- historical event:
- 14 October 1912
- At the time he was fired at, Roosevelt was carrying a glasses case and a copy of his 50-pages-long speech in his suit. The bullet made a hole right through the metal glasses case and the sheets of paper
On this day in 1912, American president Theodore Roosevelt was wounded in an assassination attempt. The assassination was peculiar because Roosevelt, despite being wounded, continued to hold his speech. Indeed, he continued speaking for 90 minutes while blood soaked his shirt.
The assassin was John Flammang Schrank, owner of a local saloon in Milwaukee, where Roosevelt was holding a campaign speech. Schrank’s exact motives remain unclear, but he was declared mentally unstable and spent the rest of his life in a mental institution.
The bullet that hit Roosevelt remained lodged in his chest, after penetrating 76 millimeters deep into his body. An experienced hunter, Roosevelt had immediately deducted that the bullet hadn’t pierced his lung, because in that case he would have been coughing blood. He therefore decided to continue holding his speech.
At the time he was fired at, Roosevelt was carrying a glasses case and a copy of his 50-pages-long speech in his suit. The bullet made a hole right through the metal glasses case and the sheets of paper. It is possible that these items slowed the bullets down enough to save Roosevelt’s life. Physicians later decided not to remove the bullet, because doing so could have potentially caused more harm than good. So Roosevelt continued to carry the bullet in his body until the end of his life.