…and why he’s so fucking badass.
He was a sickly little kid. Asthmatic, got sick a lot. But instead of staying in bed all the time, do you know what he did? He learned to box. He killed and caught animals to learn about them. While he was in college, he boxed and rowed. When he graduated, a doctor advised him to avoid strenuous activity due to serious heart problems. Did Roosevelt do it? No. Obviously.
He got married. Come on, what girl in their right mind wouldn’t marry someone so badass? Two days after his daughter was born, his wife died. His mother died on the same day in the same house. Did Roosevelt do what any normal man would do and become consumed with grief? No. He became a cowboy, instead.
Then there was a war. Did Roosevelt run and hide? No. He practically singlehandedly instructed the US Navy and said “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.” The dude welcomed war. That’s fucking hardcore.
He formed the First United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. How did he do so? He called in his old cowboy buddies. They were referred to as the Rough Riders. Do you know what Roosevelt did with the Rough Riders? He took them to Cuba to fight the Spanish. They arrived just in time to march up a huge fucking hill to go kill some Spaniards. He led them up this hill on foot. He was in the very lead, and I imagine he was thinking something along the lines of “If you guys don’t want to kick some ass, go ahead and stay behind, but I’m gonna go and bash some heads in.”
He was nominated for the Medal of Honor after the war. He was declined. Why? Because he spoke out openly about the war. As it is, he was awarded the Medal of Honor after he died. His son won one posthumously, too. His awesomeness was passed on to his offspring, clearly.
Roosevelt then went on to become the governor of New York. Then he became Vice President to President McKinley. You know what he said in a speech when he was campaigning for President? “Speak softly and carry a big stick, and you will go far.” In other words, “Shut your face and grab a weapon, and you will kick ass. Not as much as me of course.”
While Roosevelt was Vice President, President McKinley was shot, right here in Buffalo. Sucks. Roosevelt was told that McKinley would recover, and Roosevelt went camping with his family. Then, McKinley died. Roosevelt was President.
What happened during his Presidency can be summed up easily: he broke up the trusts, he started the conservation movements, he made the Navy bigger, he ended a war he wasn’t even involved in, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, he cut a fucking hole through Panama, he put Lincoln on the penny, and he became the first President to learn judo.
That’s right. He has both the Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize. One award essentially for being violent, and the other for being peacefully. What did you expect from Roosevelt? Nothing less, I would assume.
After he left office, he went on a safari in Africa. He went on a safari in the name of science, or so it’s said. Between Roosevelt and his companions, they killed and trapped approximately 11,397 animals. Around 300 of them were eaten. The rest were sent to the Smithsonian, and many of them were then passed on to other museums. You know, since there were duplicates. Roosevelt killed shit in the name of science.
When he returned to the States, he was shot by a bartender while campaigning. The bullet pierced his steel eyeglass case and the 50 page speech in his pocket and lodged in his chest. Since he knew his shit, he was able to determine that it was not a lethal wound and did not go to a hospital right away. Instead, he went out and gave his 90-minute speech, bleeding through his shirt the whole time. The bullet ended up being too dangerous to remove and instead was left inside him.
After that, he went to South America. He got malaria and a bad leg wound. He was seriously fucking sick, but I don’t really feel like describing the whole thing. Look it up on Wikipedia if you wish. When he finally died, Woodrow Wilson’s Vice President said “Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.” Fucking agreed.
So now you see why President Theodore Roosevelt was so fucking hardcore. What I want to know is “Why aren’t we taught about any of this in history class?” Seriously. I used Wikipedia for this whole thing. I learned next to none of it in school. PEOPLE NEED TO BE TOLD OF THIS MAN’S MOST EPIC BADASSERY.