Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27 - Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

155 years ago: Theodore "T.R." Roosevelt, Jr., who was elected the 26th President of the United States in 1901, was born on October 27, 1858, in New York, NY. His father was a philanthropist, his mother a socialite. An asthmatic, he had to sleep propped up in bed or in a chair in his youth. Although frequently ill, he was a hyperactive hellion. During his life, Roosevelt wrote 18 books, including his Autobiography, The Rough Riders and a four-volume The Winning of the West. The Teddy bear is named for him, but he deeply disliked the name “Teddy” and was unafraid to let people know it. He deplored the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency, writing that "It seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements." He often skinny-dipped in the Potomac and pursued strenuous exercise, including boxing. But he discontinued sparring when a blow to his left eye while President detached his retina and left him blind in that eye – a fact that was concealed for years.

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