Today In History: Teddy Roosevelt Shot, Gives Speech Anyway
On this day in 1912, a saloonkeeper named John Schrank shot former President Theodore Roosevelt while Roosevelt, as the presidential candidate of the Progressive Party, prepared to give a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wis.
The force of Schrank’s bullet, aimed directly at Roosevelt’s heart, was slowed by a steel eyeglass case and a copy of his campaign speech stuffed in the breast pocket of his heavy coat. After being arrested, Schrank gave as his motive for the shooting his belief that “any man looking for a third term ought to be shot.”
Having suffered only a flesh wound from the attack, Roosevelt went on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still lodged in his body.
After speaking a few words, the one-time “Rough Rider” pulled a torn and bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket and declared, “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a bull moose.”
Roosevelt went on to deliver an hour long speech before proceeding to a hospital.