In 1919, on this day America's only three-term President Theodore Roosevelt died in Oyster Bay, New York. He was sixty years old.
Three-term President Roosevelt passes awayHe became the longest-serving president in the nation's history. But inevitably, his final election victory in 1912 was a matter of controversy and high drama. He was nominated for the presidency by the Bull Moose (Progressive) Party. "This bull moose shall roar his way back into the White House," he said in his acceptance speech.
The Progressives campaigned vigorously for him, but he seemed to be a long shot until October 12th. An insane gentleman by the name of William Shrenk attempted to assassinate him, declaring that "Any man looking for a third term ought to be shot". Schrenk missed Roosevelt, but the attempt transformed the former president into something akin to a martyr for the progressive cause.
People flocked to his speeches in the fall, and in November, he narrowly edged out the Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, to win what was actually only his second full term in the White House. Perhaps Roosevelt's greatest legacy was the rise of the Progressive Party and the diminishment of the Republicans. Although old money himself, Roosevelt's Progressives supported the rights of unions, as well as several reigns on big businesses and trusts during his time in the White House. In 1916, although the Progressives wished to nominate him again, he declined and supported instead his Vice-President, Hiram Johnson, who barely won the office after a campaign blitz from the old Bull Moose lifted his fortunes.