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“You Get Me to That Speech!”

January 4, 2018

The former President, now Bull Moose Party candidate, had just been shot at close range.  Meanwhile, members of his entourage took the would-be assassin into custody.  The crowd would have beaten John Schrank to death if Roosevelt had not suddenly risen and commanded: “Don’t hurt him.  Bring him here. I want to see him.”

Theodore Roosevelt took Schrank’s head in both hands and gently lifted it to see if he could identify his assailant.  The face was not familiar.  “What did you do it for?” asked Roosevelt.

Realizing there was no logical explanation for the poorly dressed man’s actions, Roosevelt concluded: “Oh, what’s the use?  Turn him over to the police.”

John Schrank was indeed a disturbed individual.  He believed that former President McKinley had returned from the grave, visited him in a vision, and commanded him to kill Roosevelt.  However, his failure to kill Roosevelt was not due to lack of method.  He stood no more than seven feet from his target.  His .38 caliber bullet had hit Roosevelt about one inch below the right nipple and somewhat to the right.  It was lodged in his chest and would have penetrated further had it not been for the intervention of heavy clothing, a folded 50-page speech, and an eyeglasses case.

Although there was blood at the wound, Roosevelt was not coughing up blood.  Therefore, he concluded, his lung had not been hit.  Everyone was preparing for a trip to the hospital, everyone except Roosevelt.  “You get me to that speech!” he commanded.

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