Thursday, August 22, 2013

T.R. Drives a Car

Pres. Theodore Roosevelt smiling from an automobile, 1902. From loc.gov

On a beautiful August 22 in 1902,  President Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting president to drive in an automobile (an electric one, no less). According to the San Francisco Call's reporting of the event, however, that fact was not the most interesting. In his remarks to the Connecticut crowd, President Roosevelt focused instead on the men who built the car.

"On being driven around your beautiful city I was taken through Pope Park and stopped at a platform, where I was presented with a great horseshoe of flowers by the great workingmen of Hartford to the President of the United States....It was a gift of welcome from the wage-workers, upon whom ultimately this government depends...

Gentlemen, I should be utterly unfit for the position that I occupy if I failed to do all that lies in me to act as light is given me--to act so as to represent the best thought and purpose of the wage-workers of the United States."


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Flannery O'Connor

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.