Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Can Shoot Him, But You Can’t Kill Him – Teddy Roosevelt Shot on the Campaign Trail – October 14, 1912

In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt was engaged in the political fight of his life, and on October 14th it briefly turned into a fight for his life itself. While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the presidential candidate for the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party, Teddy Roosevelt was shot at close range by saloonkeeper John Schrank. Roosevelt was greeting a crowd in front of the Gilpatrick Hotel before a speech when Schrank aimed his gun at Roosevelt’s heart and fired a .32-caliber bullet. What kept the bullet from killing Roosevelt were the contents of his breast pocket; a glasses case and a folded speech that he planned to deliver that evening. As a result of the obstructions, Roosevelt received only a flesh wound rather than a mortal wound. In true “Rough Rider” spirit, Teddy Roosevelt insisted on giving his speech as planned saying “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose.” After finishing the speech, Roosevelt was rushed to the hospital. One can only hope that Roosevelt said “Bully” at some point.
Nothing says devotion on the campaign trail like being willing to deliver a speech even after being shot. This makes it all the more tragic that Roosevelt did not go on to win the election. Even though he served as president from 1901 to 1909, Roosevelt lost the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Shrank, meanwhile, was ruled insane and spent the rest of his life in a mental hospital.

[Image via
Wikipedia and answers]

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