While in New York last week, I managed to sneak away during my lunch hour and take a tour of Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace. A year or so ago I read both of the Edmund Morris biographies on Roosevelt (both nearly 1,000 pages) and found myself amazed at what this man accomplished. He was a State Congressmen, the Chief of Police of New York City, the Secretary of the Navy, Vice-President of the United States and in addition to spending a couple of years as a rugged outdoorsman in Wyoming, also wrote many books on the power of nature and United States expansion in the west. Oh yeah, he did all this before the age of 42! At that time, he became the youngest President of the United States after McKinley was shot and to this day nobody younger has served as President. His life story is simply captivating and I haven’t even touched on what the man did during his term as the leader of our country.
So when I discovered that Roosevelt’s birthplace was about 4 blocks from where I work, I headed over there for a tour. While the house itself is a reconstruction, most of the furniture and the decorations (murals, dishes, etc) were actual Roosevelt property. It was a hell of a tour. History right before your eyes. The first question I asked the tour guide was if I could take pictures. He said no. I did anyway. You’d be surprised how stealth I can be when the camera flash is turned off!
Anyway, some of the photos may seem random, but I can explain a few of them – the bike you see is his exercise bike while he was president. The desk is his actual desk as Secretary of the Navy. The chair is the one he used for both of his terms as the President of the U.S.A. The typed document you see is the Executive Order which declared Sequoia a national forest (I’m gonna post a bigger version soon so you can read it) and the military uniform is the one he wore leading the Rough Riders to victory in Cuba in the Spanish-American war.
Song now playing: Townes Van Zandt – “Greensboro Woman”