Theodore Roosevelt’s eldest child, Alice Roosevelt, married Representative Nicholas Longworth (R-OH) 105 years ago today.
In honor of Valentine’s Day today, I want to share with you one of the earliest documents we cataloged, which I recently stumbled across while starting our copyright review for the Library of Congress collection. A young woman wrote to President Roosevelt a few weeks before Valentine’s Day 1902 with an unusual request.
On this date in 1878, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. died of a gastrointestinal tumor that had been a burden on him for months. He kept the extent of his illness from his nineteen-year-old son Theodore who was away at Harvard, but in the end, Theodore was told and rushed home from Cambridge, only to miss his father’s passing by a few hours. It was a loss that would impact Theodore profoundly as he continued to develop into a young man.
Today in 1905, the United States Forest Service officially came into existence under the Department of Agriculture. Gifford Pinchot, head of the forestry division of the DoA, had been advocating for more control over the federal forests and grasslands and was supported heartily by Theodore Roosevelt. With the establishment of the Forest Service, Pinchot finally had the control needed to start implementing many of the forestry policies for which he advocated including scientific management of forests, controlled logging in national forests and controlled grazing rights for farmers and ranchers. Pinchot and Roosevelt often were at odds with staunch conservationists such as John Muir who wanted to ban logging and commercial use of national lands entirely.