June 7, 1898, President William McKinley at his desk

June 7, 2016

Library of Congress description: William McKinley, full-length portrait, seated at desk, facing right, June 7, 1898. Library of Congress image

Library of Congress description: William McKinley, full-length portrait, seated at desk, facing right, June 7, 1898. Library of Congress image

If you think the office looks smaller than today’s Oval Office, you’re right. Creation of the Oval Office came 11 years after this photo, when President William Howard Taft expanded the permanent structure of the West Wing of the White House in 1909. On the right of the photo is the massive globe map of the world probably most famous from photos with Teddy Roosevelt, who succeeded to the presidency in 1901 when McKinley was assassinated.


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.


June 12, 1898 – U.S. flag rises over Guantanamo Bay

June 12, 2009

Hoisting the flag at Guantanamo, Cuba, June 12, 1898.  Image from the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress

Hoisting the flag at Guantanamo, Cuba, June 12, 1898. Edward H. Hart, photographer. Image from the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress

Oh, it’s important in retrospect, no?

On June 10, 1898, U.S. Marines landed at Guantánamo Bay. For the next month, American troops fought a land war in Cuba that resulted in the end of Spanish colonial rule in the Western Hemisphere. Cuban rebels had gained the sympathy of the American public while the explosion and sinking of the U.S.S. Maine, widely blamed on the Spanish despite the absence of conclusive evidence, further boosted American nationalistic fervor.

On June 12, the area was secured and the flag posted.

Read a lot more about this event, and get resources on the Spanish-American War, at the Library of Congress.


%d bloggers like this: