Facts About Theodore Roosevelt

 

Laurel King, Contributor

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facts about theodore rooseveltFacts about Theodore Roosevelt are easy to come by. But interesting facts about Theodore Roosevelt are little harder to find. While many of his important political accomplishments have been thoroughly dissected, analyzed, and discussed, some of his more personal facts have only been mentioned in passing.

Some fun facts about Teddy Roosevelt can be found as early as his ninth year of life. At the time, he was sick a lot, because he suffered from asthma and allergies, and there were no effective treatments for it (such as inhalers). Because of his illnesses, he was restricted to his home – and bed – for most of the day. But one day, he went to the market and saw a seal's head (which had washed ashore a few days before). Determined to have it, he begged until it was brought home, where he studied it, intently. This began a lifelong fascination with zoology (the study of animals), and led to him coercing two cousins to start their own 'Roosevelt Natural History Museum' at Teddy's home in 1867. He even wrote a paper about insects, with very careful notes, measurements, and drawings.

Years later, when he graduated from Harvard, his collection of animals and notebooks detailing his observations were donated to the Smithsonian. Other important facts about Theodore Roosevelt include his family being descended from Dutch colonists, who settled in the New York area in the mid-1600s. He claimed his religion as 'Dutch Reformed', and attended services nearly every Sunday (unless he was on an expedition or otherwise engaged).

A few interesting facts about President Theodore Roosevelt are: he was the youngest president, taking office at the age of 42, following the assassination of McKinley. While he was president, he was the first to: ride in a plane, ride in a car, own a car, invite an African American to the White House (Booker T. Washington), have a phone in his house, travel outside the country while he was president, host the Olympics (1904), and dive in a submarine. He also became the first U.S. citizen to be awarded the Nobel Prize, when he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his peace negotiations in the Russo-Japan War (1905, Portsmouth Treaty). He was also the only president to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (posthumously, in 2001).

Some really cool facts about Theodore Roosevelt that might interest kids are: he was right handed, a Scorpio sign, born October 27, 1858 (just a few days before Halloween). As an adult, he was only 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 220 pounds, and wore a size 4 or 5 men's shoe. He liked to box a lot, until he was punched so badly in his left eye he went blind. Then he decided to learn judo, receiving his brown belt in that sport. He loved to go hiking, hunting, rowing, and canoeing. One of his favorite past times was reading, but he also enjoyed polo, tennis, and swimming. When he was only 13, his father finally discovered he had really bad eyesight, while they were target shooting with a rifle. After that, Teddy wore really thick glasses; he thought it made him look funny, but they helped him become an expert shooter.

For more fun facts about Theodore Roosevelt, there is a wealth of information in books, which he loved dearly.