Teddy Roosevelt is shot, still gives speech
“Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot — but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”
The year is 1912. Teddy Roosevelt is on the campaign trail dressed in his Army overcoat with a 50-page speech folded double in his breast pocket along with his metal spectacles case.
He gets to his open car to go to a speech. And this is where he gets shot.
“I am going to drive to the hall and deliver my speech,” he says.
Teddy understands the situation. He’s been around guns often as a hunter, a cowboy and an officer during the Spanish-American war. He knows to put a finger to his lips to check if he’s bleeding from the mouth.
He checks. He’s not bleeding. The bullet has not entered his lungs.
Three doctors examine him backstage at the auditorium. They reveal that the thick manuscript and spectacles case slowed the bullet. But there is a dime-size hole in his chest, below his right nipple, and a fist-size stain on his shirt.
Teddy requests a clean handkerchief to cover the wound and heads for the stage, where he gives almost a ninety minute speech.
Then he goes to the hospital where X-rays determine the bullet had lodged in a rib.
Where it will remain there for the rest of his life.