Subscribe to our new podcast, History Vs., here!
As Theodore Roosevelt stood on stage in front of a crowd 10,000 strong, the crisp white shirt beneath his vest grew red with blood. “I have just been shot,” he said. The crowd screamed and gasped as Roosevelt pulled his vest aside, revealing the growing stain.
“It takes more than that to kill a bull moose,” he declared. The manuscript he was carrying bore a bullet hole; “it probably saved me from it going into my heart,” Roosevelt said, adding, “The bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will do my best.”
He spoke for the next 90 minutes before he let anyone take him to the hospital.
Turns out, Theodore Roosevelt isn’t just the Teddy Bear guy, or that dude from the Night at the Museum movies, or a boring president rendered in stone on Mount Rushmore. Theodore Roosevelt is so much more: Our 26th president helped avert what some historians call World War Zero, and almost died on an expedition to explore an uncharted tributary of the Amazon River. He also tried to fundamentally change how we spell … and traumatized Dr. Seuss. And those stories are just the tip of the Rooseveltian iceberg.
I’m Erin McCarthy, and I’m the host of History Vs., a new podcast from Mental Floss and iHeartRadio, about how your favorite historical figures faced off against their greatest foes. In each episode of our first season, we’re pitting TR against a particular challenge. We talked to TR experts, authors, National Park Rangers, and even an actor who plays TR to bring you stories about how he took on everything from his debilitating childhood asthma and conflict within his family to conquering the hours of the day and preserving the world for the next generation.
History Vs. premieres on October 20. Listen and subscribe at Apple Podcasts or on the iHeartRadio app, or wherever you get your podcasts.