Theodore Roosevelt was a badass. Plain and simple.

He moved the country forward, protected our land, actively hunted for his food and took like by the horns in every possible way. He was larger than life and lived everyday to the fullest. He worked with guys like John Muir and Thomas Hornaday to ensure the protection of the land and American bison of the west.

As I read and study various historical moments about the west, I take great care into learning about the people who fought to protect and conserve the land. One story I recently came across about Roosevelt compelled me enough to share…

On October 14, 1912, while campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Roosevelt was shot by a saloonkeeper named John Flammang Schrank. The bullet lodged in his chest after penetrating his steel eyeglass case and passing through a thick (50 pages) single-folded copy of the speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt, as an experienced hunter and anatomist, correctly concluded that since he was not coughing blood, the bullet had not reached his lung, and he declined suggestions to go to the hospital immediately. Instead, he delivered his scheduled speech with blood seeping into his shirt. He spoke for 90 minutes. His opening comments to the gathered crowd were, “Ladies and gentlemen, 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.” Afterwards, probes and an x-ray showed that the bullet had lodged in Roosevelt’s chest muscle, but did not penetrate the pleura, and it would be less dangerous to leave it in place. Roosevelt carried the bullet with him for the rest of his life.

On October 14, 1912, Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when a local saloon-keeper shot him. The bullet lodged in his chest after passing through a jacket pocket containing his steel eyeglass case and a copy of his 50 page speech which had been folded in half. Being an anatomist, Roosevelt concluded that since he wasn’t coughing blood the bullet had not penetrated the chest wall into his lung. He declined immediate treatment and gave his 90 minute speech with blood seeping from the wound into his shirt. “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot,” Roosevelt said, “but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”

Theodore Roosevelt was the nation’s 26th President and is considered by many to have been our country’s “Conservationist President.” After he became President in 1901, Roosevelt used his authority to protect wildlife and public lands by creating the U.S. Forest Service and establishing 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests, 5 National Parks, and enabling the 1906 American Antiquities Act which he used to proclaim 18 National Monuments. During his presidency, Theodore Roosevelt protected approximately 230,000,000 acres of public land.