Happy Birthday Teddy Roosevelt!

Yes, today is the 153rd birthday of our 26th president.

It’s also true that our 26th president was one of our more colorful characters! 

He came to public prominence during the Spanish-American War in 1898 as Colonel Roosevelt of the “Rough Riders”; you know, the dude who conquered San Juan Hill down in Cuba.  How important this victory actually was is the subject of a lot of conjecture, but one things is definite… Roosevelt became a star as a result.

In 1900, he became William McKinley‘s running mate and ended up as president upon Mr. McKinley’s assassination in 1901, much to the chagrin of those who made him VP to get him out of New York!

Roosevelt was famous for clicking his teeth (usually three or more times in loud succession when he was happy about something… a habit that tended to unnerve people.

He was the kind of guy who couldn’t sit still, pacing furiously across rooms where ever he went.  He was an ardent advocate of the “strenuous life” in which he was always active and on the go… something that made the cartoonists of his day pretty happy.

He was also a serious president, enacting many reforms and taking credit for even more…

…and was quite busy in foreign affairs walking softly and carrying big sticks with him; he even won the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering peace in the Russo-Japanese war.

He is very famous for splitting with his party in 1912 to oppose his own hand-picked successor, William Howard Taft in the general election leading to the victory of Woodrow Wilson that year. (thanks a lot, Ted)

Here’s something Mr. Roosevelt did that most people don’t know about: he completely remodeled the White House, making it the building we are familiar with today. He moved the president’s office and working space to a new West Wing…

And, as you will see in the remaining photos, he transformed the White House from a threadbare old Victorian to a more modern look… Here’s his new entrance hall

His new look Blue Room…

The new look Red Room…

and the Green Room…

…and of course the East Room…

…and finally the all new State Dining Room (note the dead animal heads overlooking your dinner!)

(White House pictures source: White House Museum)

And so there you go; an all new reference for you!

Theodore Roosevelt: Interior Decorator

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in History, Random thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Happy Birthday Teddy Roosevelt!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Now I am as big as fan as anyone for President Roosevelt, but what about the issue with politically charged war in Cuba. I am beginning to sense that he was very “strategic” in his Cuban campaign.

  2. Whatever it was, the Colonel made the most of it!

  3. Pingback: William McKinley and the American Century « Life Reference

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