The short story of Alice Roosevelt

Alice Roosevelt

“I would have run for office. If I were very young I would try to get over the shyness of speaking in public. I still have it. I shuddered with terror when people tried to make me get up and speak. It was just false pride I suppose. But I’m really very shy.”

Alice Roosevelt was the daughter of Teddy Roosevelt. And Alice was known as a rule breaker. In an era when women were under great pressure to conform, conform she did not.

She smoked in public, chewed gum, wore pants, raced her own car too fast down D.C. streets, sometimes with male passengers and always unchaperoned, placed bets on horses (a news photographer snapped her collecting her winnings from a bookie).

All these antics played out in the press, as she was the child of a President. Her father was furious. But there was little he could.

Alice had lost her mother two days after birth. And while she had a stepmother, Alice complained often that she felt like the family’s stepchild; that she longed for attention from her father and, when she didn’t get it, acted out to force him to pay her heed.

Her father would remark as President, “I can either run the country or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both.”


Account of arriving at Manzanar Relocation Center

The Mochida family awaiting evacuation

“When we got to Manzanar, it was getting dark and we were given numbers first. We went down to the mess hall, and I remember the first meal we were given in those tin plates and tin cups. It was canned wieners and canned spinach. It was all the food we had, and then after finishing that we were taken to our barracks.

It was dark and trenches were here and there. You’d fall in and get up and finally got to the barracks. The floors were boarded, but the were about a quarter to half inch apart, and the next morning you could see the ground below.

The next morning, the first morning in Manzanar, when I woke up and saw what Manzanar looked like, I just cried. And then I saw the mountain, the high Sierra Mountain, just like my native country’s mountain, and I just cried, that’s all.

I couldn’t think about anything.”

— Yuri Tateishi, Manzanar Relocation Center

Note: photo is of members of the Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus. Identification tags were used to help keep family units intact during all phases of evacuation.


The short story of the tallest man, Robert Wadlow

Robert Wadlow with his father

He had a deep voice and a soft playful smile, and he knew all the history of his hometown of Alton, Illinois, and he liked to take photographs of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus that he was part of.

And in so many ways he was just a kid, sixteen, doing normal activities such as serving as the advertising manager for his school’s yearbook.

But he always stood out. For Robert Wadlow was tall. Very tall. By sixteen, which is when this photograph was taken, he was almost eight feet tall. And he would continue to grow. All the way to a height of 8 feet 11.1 inches.

His rapid growth left him with brittle bones. Rarely did he walk without leg braces and a cane. And while he had relatively good health in his youth, Robert had little feeling in his legs and feet as he grew older.

He passed away at the age of 22 from an infection, caused by a faulty brace which irritated his ankle and led to a blister. At the time of his death, it was said that he was still growing.

Note: Photograph is of Robert and his father, taken in 1938.