President Roosevelt gives speech after being shot

“Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. 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.”

It was 1912 and Teddy Roosevelt was on the campaign trail. Dressed in his Army overcoat with a 50-page speech folded double in his breast pocket along with his metal spectacles case, Teddy was getting into his open car to go to a speech.

That’s when he was shot. 

“I am going to drive to the hall and deliver my speech,” he said.

Having handled guns as a hunter, a cowboy and an officer during the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt knew enough to put a finger to his lips to see if he was bleeding from the mouth. When he saw that he was not, he concluded that the bullet had not entered his lung.

An examination by three doctors backstage at the auditorium revealed that the bullet had been slowed by the thick manuscript and the spectacles case. But there was a dime-size hole in his chest, below his right nipple, and a fist-size stain on his shirt. He requested a clean handkerchief to cover the wound and headed for the stage, where he gave almost a ninety minute speech.

Then he went to the hospital “where X-rays determined that the bullet had lodged in a rib. It would remain there for the rest of his life.”

Theodore Roosevelt portrait taken circa 1904. He's wearing a three piece suit, glasses, and his hair is neatly combed with a part on the side and a mustuche.
Theodore Roosevelt, circa 1904

Notes:

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