Today In History: Teddy Roosevelt Shot, Gives Speech Anyway

Ninety-eight years ago today:

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.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    Henry Clay Frick did exactly the same after an assasination attempt during the homestead steel strike. Although seriously wounded he remained at his desk until the close of business. And then went home to figure out new ways to screw the United Steelworkers. Those were the days.

  2. Weird… I was just reading about this event the other day in a book I bought at Mount Rushmore not too long ago.