Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most bad-ass presidents in American history. He was an avid reader, writer, and outdoorsman. In addition to helping shape America’s history, he set the standards for modern day mustaches.
1. Theodore Roosevelt had an incredibly good memory. It was claimed he had actually had a photographic memory, but this is a claim that is regularly disputed. However, there are several documented cases where Roosevelt could recite content and over a decade after he originally read them.
2. Roosevelt was present the Abraham Lincoln funeral procession when he was a child in 1865. The photo proving this surfaced in the 1950s and shows him and his brother were in the window of his grandfather’s mansion watching the procession.
3. Though he was aggressive about foreign policy, he was also considered a peacemaker. He served as the negotiator in the Russo-Japanese and was able to convince Japan and Russia to attend a peace conference in 1906, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to end their conflict. Because of this, TR was the first American and first President awarded the Nobel Prize.
4. Roosevelt was a Sunday school teacher but believed strongly in the separation of Church and State. When he took his oath of office, he did not swear on the Bible.
5. Not only did Roosevelt have a really, really good memory and love to read, he was a copious writer. Thanks, too, to his high energy level, Teddy wrote not only an autobiography, but approximately 35 books and an estimated 150,000 letters.
6. TR suffered a detached retina in 1908 after becoming blind in one eye due to a boxing injury in the White House. He later switched to jiu-jitsu and became a black belt.
7. While in office, Roosevelt was the first president to travel outside of the continental United States, traveling to Panama in 1906.
8. Roosevelt was a dropout. Even though Roosevelt graduated from Harvard, he left Columbia law school sans degree. He had become preoccupied with local politics and subsequently lost interest in a legal career.
9. Roosevelt was known to go skinny-dipping in the Potomac River during the wintertime. Just sayin’.
10. Roosevelt took a four minute flight in a plane built by the Wright brothers on October 11, 1910. This made him first president to fly in an airplane.
11. “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot,” Roosevelt said, “but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” On October 14, 1912, Roosevelt was shot by a local shop-keeper while giving a speech on his campaign in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The bullet was lodged in his chest after passing through a pocket holding his steel eyeglass case and his 50-page speech – which had been folded in half. He declined treatment following the incident and continued to give his 90-minute speech while blood seeped from the wound into his shirt.