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Where Was Theodore Roosevelt Born? And Other Teddy Fun Facts

Image: Where Was Theodore Roosevelt Born? And Other Teddy Fun Facts
Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt at age 10 and Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, reconstructed home of 26th president at 28 East 20th street in Manhattan, New York City, New York. (AP Photo; dreamstime)

By    |   Sunday, 07 Sep 2014 04:31 PM

Where was Teddy Roosevelt born? His political career essentially began in a brownstone at 28 E. 20th St., New York City, when the future leader of the free world was born Oct. 27, 1858. The building, located between Broadway and Park Avenue, has since been preserved as a national landmark.

Beyond serving as America's 26th president from 1901-09, Roosevelt had a varied life in which he was also a governor, author, cattle rancher, naturalist, explorer, historian, Rough Rider, lawyer, and police commissioner.

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While it's impossible to name all of his accomplishments, here are some interesting facts.

1. At 42, he remains the youngest person to become president, which happened when William McKinley was assassinated. Roosevelt was also the first vice president to succeed a slain president, and then later win an election. Seven presidents have served while in their 40s, with John F. Kennedy the next youngest at 43.

2. The Teddy Bear is named for him. During a hunting trip to Mississippi, members of his group tied a bear to a tree for Roosevelt to shoot. The president spared the animal because it was unsportsmanlike. The story was depicted in a cartoon, and a New York toymaker obtained Roosevelt's permission to style a child's stuffed toy bear after him.

3. Roosevelt wrote more than three dozen books on a wide range of topics, beginning with "The Naval War of 1812," which he wrote as a 23-year-old Harvard student. He also wrote his autobiography, "A Strenuous Life," as well as a biography of Oliver Cromwell and the four-volume series "The Winning of the West."

4. Roosevelt resigned from the Department of the Navy in 1898 and formed the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, dubbed by the media as the Rough Riders. Among other victories, he's known for heading the surge up San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War. Later, as an ex-president, he volunteered to lead an infantry unit in World War I, but President Woodrow Wilson denied the 58-year-old the chance.

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5. He's one of four presidents carved on Mt. Rushmore, along with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. According to the National Parks Service, Roosevelt was selected because he "provided leadership when America experienced rapid economic growth as it entered the 20th Century. He was instrumental in negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal, linking the east and the west. He was known as the "trust buster" for his work to end large corporate monopolies and ensure the rights of the common working man."

6. Those same four presidents — plus the recently added Taft — penetrated further into popular culture thanks to the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team. In the fourth inning of every home game, the team runs a Presidents' Race featuring larger-than-life likenesses of the quintet, in period costumes and giant caricature foam heads. A running gag where "Teddy" never wins ran for nearly seven seasons, until Teddy was victorious on Oct. 3, 2012, to celebrate the team making the playoffs.

7. A staunch conservationist, Roosevelt facilitated the creation of the U.S. Forest Service, and provided federal protection for nearly 230 million acres of land. He allocated 150 national forests, five national parks, and the first 18 national monuments.

8. Roosevelt's unyielding environmental stance led to him prohibit Christmas trees from being displayed in the White House, as the practice was viewed by some as an example of deforestation for commercial reasons. Roosevelt didn't want to send the wrong message to the public and provide a reason for political opponents to attack him.

9. Years after his assault at San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt won the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the Russo-Japanese War. He was the first American to earn the award.

10. Though it's never been proven accurate, it's a good story that Roosevelt has been credited by Maxwell House for coming up with their coffee's "Good to the last drop" catch phrase. According to lore, Roosevelt was served the drink while visiting the Andrew Jackson's estate in 1907, and uttered the eventual famous slogan. Maxwell House owners Leon Cheek and John Neal heard the president's remark and began using the saying in advertising, according to My Coffee Supply.

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Where was Teddy Roosevelt born? His political career essentially began in a brownstone at 28 E. 20th St., New York City, when the future leader of the free world was born Oct. 27, 1858. The building, located between Broadway and Park Avenue, has since been preserved as a national landmark.
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2014-31-07
Sunday, 07 Sep 2014 04:31 PM
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