Friday, September 14, 2007

September 14, 1901:

Theodore Roosevelt, 42, Becomes President

President McKinley lingered for a time after been shot, but ultimately did not survive his wounds. On September 14, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States, taking the oath of office in Buffalo, New York. No one before or after has been so young at the beginning of his time in that office: 42 years and 322 days.

According to the web site of the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site: " September 8 - 10, 1901: As McKinley's condition continued to improve, Roosevelt felt it was safe to leave Buffalo. On Tuesday night he took an all night train to the Adirondacks where his family was already on vacation. He left detailed instructions with Ansley Wilcox [his friend in Buffalo] on the chance that he would be asked to return to Buffalo....

September 11 - 13, 1901: On Thursday evening, September 12th, Roosevelt and a group of family and friends hiked up Mt. Marcy and spent the night there. Back in Buffalo, McKinley's condition had changed for the worst and he was rapidly deteriorating. Upon his return from the hike on Friday afternoon, Roosevelt was met by a messenger who carried the news that McKinley was dying and Roosevelt should return to Buffalo as soon as possible. The Vice President left his cabin in the late evening of Friday, September 13th for the thirty-five mile carriage ride to the nearest train station at North Creek. He arrived there just before dawn and was told of the President's death. He took a train to Albany and another one to Buffalo, arriving here at about 1:30 pm. McKinley had died at 2:15 am that morning, September 14, 1901...

September 14, 1901: Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Buffalo at 1:30 pm. He was met at the train station by Ansley Wilcox and brought back to this home. After lunch and a visit to the Milburn home to pay his respects to Mrs. McKinley, Roosevelt returned to the Wilcox house for the inauguration.

This site was chosen by Roosevelt as the most appropriate place for the ceremony. It took place in the Wilcox library at approximately 3:30 pm. A small crowd was assembled including a few newspaper reporters who were allowed to take notes. The photographers were barred from the room until after the ceremony. Roosevelt wore formal clothing borrowed from some of the guests who were present. The oath was administered by Federal District Judge John R. Hazel.

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