Theodore Roosevelt died 100 years ago Sunday, on Jan. 6, 1919, at his home in Oyster Bay, N.Y. A pulmonary embolism, the doctors said.
Americans found it hard to believe that Roosevelt was dead, much less that he had died in bed. For as long as they could remember, he had lived at full tilt. He was the frontiersman who faced down a grizzly, the Rough Rider who fought in the Spanish-American War, the presidential candidate who made a speech with a fresh bullet wound in his chest.
The heroics thrilled countless American boys of the era — Ernest Hemingway among them — and their elders had cheered in 1899 when Roosevelt exhorted the country to get off its duff and take up “the strenuous life.” Toil, effort, high-minded endeavor — these were the things that made life worth living, in his opinion. If Americans surrendered to “ignoble ease,” he warned, they would never achieve national greatness.
A century later, that is still how most Americans remember him. But a quieter part of his legacy also deserves to be celebrated, especially in an era of incessant discord over health care. Few Americans know that their most physically vigorous president was also the first major American political figure to advocate passionately for national health insurance.
Theodore Roosevelt may have inspired he-men later in life, but he began life in delicate health, a fact he never forgot. Born in 1858, he soon developed asthma. In that era, asthmatics lived entirely at the mercy of their disease, not knowing when it would strike or if an attack would prove fatal. Roosevelt took up bodybuilding in his early teens, and as often happens, the asthma abated as he reached adulthood. Emerging from the ordeal as a fine physical specimen, he took pride in his strength, and for the rest of his life would exalt strength in nations as well as in men.
If Roosevelt’s presidency had to be summed up in a word, “strength” would serve. He strengthened the office of the presidency as well as the regulatory power of the federal government. He refereed the unending contest between capital and labor, arguing that only the national government had enough power to ensure fair play. His foreign policy has been intelligently praised and intelligently damned, but beyond question, it strengthened the United States in world affairs in the opening decade of the 20th century.
So great was Roosevelt’s preoccupation with strength that nearly all of his biographers have felt obliged to explain it. Most have seen it as a response to his childhood illness, and some have suggested that the early delicacy left him with insecurities about his masculinity. One example cited by the prosecution: “Sissy” was a favorite Rooseveltian insult. Another: He would not be photographed on the tennis court, because the game was played by women as well as by men.
Given the vast attention paid to the causes of Roosevelt’s love of strength, there is a surprising lack of discussion about one of its most attractive effects: an exceptional sensitivity to the needs of the sick and others in the grip of circumstances beyond their control. Roosevelt’s efforts on behalf of workers exploited by employers have been well chronicled, but from his earliest days in politics until the last months of his life, he worked equally hard to improve the health of his fellow citizens. Who knew?
The hole in the story is partly Roosevelt’s fault. His concern for public health crops up only a few times in his autobiography, and the stories told are presented as discrete episodes, not illustrations of a long commitment.
In the first, he is a 23-year-old Republican freshman in the New York State Assembly, fighting for a ban on homemade cigars. As the representative of Manhattan’s silk stocking district, Roosevelt was expected to be a laissez-faire man, against government interference in business. But when he visited cigar makers in their tenements, he was appalled to find whole families suffering from eye, skin and lung ailments caused by prolonged exposure to raw tobacco.
Roosevelt decided to champion a proposed ban and persuaded the Legislature to pass the bill. But a judge soon ruled that the new statute violated the sanctity of home. The decision gave Roosevelt his first taste of the opposition in store for politicians who challenged the untrammeled capitalism of the day.
At 39, as Col. Roosevelt of the Rough Riders, he pressed for the speedy departure of American troops from Cuba at the end of the Spanish-American War. The War Department had wanted the troops to stay until a peace treaty was signed, but Washington relented when Roosevelt pointed out that the soldiers were at high risk of dying from disease. He was right: Ninety percent of the American war dead in Cuba had succumbed to yellow fever, malaria and poor sanitation.
Eight years later, President Roosevelt won passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. He succeeded by seizing on public outrage over a best-selling novel, “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, which had exposed the stomach-turning conditions in Chicago’s meatpacking plants. Signed on the same day in 1906, the laws were milestones in health and in federal regulation of business for the public good.
Apart from those measures, Roosevelt had little success in persuading Congress to enact more laws to improve health. Though he fought on, he found himself up against a host of entrenched forces: a public suspicious of governmental power, the judiciary’s habit of treating social legislation as an infringement on individual liberties and the South’s alarm at the growing power of the national government.
As president, Roosevelt was aware that the governments of Germany, France and Britain had set up programs to help their citizens stave off the financial catastrophes associated with old age, illness, injury, unemployment and loss of a breadwinner. He was embarrassed that the United States had nothing comparable. The idea of using the government’s strength to assist those unable to fend for themselves seemed to him a mark of national greatness. And there were few things he coveted more than Europe’s recognition of American greatness.
Unable to make any legislative progress on this front, Roosevelt resorted to other tactics. He issued dozens of executive orders creating federal wildlife refuges on public land, a move that protected animals and reduced pollution. He also made liberal use of presidential commissions. The Inland Waterways Commission was established in 1907 to manage the nation’s lakes and rivers and to develop their potential as a transportation network. The ostensible goals were economic, but the plan also called for flood control, soil reclamation and pollution abatement — all boons to public health.
Toward the end of his presidency, Roosevelt appointed a White House commission to study the problems of rural life. Among the chief topics of the group’s report was the poor state of health in the hinterlands. Farms ought to be healthy places to live, the commissioners wrote, but doctors and nurses were scarce, and most rural Americans had not been schooled in the rudiments of hygiene. While some states had public health departments, many did not. And because of widespread antipathy to federal power, officials could not intervene except to address outbreaks of disease among farm animals. Treading softly, the commission made only mild recommendations: basic education in hygiene and sanitation, and a promise of federal help in health matters if a state requested it.
Roosevelt also invented the White House conference, giving himself yet another way to act without Congress. In 1908 he hosted a conference of governors, focused on conservation, and nearly every governor present went home and formed a state conservation commission. The experience was a victory for conservation and public health, and it offered a model for federal-state collaboration on matters affecting the well-being of all Americans.
The most notable of Roosevelt’s White House conferences, on dependent children, took place a few weeks before he left office. The idea came from a young lawyer who had grown up in an orphanage and was pressing for governmental subsidies to widowed mothers, whose poverty often forced them to place their children in orphanages. Roosevelt issued the invitations on Dec. 25, 1908, a date surely not chosen at random.
On Jan. 25, 1909, Jane Addams, Booker T. Washington, and some 200 child welfare advocates, juvenile court judges, directors of orphanages and leaders of social service organizations turned out for the White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children. Considered a landmark in American social policy, the conference led to the establishment of the United States Children’s Bureau, spurred the growth of adoption agencies and inspired the founding the Child Welfare League of America.
When Roosevelt left office, on March 4, his files were thick with correspondence from social activists, urban reformers, physicians and others who shared his belief that the federal government ought to play a larger role in advancing health and well-being. On a two-month tour of Europe in 1910, he made a point of meeting politicians and social reformers who had helped to put up the first government-sponsored social safety nets.
Two years later, disturbed by the Republicans’ drift to the political right, Roosevelt defected from the G.O.P., formed the National Progressive Party, and made a rogue run for an unprecedented third term in the White House (he entered office in 1901, after William McKinley was assassinated). With the insights he gained in Europe and the help of American experts on health and welfare, he and his allies crafted one of the most socially progressive party platforms in American history. It called for universal health insurance; a national public health service; insurance for the elderly, the unemployed and the disabled; the end of child labor; the abolition of the seven-day workweek; and a minimum wage ample enough to support a family of four, provide for recreation and allow savings for a rainy day.
After losing the election, Roosevelt continued to engage in politics through hundreds of newspaper columns and magazine articles. The social agenda of his 1912 platform lived on, inspiring progressives of both parties. And with the Social Security Act of 1935, Franklin Roosevelt secured much of what his distant cousin Theodore had been striving for: old-age insurance, unemployment insurance, aid to families with dependent children, and support for the disabled. Opposition from the medical profession blocked the path to national health insurance, and opposition from the South ensured that Social Security would exclude domestic and agricultural labor, major occupations of African-Americans.
Theodore Roosevelt was not perfect. He was not progressive on race. Nor was he in the vanguard of the fight for a constitutional amendment giving all American women the right to vote. Despite his many collaborations with women reformers working to address the needs of the sick and the poor, he would always believe that a woman’s true place was in the home.
Roosevelt’s efforts in the field of health yielded more defeats than triumphs. No politician relishes defeat, but as the preacher of the risk-taking strenuous life, he could hardly whine about his losses. Ultimately he decided that the man who mattered most was the man in the arena, taking his lumps and carrying on. Such a man might make mistakes, Roosevelt said, and he might come up short, but he is striving valiantly, spending himself in a worthy cause, and “if he fails, he at least fails while daring greatly.”
If life dealt Theodore Roosevelt the high cards of wealth and privilege, the long suit of his boyhood was a life-threatening illness. The experience might have produced a man who lived on his inheritance and shied away from all things strenuous. This boy, willing and able to make himself strong, entered the political arena and fought against long odds for the health and well-being of his fellow citizens — a worthy cause if ever there was one. There may be no better way for the country to honor his memory than to get off its duff and persevere until all Americans have decent health care.
Patricia O’Toole is the author of several biographies, including “The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made” and “When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House.” She is writing a book about Theodore Roosevelt and American health.
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高人每期图解跑狗图网站“【沈】【梦】【琪】……”【房】【间】【里】【突】【然】【传】【来】【某】【个】【男】【人】【怒】【不】【可】【遏】【的】【声】【音】。 “【哦】，【我】【听】【得】【到】，【不】【用】【这】【么】【大】【声】……”【她】【一】【边】【穿】【衣】【服】【一】【边】【揉】【耳】【朵】，【唇】【角】【却】【扬】【起】【一】【个】【气】【死】【人】【不】【偿】【命】【的】【笑】【容】。 “【你】【故】【意】【的】？”【云】【季】【承】【气】【得】【抓】【起】【她】【的】【手】【臂】，【让】【她】【不】【能】【动】【弹】。 “【不】【是】【故】【意】【的】，【我】【其】【实】……【是】【有】【意】【的】，【哈】【哈】……【你】【别】【忘】【记】【了】，【是】【你】【自】【己】【要】【求】
【当】【收】【到】【管】【家】【别】【野】【走】【火】【的】【消】【息】【之】【后】，【许】【彦】【文】【几】【近】【崩】【溃】，【他】【深】【深】【吸】【了】【一】【口】【气】，【和】【聚】【会】【的】【合】【作】【方】【说】【了】【抱】【歉】，【快】【步】【上】【了】【车】。 【别】【野】【里】，【许】【彦】【文】【沉】【着】【脸】【看】【着】【在】【修】【复】【烧】【焦】【痕】【迹】【的】【工】【人】，【看】【着】【管】【家】，【语】【气】【不】【善】【道】：“【我】【不】【是】【说】【过】【了】【么】，【夫】【人】【情】【绪】【不】【对】【的】【时】【候】，【就】【打】【电】【话】【给】【我】。” 【管】【家】【兼】【心】【理】【医】【生】【低】【下】【了】【头】，【歉】【疚】【道】：“【夫】【人】【情】【绪】【很】
【若】【儿】【不】【懂】【她】【在】【说】【什】【么】。“【你】【是】【谁】？【灵】【心】【又】【是】【谁】？【这】【是】【哪】【儿】？” 【女】【人】【笑】【道】：“【呵】【呵】……【你】【这】【孩】【子】，【这】【里】【当】【然】【是】【醉】【玉】【楼】，【我】【是】【这】【里】【的】【妈】【妈】，【灵】【心】【就】【是】【你】【啊】。” 【这】【个】【女】【人】，【正】【是】【醉】【玉】【楼】【里】【的】【老】【鸨】。 【若】【儿】：“【可】【我】【不】【叫】【灵】【心】【啊】。” 【老】【鸨】：“【你】【不】【叫】【灵】【心】【还】【能】【叫】【什】【么】？【这】【孩】【子】，【不】【会】【是】【受】【了】【什】【么】【惊】【吓】【吧】……” 高人每期图解跑狗图网站【萧】【单】【冬】：…… 【苏】【木】：…… 【有】【了】【钱】【就】【这】【么】【硬】【气】？ 【许】【诺】【说】【的】【非】【常】【大】【声】【且】【理】【直】【气】【壮】。【这】【让】【收】【拾】【餐】【桌】【的】【艾】【笑】【给】【听】【见】【了】。 【她】【严】【肃】【得】【眯】【起】【眼】【睛】，【朝】【他】【走】【了】【过】【去】。 “【许】【诺】，【你】【刚】【刚】【说】【你】【要】【拿】【着】【压】【岁】【钱】【做】【什】【么】？” “【妈】……【妈】【妈】……” 【一】【看】【到】【艾】【笑】，【许】【诺】【刚】【刚】【嚣】【张】【的】【气】【焰】【全】【都】【没】【了】。 【明】【明】【钱】【在】【他】【手】【里】，
【许】【轻】【微】【是】【真】【的】【怎】【么】【也】【没】【想】【到】，【姜】【至】【会】【突】【然】【来】【到】【日】【本】，【毫】【无】【征】【兆】【的】【出】【现】【在】【她】【身】【后】，【给】【了】【她】【巨】【大】【的】【惊】【喜】！！ 【等】【待】【的】【粉】【色】【列】【车】【来】【了】。 【等】【列】【车】【停】【下】，【姜】【至】【拉】【着】【许】【轻】【微】【上】【去】【列】【车】。 【果】【然】【不】【出】【所】【料】，【列】【车】【内】【都】【是】【恋】【人】，【有】【五】【对】。 【她】【和】【姜】【至】【上】【去】【后】，【就】【是】【第】【六】【对】【情】【侣】【了】。 【姜】【至】【拉】【着】【她】【去】【坐】【下】。 【许】【轻】【微】【忽】【然】【提】【起】
【【是】【否】【花】【费】【五】【百】【万】【源】【币】？】 【系】【统】【的】【提】【示】【音】【响】【起】。 “【掠】【夺】【吧】！” 【方】【羽】【眼】【眸】【微】【冷】。 【随】【着】【方】【羽】【声】【音】【落】【下】，【一】【道】【无】【形】【的】【波】【动】【陡】【然】【散】【开】。 【正】【在】【操】【纵】【着】【秩】【序】【神】【链】【的】【血】【红】【世】【界】【意】【志】【忽】【然】【精】【神】【一】【阵】【恍】【惚】，【一】【股】【莫】【名】【的】【力】【量】【正】【在】【侵】【蚀】【着】【他】【的】【意】【志】，【就】【连】【操】【控】【着】【秩】【序】【神】【链】【都】【有】【些】【不】【稳】。 “【什】【么】【东】【西】？” 【血】【红】【世】【界】
“【今】【年】【的】【花】【生】【好】，【油】【也】【好】。” 【塑】【料】【桶】【装】【油】，【蛇】【皮】【袋】【装】【花】【生】【饼】。 【看】【着】【金】【黄】【色】【的】【花】【生】【油】【流】【出】【来】，【闻】【着】【浓】【郁】【的】【香】【味】，【大】【家】【眉】【开】【眼】【笑】。 “【年】【景】【越】【来】【越】【好】【了】。” “【是】【啊】。【日】【子】【一】【年】【比】【一】【年】【好】。” “【这】【花】【生】【油】【好】。”【不】【少】【人】【围】【住】【榨】【油】【机】，【一】【边】【说】【话】，【一】【边】【看】【着】【油】【流】【出】【来】。 “【小】【五】，【你】【家】【收】【花】【生】【饼】【吗】？”