This weekend, I’m giving a talk on Theodore Roosevelt in Milwaukee–the city in which he was almost assassinated, nearly a hundred years ago. The story is a part of TR legend. On October 14, 1912, as he campaigned for president on the Bull Moose ticket, TR was leaving his hotel when John Schrank fired at him from close range. The bullet entered his chest. TR knew he had been hit, but insisted on continuing to the Milwaukee Auditorium and delivering his scheduled speech. “It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose!” he bellowed to the crowd of supporters. He talked for more than an hour, then went to the hospital. Doctors determined that the bullet did not pose a threat to TR’s health, so they didn’t remove it. TR carried it within his body for the rest of his days.
Schrank was captured immediately. He was sentenced to a mental institution and died in 1943.