Theodore Roosevelt was born on October 27, in 1858, the second child of Theodore and Martha’s four children. His faulty eyesight and his ever-active asthma were a persistent distraction to the boy and he had to be taken away on long trips to help him find a place to breathe.
His debilitating health demanded that he learn while at home instead of attending school. His father insisted little “Teedie” as they called him, strengthen his sickly body as well as his mind. To that end, young Roosevelt soldiered on in complicated studies and strove daily to improve his mind and body.
In 1880, Roosevelt graduated from Harvard, hunted here in the Red River Valley and on his birthday married his college sweetheart, Alice, who would pass away four years later following childbirth.
Here are some gems of observation by President Theodore Roosevelt:
“My father was the best man I ever knew. My mother was a sweet and gracious Southern woman, a delightful companion and beloved by everyone.
I was a rather sickly and delicate little boy given much to asthma. Owing to my asthma I was not able to go to school and I was nervous and self-conscious.
Thanks to my father and mother, I had a very happy childhood. I am inclined to look back at it with some wonder that I should have come out of it as well as I have.
From reading of the people I admired-ranging from the soldiers of Valley Forge to the heroes of my favorite stories- I felt a great admiration for men who were fearless and could hold their own in the world -and I had a great desire to be like them!
It is a misfortune for any land if its people of cultivation take little part in shaping its destiny!
Offices are not the property of the politicians at all. On the contrary – they belong to the people and should be filled only with regard to the needs of public service.
I am, if I am anything, an American. I am an American from the crown of my head to the souls of my feet!”
Dakota Datebook: Remembering Theodore Roosevelt is written and performed by Steve Stark. Funding provided by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.