Teddy Roosevelt:  A Singular Life

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

TR Safari  -  ANSWER KEY

Go exploring Teddy Roosevelt:  A Singular Life

to learn about the 26th president of the United States.


1. Who were Theodore Roosevelt’s two heroes?

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

  1. What were three names used to describe Teddy Roosevelt?

Cowboy, a madman, a dude, four-eyes, Rough Rider, the Gunpowder Governor, Colonel, a bully, the cyclone, Bull Moose, childish, brilliant, insane, caring, daring

      Why do you think he had each of these nicknames?


  1.  Young TR, “Teedy,” was sickly as a child.  What was one illness he suffered from?  Asthma

      What advice did his father give him as a boy?

      “You have the mind, but … you must make your body.”

      What did he do to follow that advice?

      Exercise:  wrestling, boxing, swimming, hiking, lifting weights

4.  What were Teddy’s passions from the time he was young?

            Outdoors and hunting

            Nature:  collecting and studying flora and fauna

“The Light has Gone Out of my Life”

      5.  Theodore Roosevelt and Alice Lee were engaged on February 14, 1880.  She died

four years later, on February 14, 1884, two days after the birth of their daughter, Alice .  Who else died that day?  TR’s mother Mittie

  1. Later in 1884, TR, still grieving, left for  Dakota Territory .  Why?

To escape from or ease his grief

To get back to the outdoors and wilderness he loved

A New Life and New Challenges

  1. In November 1885, Theodore and childhood friend Edith Carow were engaged.
  1. The next ten years were busy ones.  Teddy ran for, or was appointed to, numerous public positions, including U.S. Civil Service Commission, president of the Police Commission of New York City, and mayor of New York City (he came in third) .

“It was my one chance”

  1. William McKinley appointed TR Asst. Secretary of the Navy.  Why did President McKinley ask his doctor, Leonard Wood, “Have you and Theodore declared war yet?

TR and Leonard Wood both believed the U.S. should declare war on Span.  President McKinley was not as eager to get the United States involved.

  1.   Which war was eventually declared?  Spanish American War
  2.   Who were the Rough Riders?  First Volunteer Cavalry / cowboys and Ivy League easterners

        Who lead them?  Colonel Leonard Wood and Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt

        What are they remembered for?  Unique mix of soldiers / San Juan and Kettle Hills

Laurels for a Hero

  1.  TR returned from Cuba a war hero.  Soon after he was elected Governor of New York.
  2. At the Republican National Convention in 1900, Teddy Roosevelt was the popular choice for Vice President .  What event led to him becoming the 26th United States president?  McKinley’s assassination .  When?  September 1901.

The Bully Pulpit

  1. Reflecting on his presidency, TR said, “I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President …”  What does he cite?  Broaden use of presidential power, acted for the public welfare, and acted for the common well-being of all our people .
  2.   When Teddy Roosevelt became president, after William McKinley died, there were many things he wanted to accomplish.  What were three things he wanted to do within the United States?

Greater government control of corporations, protection for workers, regulation of railroads, inspection of banks, expansion of forest reserves, flood control, conservation of natural resources

      Three things in foreign affairs?

Strengthen Monroe Doctrine, acquire Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, strengthen navy / increase fleet size, build a canal across Central America

“We Won a Great Triumph”

  1. After what event did TR say, “We won a great triumph.”?  Winning the 1904 presidential election

      What  did he mean?

-         he saw winning this election as very important so he could serve as president in his own right

-         won the popular vote by the widest margin in history

  1. Describe what the following accomplished:

                  Hepburn Bill:  regulated the railroad industry’s transport pricing

Meat Inspection Act:  Gave federal government oversight of the meat packing industry.  Nation-wide outrage after Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle.

  1. Why did President Roosevelt win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906?

Portsmouth Treaty between Russia and Japan

Lovely Life

  1.   What was Theodore Roosevelt’s salary as president?  $50,000
  2.   How many children lived in the White House during TR’s presidency?  six

        What did Teddy have to say about controlling his daughter Alice’s behavior?

“I can do one of two things.  I can be President of the United States or I can control Alice.  I cannot possibly do both.”

        Why do you think he said that?

Alice’s behavior could be quite outrageous.  She was outgoing and contrary and wanted a lot of attention.

Back in the Arena

  1.   After leaving office in 1909, TR went on an African Safari with Kermit and Smithsonian naturalists.

      During this trip, Teddy was able to pursue what lifelong interest?   

      Collecting plant and animal specimens

  1. Why were people surprised when TR agreed to run for president in 1912 for the Progressive party?  He had promised he wouldn’t seek another term as president.

Why did he change his mind?

Because President Taft’s policies and actions weren’t as Progressive as many, including TR, hoped they would be.

  1. Who won the 1912 election, and what party did he belong to? 

Woodrow Wilson, Democrat

  1. Where does the term “Bull Moose” come from?

TR gave a speech in Milwaukee after being shot, saying, “It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”

The Sun Sets

  1. After his final foray into politics, TR and son Kermit went on a second journey, this time to South America.  Their goal was to chart a tributary of the Amazon River, the “River of Doubt.”

      What else did they do on this trip?  Collected flora and fauna

  1. When Theodore Roosevelt died on January 5, 1919 , his son Archie sent a cable to the rest of the family saying, “The old lion is dead.”

      What do you think Archie meant by that?

  1. What do you consider to be TR’s most significant contribution the United States or the world?