Theodore Roosevelt

…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.


You Get a History Lesson Today

Why do you get a history lesson today? Because I said so, and because I feel it’s important.  This is one of those awesome, interesting things of history that seems to be not taught in schools. Which is complete bull shit.

The Battle of Cable Street (or the Cable Street Riot)

London, 1936. October 4th, a Sunday. The British Union of Fascists are having a march through the East End of London, a heavily Jewish community. Lead by Oswald Mosley, the fascists march, wearing uniforms based on the Blackshirts. The anti-fascists (mostly Jewish, socialist, Irish and communist groups) form barricades and road blocks on Cable St. The police accompany the march, knowing there will be violence. The anti-fascists (over 300,000 civilians), throw stones and broken glass, fight with their own fists, repeating the mantra “They Shall Not Pass.” The police attempt to fight back using their batons. Their brutality only makes the anti-fascists fight back harder. By late afternoon, the fascists are escorted away from East End by the police. The civilians have won Cable Street.

It was symbolic. It wasn’t just the stopping of a march. It was a strike against fascism. A strike by the common people. An eyewitness of the battle said, “I shall never forget that as long as I live, how working-class people could get together to oppose the evil of racism.”

This is something that could be done now. No more useless online petitions, no more sitting back and watching as everything happens. So many people are discontent with how things are run here, particularly in America. So why don’t they do something about it instead of sitting on their asses and bitching? I don’t know. We need a revolution, a rebellion. It won’t be long.

My theory? America is the new Roman Empire. There will be a societal collapse in our future, likely soon. The glue is weakened and the stones are coming up from the streets. The French Revolution all over again. Who throws the first stone though?

OK, history rant over. I’m linking to the song that inspired this. Great song, great moment in history.


I am a complete history geek. It has come to my attention many times in recent and not-so-recent years that a lot of people are of the mind frame of “Oh, history is boring, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a bunch of dead guys, what’s so great about them?” I heard one of the best rebuttals to that “bunch of dead guys” comment from my dad not long ago. “Never forget that those ‘dead guys’ were once alive.”

And he’s right. They were just as alive as you and me. Part of the reason, I think, why so many people find history “boring and useless” is because we’re so far removed from it. We aren’t given anything we can relate to.  The way history is taught in most places is absolutely appalling.  Being told to read out of a textbook and do definitions is not history.  History should be told as a series of stories.  How every event leads to another.  All the people as characters, all the events as a plot.  But would most teachers ever do that?  No.  Because that’s not good for the “OMFG standardized tests!”  I hate the education system.