116 years ago, July 1, Teddy Roosevelt “rode” into history

July 2, 2014

American Experience makes a Facebook presence.  On July 1, they posted one of my favorite photos of Teddy Roosevelt (and one of the more famous):

On July 1, 1898 Theodore Roosevelt and his volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, stormed Kettle Hill and helped capture San Juan Hill. Learn more about Roosevelt and the Rough Riders: http://to.pbs.org/1x730Kv

Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, atop San Juan Hill in Cuba, ostensibly; circa July 1, 1898.

American Experience

On July 1, 1898 Theodore Roosevelt and his volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, stormed Kettle Hill and helped capture San Juan Hill.

Learn more about Roosevelt and the Rough Riders: http://to.pbs.org/1x730Kv

But, it’s Teddy Roosevelt!  There is always so much more!

On my Facebook timeline I answered:

And started the ball rolling that would make Teddy Roosevelt the only person ever to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace, and the Medal of Honor for war.

What an interesting character.

P.S. — TR resigned his job as Asst. Secretary of the Navy to enlist; told that there was no group for him to lead, he proceeded to recruit fellow Harvard Law classmates, and fellow South Dakota cowboys, to form the roughriders. Wouldn’t you love to have sat around a campfire with THAT group?

The horses of the Rough Riders were stuck on a ship in the harbor when they made this assault. Famous for riding horses, their reputation was earned on foot, with their horses on a boat.

You couldn’t make that stuff up for a fictional account.

It was a short war; by the end of the year TR was back in New York, wangling to get elected governor, which he did.  His do-good, reformer ways rubbed the corrupt GOP machine the wrong way, however, and when William McKinley’s Vice President Garret A. Hobart died, they seized the opportunity to bury Roosevelt forever; they got him nominated vice president for McKinley’s second term.  They probably remembered, and thought always true, that old Mark Twain story, about the poor widow who had two sons:  One went off to sea, and the other was elected vice president, and neither was ever heard from again.

Assassination struck for the third time in our presidential history.  By the end of 1901, Teddy Roosevelt was President of the United States.

Just like Teddy to ride into history, too impatient to wait for a horse to ride on.

John Adams’s greatest error

July 2, 2014

“The Second Day of July 1776 will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776

In writing to his wife Abigail on July 3, John Adams committed one of those grand errors even he would laugh at afterward.  We’ll forgive him when the fireworks start firing.

1776 filled the calendar with dates deserving of remembrance and even celebration. John Adams, delegate from Massachusetts to the Second Continental Congress, wrote home to his wife Abigail that future generations would celebrate July 2, the date the Congress voted to approve Richard Henry Lee’s resolution declaring independence from Britain for 13 of the British colonies in America.

Continental congress DSC_0607

Scene of the crime — Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the Second Continental congress approved the resolution to declare the colonies independent from Britain – (Photo credit: diablodale)

Two days later, that same Congress approved the wording of the document Thomas Jefferson had drafted to announce Lee’s resolution to the world.

Today, we celebrate the date of the document Jefferson wrote, and Richard Henry Lee is often a reduced to a footnote, if not erased from history altogether.

Who can predict the future?

(You know, of course, that Adams and Jefferson both died 50 years to the day after the Declaration of Independence, on July 4, 1826. In the 50 intervening years, Adams and Jefferson were comrades in arms and diplomacy in Europe, officers of the new government in America, opposing candidates for the presidency, President and Vice President, ex-President and President, bitter enemies, then long-distance friends writing almost daily about how to make a great new nation. Read David McCullough‘s version of the story, if you can find it.)

(Yes, this is mostly an encore post.)

More, and Related articles:

The Lee Resolution.

The Lee Resolution, passed by the Second Continental Congress on July 2, 1776 – Wikipedia image (Wait a minute: Are those numbers added correctly? What are they?)



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