Wednesday, October 27, 2010

In Memoriam: Theodore Roosevelt

The 26th President of the United States left behind him a legacy few (if any) have been able to best; his accomplishments as a politician, historian, naturalist, explorer, author, and soldier leave many of his dour predecessors in the dust, and produced mighty big boots for his successors to fill...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketBorn on this day in 1858, Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest President ever, succeeding the assassinated President William McKinley in 1901; a Republican, he was nevertheless a towering figure of the Progressive movement, and laboured mightily to infuse his party with those ideals. He was known to despise corruption and greed, favour conservation of the landscape, and use a no-nonsense approach in all his dealings.

His famous maxim 'speak softly and carry a big stick' contributed to a foreign policy which bordered on the imperialistic, though; believing the United States to be the apex of civilization, he ran roughshod over countries like Panama in order to build a canal through its isthmus (not to mention running Rough Rider over Spain in Cuba and the Philippines) in the years leading up to his presidency.

The author of thirty five books on various topics, boundlessly energetic, and a vigourous debater, the life and deeds of Theodore Roosevelt make for the kind of real-life story that would seem implausible in a work of fiction. Larger than life in life, he is even larger still in death, being one of four Presidents to adorn Mt. Rushmore.
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