no hazard, not even the final hazard of war, if necessary in order to serve the great cause of righteousness.
When our people take this stand, we shall also be able effectively to take a stand in international matters which shall prevent such cataclysms of wrong as have been witnesses ... on an even greater scale in Armenia. (T. Roosevelt, Fear God, pp. 377-383)
In his book Fear God and Take Your Part, 1916, Theodore Roosevelt wrote:
"Christianity is not the creed of Asia and Africa at this moment solely because the seventh century Christians of Asia and Africa had trained themselves not to fight, whereas the Moslems were trained to fight.
Christianity was saved in Europe solely because the peoples of Europe fought.
If the peoples of Europe in the 7th and 8th centuries, and on up to and including the 17th century, had not possessed a military equality with, and gradually a growing superiority over the Mohammedans who invaded Europe, Europe would at this moment be Mohammedan and the Christian religion would be exterminated."
A contemporary of Theodore Roosevelt was the English author G.K. Chesterton, who wrote of Western Christian Civilization (The Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton: Volume XX, Introduction and Notes by James V. Schall, Ignatius Press):
"They seem entirely to forget that long before the Crusaders had dreamed of riding to Jerusalem, the Moslems had almost ridden into Paris."
Theodore Roosevelt continued in Fear God and Take Your Part, 1916:
"Wherever the Mohammedans have had complete sway, wherever the Christians have been unable to resist them by the sword, Christianity has ultimately disappeared.
From the hammer of Charles Martel to the sword of Jan Sobieski, Christianity owed its safety in Europe to the fact that it was able to show that it could and would fight as well as the Mohammedan aggressor."
In 1909, Roosevelt stated:
"The thought of modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming.
The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining. The choice between the two is upon us."