The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
Jan. 6, 1919
Theodore Roosevelt will rank in history as one of the most virile, vigorous and courageous Americans of his day with a capacity for leadership only equaled by his capacity for making enemies. With his indomitable energy he combined overweening egotism and vaulting ambition that brooked no rivals, but his devotion to duty as he saw it was unquestioned.
Roosevelt was a political opportunist in the fullest sense of the term, and idealist at one time and a “practical man” at another—associating with corrupt politicians while denouncing them, condemning as “malefactors of great wealth” seekers of special privilege whose money helped elect him, organizing, then abandoning the “forces” of “righteousness” he had led to “Armageddon” to associate with the enemy. His career as president, however, helped lift the nation out of the rut of commercialism in which it had skidded and reawakened the higher ideals of the republic.
Roosevelt accomplished achievements which historians will rank high in the international and industrial progress of the country. They included his influential negotiations which, conducted at Portsmouth, N. H., effected peace between Russia and Japan; maintenance of the Monroe Doctrine at a period when European powers were interested in the affairs of Venezuela; the recognition of Panama as a republic and his treaty with Panama by which the inter-oceanic canal through that country was put under way; and the settlement, through his moral influence in the face of a situation in which there was no adequate federal legislation, of the Pennsylvania coal mine strike.
A born fighter—always hunting a fight, with the spectacular and advertising instincts of the showman, with a knack of coining quaint and picturesque phrases, and a personality that secured him a multitude of supporters as well as a host of opponents, Roosevelt was a never ceasing object of interest to political friend and foe alike and his death will be mourned by all. He was one of our greatest Americans and his career, as picturesque as it is fascinating, is an interesting chapter in the history of the nation. His life was full of activity and achievement and his courage and his patriotism unquestioned.
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