Bully!

Teddy Roosevelt
BAMF fo sho.

No, not the kid who takes your lunch money or that diabolical girl next door who knows exactly who to make you cry. I’m talking that cry often said by one of the greatest men in U.S. history, Teddy BAMF Roosevelt.

If you’re one of my friends, or a member of my quiz bowl team, you know that I adore Teddy Roosevelt. I mention him quite often, though not as often as I may mention a certain Steve Rogers, aka Captain America.  There’s even a photo of him currently hanging on the Wall of Awesome in my office. Teddy, I mean.

Because the man is seriously awesome.

So, what makes our 26th President a BAMF? I shall enlighten you and hopefully make you a convert to my Teddy Roosevelt Appreciation Society.

First off, if you aren’t sure who Teddy is, he’s a fifth cousin of another Roosevelt – Franklin D. Roosevelt, the longest serving President. But I’d argue that Teddy is the way more awesome cousin, though FDR was pretty darn cool himself, especially seeing how he got us out of the Great Depression and most of the way through World War II. 

But I digress.

Teddy accomplished many awesome things in his life, and his achievements are legendary. Now, I’m not going to write you a biography. Instead, I hope to inspire you to run out and learn more. So here are my personal favorite reasons why he’s a BAMF (in no particular order):

  • At the age of seven, he and two cousins created the Roosevelt Museum of Natural History and he taught himself rudimentary taxidermy to preserve his specimens.
  • Speaking of history, he was considered to be a serious historian after publishing his first book The Naval War of 1812
  • You know he was President, Vice-President and even Governor of New York. Did you know he was a deputy sheriff in the Dakota Territory, New York City Police Commissioner or Assistant Secretary of the Navy?
  • Youngest man to ever be President, assuming office after President William McKinley was assassinated. Take that JFK!
  • If you wanted to talk policy with President Roosevelt, you first had to fight him in Judo. That’s right. Fight him in Judo. Awesome.
  • He was considered an authority on American mammals, and he led scientific expeditions for animals in South America and Africa.
  • He was a big game hunter – yes, we all know this. But did you know he was a rancher in the Badlands of the Dakotas?
  • He wrote more than 35 books and on many occasions, would read a book a day. Along with Thomas Jefferson, Teddy is known as one of the most well-read presidents.
  • As President, he designated 150 National Forests, 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 5 National Parks, 18 National Monuments, 4 National Game Preserves and 21 Reclamation Projects.
  • Oh, and don’t forget getting the building of the Panama Canal rolling.
  • Won the Nobel Peace Prize (which only 2 other Presidents have won – Carter and Obama) for negotiating the end of the Russo-Japanese War.
  • He’s the reason we have meat inspections – thank you, baby Jesus!
  • Teddy was friends with F.O. Stanley, founder of the Stanley Hotel (you know, the haunted hotel that inspired Stephen King to write The Shining). When visiting Stanley in Estes Park, CO, Teddy would have a friend dress up as a bear to block the mountain pass and scare the guests.
  • His nickname was Teedie.
  • He hated the name Teddy, calling it “an outrageous impertinence.” Whoops!
  • Who was the first President to be seen riding in a car in public? That’s right!
  • And he is the reason why we have the White House Press Room.
  • He had a son named Kermit.
  • Yes, Virginia, teddy bears are named after Teedie.
  • He is one of the racing presidents during Washington Nationals home games, but he never wins the race.
  • Was an avid boxer until he was punched so hard it detached his retina and he went blind in one eye. And that happened while he was President; he just never told anyone.
  • He loved to skinny dip. In the Potomac River. In the winter.
  • His ghost is said to haunt the bar of the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, TX, where he recruited men to serve as Rough Riders. 
  • He is the first and only President to have received the Medal of Honor, which had been denied to him until 2001, when he was posthumously awarded the honor by President Bill Clinton.

And perhaps the greatest fact of all time: Just before giving a speech, good ole Teddy was shot by a would-be assassin. After determining that his wound was not fatal because he wasn’t coughing up blood, Teddy gave that speech, talking for 90 minutes. His greeting to the crowd? “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” 

Oh, and he didn’t have the bullet removed. 

Seriously. Does this sound like someone who was a sickly, asthmatic child? Does this sound like a man who was told to avoid strenuous activities to placate his heart problems? Nope, but he was, and the fact that he overcame his illnesses and lived an awesome life during a time when medical care was only starting to get serious shows that the man is a BAMF.

Many facts courtesy of http://www.theodoreroosevelt.com and theodoreroosevelt.org. Of course, many are just things I’ve learned after years of learning about my favorite President.

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