Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, faced a life-threatening moment during his 1912 campaign when an assassin’s bullet found its mark. On that fateful evening in Milwaukee, he was bound for the Milwaukee Auditorium to deliver an 84-minute speech.
Unbeknownst to him, a Bavarian immigrant named John Flammang Schrank had other intentions. At close range, Schrank fired a .38 caliber revolver at Teddy Roosevelt. Remarkably, Roosevelt barely flinched, brushing off the bullet as if it were a mere annoyance. With the bullet hole in his overcoat clearly visible, he continued to greet his supporters.
He inspected his wound, showing his bloody shirt to the horrified crowd. He declared, “I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have been shot, but it takes more than that to take down a bull moose.”
Determined to fulfill his commitment, Roosevelt proceeded to deliver the scheduled speech, despite the potential danger to his health. He recognized the length of his speech but explained how it had likely saved his life, as the bullet had not pierced his heart.
He pressed on for 84 minutes, captivating his audience and doctors alike. Afterward, he finally made his way to the hospital, where doctors discovered a dime-sized hole in his chest.
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Top image: Teddy Roosevelt gave an 84 minute speech after being shot. Source: Анастасия Птицова / Adobe Stock.