Theodore Roosevelt Timeline

Theodore Roosevelt as a child

Theodore Roosevelt, age 7. He was called "Teedie" by his parents and siblings.




  • October 27 - Born at 28 East 20th Street, New York, NY to Theodore Sr. and Martha ("Mittie") Bulloch Roosevelt. He was the second child of four (sister Anna "Bamie" born 1855)


  • Brother Elliot (1860) and sister Corinne (1861) born


  • Father helps found American Museum of Natural History
  • Creates "Roosevelt Museum of Natural History" in his bedroom
  • Begins intense physical fitness regime; continued throughout life
  • May 12 to May 25 - Goes on a tour of Europe with his family


  • July 17 - Grandfather Cornelius Van Schaak Roosevelt dies
  • Receives first pair of eyeglasses at age 13


  • October - Family embarks on another trip abroad; travels include Egypt and the Holy Land
  • Collects animal specimens from North Africa and Middle East to bring home
  • Receives a shotgun for his 14th birthday
  • May - Stays in Germany with brother Elliot to study language
  • November 5 - Returns home to New York


  • Family spends first summer at Oyster Bay, future location of Sagamore Hill
  • Edith Carow joins Roosevelt family for summer trip
Theodore Roosevelt in rowing attire

Theodore Roosevelt in rowing attire, Harvard.


Harvard University and the State Assembly


  • September - Begins education at Harvard University
  • July - Writes The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks


  • February 9 - Theodore Roosevelt Sr. dies from stomach cancer
  • September 7 - Meets Maine woodsman Bill Sewall
  • October 18 - Meets Alice Hathaway Lee


  • February 14 - Engaged to Alice Hathaway Lee
  • June 30 - Graduates from Harvard, magna cum laude
  • October 27 - Marries Alice Hathaway Lee on his 22nd birthday
  • December - Enters Columbia Law School (will discontinue in 1882 for political career)
  • Joins the Republican Party


  • August - Climbs the Matterhorn while vacationing in Europe with Alice
  • November - Elected to the New York State Assembly (youngest ever elected to the office)


  • Publishes first major literary work, The Naval War of 1812; book later becomes required reading at the Naval Academy in Annapolis
  • Continues to serve in New York State Assembly
  • August 1 - Joins the National Guard; commissioned a Second Lieutenant
  • January 1 - Elected Speaker of Republican Assembly (minority leader)
  • Prepares to head to Dakota Territory to hunt bison
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt in ranching attire.


Dakota Territory


  • September 8 - Arrives in the town of Little Missouri in Dakota Territory; hires Joe Ferris as hunting guide.
  • Spends two weeks hunting in Dakota; invests $14,000 in Chimney Butte (locally known as the Maltese Cross Ranch, with partners Sylvane Ferris and Bill Merrifield as managers.
  • September 23 - Returns to New York and Alice


  • February 12 - First child, Alice Lee Roosevelt, born
  • Returns home after receiving telegram his wife and mother are ill
  • February 14 - Mother Martha Bulloch Roosevelt dies of typhoid fever; hours later, wife Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt dies from kidney failure
  • March - Commissions home to be built at Oyster Bay for his daughter
  • June 3 - Delegate to the Republican National Convention
  • June 9 - Returns to Dakota Territory; soon establishes the Elkhorn Ranch
  • August - Bill Sewall arrives in Dakota to build and manage the Elkhorn
  • August to September - Embarks on hunting trip to the Bighorn Mountains
  • October - Returns to New York to work on Blaine presidential campaign
  • November - Travels to Dakota Territory to help with Elkhorn construction
  • December - Helps organize the Little Missouri River Stockmen’s Association
  • Returns to New York before Christmas


  • March - Finishes Hunting Trips of a Ranchman, first book on his western experiences
  • April - TR returns to Dakota Territory and his Elkhorn Ranch and stays for 2 months
  • Engages in a bar fight in Mingusvile (present day Wibaux, MT)
  • May - Participates in spring roundup
  • June - Returns to New York after 32 days on the roundup
  • Sagamore Hill is completed
  • November - Secretly courting his childhood sweetheart, Edith Carow


  • March to April - With the help of Bill Sewall and Wilmot Dow, captures the infamous boat thieves
  • April - Acts as delegate to Montana Stock Growers Association
  • July 4 - Delivers speech in Dickinson (Dakota Territory) as Orator of the Day
  • August - Hunts mountain goats in Montana
  • November - Loses race for mayor of New York City
  • December 2 - Marries Edith Carow secretly in London
  • One of the worst winters in recorded history settles in over Dakota Territory


  • Publishes Life of Thomas Hart Benton, written mostly during his time at Elkhorn
  • April - Visits Dakota to survey cattle losses; over half of his herd lost over the winter
  • Begins to sell off interests in his cattle ranchers, ensuring his managers do not suffer a loss
  • Takes up residence at Sagamore Hill with Edith
  • September 13 - First son, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. is born at Sagamore Hill
  • December - Helps establish Boone & Crockett Club, nation's first fair-hunting organization
Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders

Theodore Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, the volunteer cavalry regiment he helped form; the idea was born from his time spent with cowboys in the Dakota Territory.


Making Waves in the East


  • Publishes several books, including Life of Gouverneur Morris, Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail, and Essays in Practical Politics
  • Briefly visits Dakota to hunt


  • October 10 - Kermit Roosevelt born at Sagamore Hill
  • Publishes first two volumes of The Winning of the West
  • May - Starts as U.S. Civil Service Commissioner in Washington, DC; holds position until 1895
  • Visits Dakota on a hunting trip


  • September - Visits Elkhorn with Edith, sisters Anna and Corinne, and others; travel to Yellowstone


  • Publishes History of New York
  • August 13 - Daughter Ethel Carow Roosevelt born at Sagamore Hill
  • Travels to Elkhorn to hunt


  • Goes on inspection tour of Indian Reservations, and hunts at the Elkhorn


  • Publishes The Wilderness Hunter, final book about his western experiences
  • Visits Dakota on hunting trip


  • April 10 - Son Archibald Bulloch Roosevelt born in Washington, DC
  • August 14 - Brother Elliott (father of Eleanor Roosevelt) dies
  • Travels to Dakota for a hunting trip


  • Publishes Hero Tales from American History, in collaboration with Henry Cabot Lodge
  • May 5 - Resigns Civil Service Commission to become Police Commissioner of New York City
  • May 6 - Elected President of the Board of Police Commissioners


  • Throughout 1895-96, received national attention for police reforms in New York City
  • Goes hunting at Elkhorn Ranch


  • Publishes American Ideals
  • April 19 - Appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by President William McKinley
  • November 19 - Son Quentin Roosevelt born in Washington, DC


  • TR sells his final cattle interests in Dakota at outbreak of Spanish-American War
  • May 6 - Resigns as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to join 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment
  • Receives Lieutenant-Colonel commission and forms the "Rough Riders"
  • May to August - Serves in Cuba during Spanish-American War; promoted to Colonel
  • August 14 - The Rough Riders land at Montauk, Long Island, to begin a six-week quarantine
  • September 27 - Nominated by the Republican Party for Governor of New York State
  • November 8 - Elected Governor of New York State; serves until end of 1900


  • Nominated to vice presidential Republican ticket, a position some considered a political graveyard
  • On a campaign stop in Medora, ND, declares “here the romance of my life began”
  • November 6 - Elected vice president
President Roosevelt in library

Roosevelt as president in his library at Sagamore Hill.

Dickinson State University

The Presidency


  • March to September - Serves as vice president
  • September 6 - President McKinley shot while Roosevelt is hiking in the Adirondacks
  • September 14 - Becomes 26th President of the United States, youngest to ever hold the office


  • February - Begins first of 45 antitrust suits to dissolve business monopolies
  • May 22 - Crater Lake National Park in Oregon established


  • March - Establishes Pelican Island, FL as first federal bird reserve
  • November - Signs treaty with Panama for building of Panama Canal


  • Re-elected president
  • Establishes United States Forest Service
  • Establishes Wichita Forest, OK as first federal game preserve
  • Negotiates the Russo-Japanese peace treaty


  • Establishes numerous national parks and monuments
  • November - Becomes first president to leave the country in a visit to Panama Canal
  • December - Awarded Nobel Peace Prize for mediating treaty of Russo-Japanese War


  • May - First conference of governors convened at White House to discuss conservation
  • June - Appoints National Conservation Commission to inventory natural resources


  • March - Presidency ends
  • In total, established 230 million acres of public lands
  • Public interest and celebrity increases after leaving office

The Latest Arrival at the Political Zoo

A political cartoon depicting Roosevelt as a "Bull Moose"

After the Presidency


  • March - Departs for year-long African safari with son Kermit
  • Writes journal articles of adventures in Africa to be published in US magazine


  • Accepts Nobel Peace Prize (from 1905) in Norway
  • June 18 - Returns to NY from Africa and Europe travels
  • Publishes African Game Trails, a complete book about his hunting safari


  • Delivers speeches throughout 1910 and 1911, including one in Medora, ND


  • February - Receives petition from Republican governors to accept nomination for president
  • June - Republican National Convention re-nominates incumbent Howard Taft
  • August - Convention of the new National Progressive party (nicknamed the “Bull Moose” party)
  • Nominated as presidential candidate for Progressive party
  • October 14 - Shot in the chest before campaign speech; finishes speech
  • November 5 - Despite receiving largest number of votes for a third-party candidate, loses presidential election to Woodrow Wilson


  • Publishes Theodore Roosevelt - An Autobiography and History as Literature and Other Essays
  • October 4 - Sails for South America for lecture tour and jungle expedition


  • February to April - Embarks on an expedition to explore an uncharted tributary of Amazon River
  • Sustains severe leg injury during expedition and nearly dies
  • May - Returns safely to New York
  • Publishes Through the Brazilian Wilderness and Life Histories of African Game Animals


  • June - Declines Progressive presidential nomination and backs Republican candidate


  • February - Requests permission to raise infantry division "in the event of war;" request denied
  • Four sons enlist in military; daughter Ethel serves as a Red Cross nurse


  • July 14 - Youngest son Quentin killed while serving as a fighter pilot in France
  • July - Refuses Republican nomination for Governor of New York
  • Publishes The Great Adventure
  • Makes a train stop in Medora, ND


  • January 6 - Dies in sleep at Sagamore Hill of a coronary embolism (arterial blood clot), age 60

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