The New Student's Reference Work/Roosevelt, Theodore
Roosevelt (rō′ ze-vĕlt), Theodore, twenty-fifth president of the United States, was born at New York City, Oct. 27, 1858, and graduated from Harvard University in 1880. In 1882 he entered the New York legislature, and rose to a commanding position as reformer. In 1895 he was made president of the police commission of New York City and made his service notable by important reforms. On the outbreak of the Spanish-American War he was appointed assistant-secretary of the United States navy, but resigned after a few months’ service and organized the 1st United States cavalry volunteers, popularly known as Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, which he commanded, and with this body rendered distinguished service in Cuba, especially at the battle of Las Guasimas and at El Caney and San Juan hill. In 1898 he was elected Republican governor of New York, and in 1900 Vice President of the United States on the ticket with Mr. KcKinley, upon whose death he became president. In 1904 he was himself elected to that office and in that wider field, displayed the same executive ability and devotion to public service which had characterized his previous career.
In 1912 he was nominated for President by the Progressive Party, which he helped to form (see Taft). Although defeated by the Democratic candidate Woodrow Wilson, he polled a large vote, second only to that of Mr. Wilson, and its leaders announced that the organization of the party would be made permanent. A dramatic feature of the campaign was the attempt on the life of Mr. Roosevelt at Milwaukee by an insane man, as a result of which Wisconsin passed a law providing thirty years imprisonment for attempts to kill a presidential candidate.
Among the important features of his administrations were: Prosecution of corporations accused of violating federal laws; securing of the Panama canal-zone by the United States (see Panama Canal); establishment of civil government and opening of public schools in the Philippines; the establishment of agricultural and other bureaus for the development of their rich resources, the meeting of the first Filipino legislature in 1908; the creation of the Department of Commerce and Labor; commercial treaties with Cuba and China; the mediation of President Roosevelt between Russia and Japan, thus ending the war; the settlement with Great Britain of the Alaskan boundary; the completion of the Pacific cable to the Philippines; the Cuban revolution; the pacification of the island under American occupation and its restoration to the newly organized republic in 1909; the passage of the pure-food bill and the railroad-rate bill; the admission of Oklahoma mto the Union in 1907. After the close of his term as president, Roosevelt spent a year hunting in Africa. In 1912 he again entered politics and ran for president as candidate of the Progressive party. Mr. Roosevelt at one time expected to make literature his life-work. His chief writings include The Winning of the West, American Ideals, The Rough Riders, Life of Gouverneur Morris, Life of T. H. Benton, History of the Naval War of 1812, Life of Oliver Cromwell, The Strenuous Life, The Wilderness-Hunter, Hunting the Grizzly, Hunting-Trips of a Ranchman and Out-Door Pastimes of an American Hunter.