Cambridge (Mass.).

Memorial exercises, commemorating the sixty-fourth anniversary of the birth of Theodore Roosevelt (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 2)
Online LibraryCambridge (Mass.)Memorial exercises, commemorating the sixty-fourth anniversary of the birth of Theodore Roosevelt (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 2)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook



E 757
Copy 2



Memorial Exercises Commemorating the

Sixty- Fourth Anniversary
of the birth of

Theodore Roosevelt

held at the

Cambridge City Hall

Friday, October 27, 1922

Memorial Address


T. Harrison Cummings



in the


By and About Roosevelt


Committee ,C/7

Appointed by His Honor the Mayor to Conduct
Appropriate Exercises

(Commander, Cambridge Post, American Legion)

MRS. HUGH McGlNNESS, Secretary
(President Cambridge Auxiliary, U. S. W. V.)

(Representing Cambridge Posts, G. A. R.)

(Commander, Hunting Camp, U. S. W. V.


(Commander, Hoyt Post, V. F. W.)

(Exalted Ruler, Cambridge Lodge, B. P. O. Elks)

(President Cambridge Unit, American Legion Auxiliary)

(Daughters of Massachusetts)


(Daughters of American Revolution)

Essay Prizes Contributed by

Cambridge Lodge, No. 839,

Benevolent Protective Order of Elks



Invocation REV. JOHN A. BUTLER

Opening Address HON. E. W. QUINN. Mayor


"Personal Recollections of Roosevelt— The Soldier"


Piano Selection MR. FRANK O'BRIEN

"Theodore Roosevelt, the America.n Citizen"



"Theodore Roosevelt, the American Citizen"


Violin Selection MISS MAE MURRAY

Oration MR. T. HARRISON CUMMINGS. Librarian


Presentation of Prizes to Essay Contest Win.ners

Finale — "The Star Spangled Banner"


Veterans of Civil, Spanish and World's Wars

Unci,.rw...,ii & lTn,i,.|w..oii Stuilios. New York


From "Roosevelt's Reliprion"

CopyriKht, 1922, by Christian F. Relsnei-

— The Abingdon Press

Birth of Flag in 1775 at Cambridge (as visualized in the Cambridfe Public Library

Roosevelt Memorial

Commemorative exercises on the sixty-fourth anniversary of the
hirth of Theodore Roosevelt were held Friday, October 27, 1922,
in the city council chamber, under the auspices of the mayor's com-

Included on the progrannne were prize winning essays on Roose-
velt by students from the public schools.

The oration of the day was given by Librarian T. Harrison


Of the 29 presidents of the United States, from 1789 to 1922, some,
not all, were great men. Some were great men whom mankind has
always been delighted to honor, by raising statues to their memory in
the world's Pantheon of great men ; others were less great perhaps,
but were privileged men, men who rendered distimguished services to
their country ; and America has crowned them with a wreath of im-
mortelles, because they added something in what they did for their
country to the sum of human knowledge and they strengthened faith
and trust in democracy and popular government.

All of our Presidents were great patriots. For history shows that
whatever their failings were in private life their public services were
prompted by motives that were always pure and essentially patriotic.
And here in America everything is forgiven the patriot. America loves
those who love America and the flag. Our flag is a sacred symbol of
all our ideals of government — a government, as Lincoln said, "of the
people, for the people, and by the people." In its ample folds today
are enshrined the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of
the United States, the farewell address of Washington, and the words
of Lincoln at Gettysburg. Its red and white stripes — lines of red blood
and white purit}' of purpose visualize the sacrifices made by the gen-
erations who have preceded us. And today that flaig, resplendent with
forty-eight stars, embodies all the hopes and all the aspirations of the
freedom-loving people of the earth.

We believe that the hand of God himself through all our history,
from Washington to Harding, is shaping the destiny of mankind.
And even he who now serves this chosen people, let us hope, will be
numbered among the illustrious great men. And time will never dim
the lustre and fame of this our present Chief Magistrate, Warren G.
Harding, the twenty-ninth President of the United States. So immor-
tal is the magic power of American patriotism.

Sometime in the future, my friends, when the world's Pantheon
shall be erected to the great men of the earth, the inhabitants of
America, whether north or south, east or west, in the northern or
southern hemisphere, will instinctively look for two statutes — two
monuments — Washington, first in war. first in peace, and first in the

hearts of his countrymen. And side by side with him the great man
in the second epoch of the nation's history — Abraham Lincoln. Their
joint names will be linked together, as the two great types of chivalry
in American history. Washington, the eighteenth century cavalier
and aristocrat. Lincoln, the nineteenth century statesman, martyr,
and saviour of his country. The one. the flower of the age of privilege
and class distinction ; the other the blossoming of the age of democ-
racy and universal brotherhood.

And now we come to the third epoch in the history of our nation.
I do not forget that there have been other great men, great patriots
and great leaders among our national heroes, in the presidency. In-
deed, it is hard to believe that any other nation ever produced a line
of men so noble, so generous, and so patriotic as those we are talking
about here tonight. But ideas and ideals are the most powerful and
permanent forces in the world. When the Great War, through which
we have just passed, ended with the complete collapse of the German
army at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Woods, the most powerful and
perfectly organized military machine that the world has ever seen,
it taught us a great lesson — namely : that the spirit of truth and lib-
erty in the hearts of a free people is incomparably stronger than any
organized despotism, and mightier than the sword of any military
hero. The old order has changed and the new order, the American
idea of a real people's democracy has tumbled down the throne of
kmgs and wrecked the autocracy and divine rights of kaisers and dic-
tators everywhere, and has set the people free.

Free government is only possible when self-control and mutual
benefits constitute the guiding spirit of its citizens and when these
are planted deep in the hearts and lives of the people. The public
mind must be educated today to new ideals ; and we must learn to
respect organized authority before we can have a safe government
"of the people, for the people, and by the people." .\merica today
stands for liberty under the law because liberty is protected and made
safe by law. And Americans know that only through obedience to
the law can liberty exist.

May I not give you a truer idea of American liberty by recalling
the fact that in the Declaration of Independence, that immortal docu-
ment, the word liberty occurs but once while the word law occurs nc
less than eight times. In the Constitution of the United States, our
bill of rights, and our charter of our liberty, there are fifty laws,
which signifies plainly that liberty in America is only possible to a
law abiding people. Our freedom rests on obedience to the law, the
law of the land, and our flag today is the symbol of liberty and justice
to all. For instance, in our Civil war, we fought out this ideal over
fifty years ago — that all men are created free and equal, and we lib-
erated a race of people, whom we had oppressed and enslaved. When
Abraham Lincoln, dipping his pen in the sunlight, wrote those immor-
tal words in his Emancipation Proclamation, "henceforth and forever
free," he made a distinct contribution to the organized freedom of
mankind, and today .Americanization means making everybody under-
stand not only the privileges but the duties which belong to every
American citizen, no matter where he was born. Here, in America,
there is no distinction, class, or creed. All are Americans together.
Men. women, and children share these privileges alike. It is this that
makes us a united democracy, working together, shoulder to shoulder,
in mutual helpfulness, and this alone is true Americanism.

And the man who stands as the personification of this new era of
Americanism and democracy, the chief leader in the present civic
renaissance of the American people and the one great apostle of the

ideals and lottv i)rinciples of American democracy was the late
Theodore RooscveU, the twenty-sixth President of the United States.

Tonight we are gathered here to pay our tribute of reverence
and respect and gratitude to the majestic name and memory of one
of the greatest citizens of the American republic. All our voices
should be sounding his praises, regardless of what our political affili-
ations may be, because of the rich heritage of Americanism and Amer-
ican history that we now hold in trust from him as a sacred legacy.
This will be the subject of my discourse.

Passing briefly over his ancestry, childhood, and youth, we can
hastily summarize in a few words his entrance into political life, in
New \'ork, being elected to the Legislature in 1881, the youngest man
in the House; he was nominated for speaker in 1883, by the Repub-
licans, who then abandoned him because he was fighting the bosses.
This was his first real lesson in politics. In 1884, the legislative Roose-
velt Committee was investigating New York City and that same
year he headed the New York delegation, as chairman to the famous
national convention, in which he opposed the nomination of James G.
Blaine. Though he did not leave the Republican party, he defeated
Mr. Blaine, with the famous "Rum. Romanism, and Rebellion" cry of
Dr. Buchard. In 1888, he went on the stump for General Harrison and
was given a place on the Civil Service Commission at Washington,
which he accepted. After six years of service, he resigned and in
May, 1895, was appointed Police Commissioner in New York. This
made him a national figure because he was fighting "rum and rebel-
lion" on the side of Romanism. In this connection I am reminded of
an incident that happened in Boston, which shows how he was re-
garded not only in New York but in Boston as well. At a K. of C.
banquet given in Music Hall, Boston, on October 23, 1895, His Emi-
nence, William Cardinal O'Connell, then a simple curate at Saint Jos-
eph's Church in Boston, was one of the speakers. Responding to the
toast, "the Church," he spoke as follows: "The truths of the Catholic
church, the doctrines and dogmas, we are not free to chanjge because
they are God's: but, in all else, in everything that goes to make good
government, purity in morals, temperance, and charity, we take the
hand of any man, be he Catholic, or Protestant."

".Apropos of this — last night this platform was occupied by a man
from New York, Theodore Roosevelt, a man who in public life stands
for everything that is honest and high-minded. He delivered a speech
from that platform that is a lesson in breadth and liberalitv to all
Boston and to all New England. At the end of his speech. I had the
great pleasure to meet him. As he came forward, he took my hand,
held it firmly and cordially, and said spontaneously, 'Father, permit
me to say that in all my work with people of all nationalities— Protes-
tant, Jew, and Catholic, the men who have been closest to me and
upon whom I depend most are the Catholic priests of New York City.'

"That sentiment from that man." said the Cardinal, "needs no
comment, but stands for what it means: for Theodore Roosevelt is a
man who says only what he- means."

In April, 1897, he was appointed Assistant Secretarv of the Navy,
the bosses reliictantly allowing him to have the office where he could
be shelved politically and do no harm. But no office, however obscure,
could ever bury a man of his restless spirit. President McKinley and
his cabinet invited the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to a cabi-
net meeting. Mr. Roosevelt advised the President to sav to Spain
that if she sent a fleet of warships across the Atlantic, this govern-
ment would regard it as an act of war. Air. McKinlev laughingly
told his cabinet about it, saying that Roosevelt has the' whole pro-
gramme of the war mapped out. The cabinet liked the joke so well
that the President was urged to invite the Assistant Secretarv to a

inoctiii^. Mr. Roosevelt went l)eforc them l)o!(lly and niiatraid and
gave his views in no uncertain terms. When he retired they all
la.gncU, thmkiuK the joke was on Roosevelt. But it turned out later
that if the sailing of the Spanish navy had been averted, the Spanish-
American war might have been averted — which put the joke on the

His war record was very creditable and his bravery was unques-
tioned. He led the Rough Riders, at the famous battle of San Juan
Hill, and at the close of the war his Rough Riders were welcomed
home as the heroes of the war, and their leader became a popular idol
in the eyes of the people. He was nominated and elected governor of
the Knipire state in 1899, and the following year. November. 190l), w.-ts
elected X'ice-President of the United States, with President McKinley
as his superior ofificer. His enemies believed now that this would
end him politically — as the Vice-Presidency had always been a politi-
cal tomb from which no occupant had emerged in more than sixty

But they counted without their host. The hand of fate that so
relentlessly rules us all intervened and before six months had passed,
on September 6, 1901, an .'\merican President for the third time fell
before the assassin's bullet. President McKinley, who was holding a
public reception in Buffalo. New York, at the Pan-American Exposi-
tion, was cruelly shot down by a young man of his own state of Ohio.
One week later, on September 14, he passed away, while the people,
from whom he had sprung, and the American nation he had so nobly
served, mingled their tears in the kinship of a common sorrow.

Twelve hours later. Vice-President Roosevelt had arrived in Buf-
falo and took the simple but solenm oath that all the Presidents from
Washington to Harding have taken. "I do solemnly swear that I will
faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and
will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Consti-
tution of the United States." — Theodore Roosevelt. That oath made
him the twenty-sixth President of the United States. He was then
but forty-two years old, the youngest President that ever sat in the
chair of Washington. Fate had been kind to him; for, within the
space of three years' time, he had risen from the ranks of a soldier
in the Spanish-.^merican war, to the governorship of New York; then
to the Vice-Presidency, and now he had become President of the
United States, the highest office in the gift of the American people.

The task that awaited him was indeed a stupendous one. He met
his daily tasks with a lion's courage and astonished the country by his
capacity for leadership and hard work. "We Americans," he said, "can
only do our allotted task well if we face it steadily and bravely, seeing
but not fearing the dangers. Above all we must stand shoulder to
shoulder, not asking as to the ancestry, or creed of our comrades, but
only demanding that they he in truth Americans, and that we all work
together, heart, hand, and head, for the honor and the greatness of our
common countrj'." Sound .American doctrine to the core.

He travelled fifty thousand miles in four years, delivered three
hundred and fifty speeches, explained his policies in every state and
territory of the Union. His efficiency no less than his fairness and
independence won the admiration of all parties alike. They saw that
he was a man of indomitable energy, who knew how to get things
done right — and they applauded him, irrespective of party allegiance.
He served out the unexpired term of President McKinley, three and
one-half years, and on June 23. 1904. was unanimously nominated for
President by the Republican party, at Chicago. His consummate skill
in manipulating iniblic opinion was so overwhelming that he was tri-
umphantly elected with one of the largest pluralties in history.

On March 4. 1905, he was inaugurated again for a second terra-

of four years. On delivering his inaugural address on this occasion
he spoke as follows :

"No people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours,
and this is said reverently, in no spirit of boastfulness in our strcncrth.
but with gratitude to the Giver of Good, who has blessed us with the
conditions which have enabled us to achieve so large a measure of
well-being and of happiness.

"To us as a people it has been granted to lay the_ foundations of
our national life in a new continent. We are the heirs oi the ages,
and yet we have had to pay few of the penalties which in old coun-
tries are exacted by the dead hand of a bygone civilization. We have
not been obliged to fight for our existence against any alien race; and
yet our life called for the vigor and effort without which the manlier
and hardier virtues wither away.

"Under such conditions it would be our own fault if we failed;
and the success which we have had in the past, the success which we
confidently believe the future will brinig,_ should cause_ in us no feeling
of vainglory, but rather a deep and abiding realization of all which
life has offered us; a full acknowledgment of the responsibility which
is ours ; and a fixed determination to show that under a free govern-
ment a mighty people can thrive best, alike as regards the things of
the body and the things of the soul."

It is well to read and ponder what has been written or spoken on
Inauguration day, by one to whom the people had entrusted their
Presidency. Here we have the real man revealed to us at last; we
may question his partv politics as being wise or unwise— but no one
can read the sentences of this message without believing that the
author is not only a patriot but intensively American. He is trying
to make the world better in seeking the triumph of good over evil
and so far as he can, is striving to have righteousness prevail on the
earth. Later on he said, "The labor unions shall have the 'square
deal' and the corporations shall have 'square deaP and in addition all
private citizens shall have a 'square deal.' This government shall
never be a plutocracy." And true to his word he brought the railways
and trusts into court. He got after the meat packers by having Con-
gress enact a pure food law, — he brought the coal barons to terms by
wielding the power of public opinion and forcing the settlement of
the coal strike.

His maxim was. as he expressed it, "to speak softly and carry a
big stick." Directness, courtesy and diplomacy made him an ideal
peacemaker, so that everywhere President Roosevelt was pictured
and even caricatured as the apostle of the "square deal and the big

"The strenuous life" was another phrase that he coined and ex-
emplified before the world on all occasions. "I wish to preach, not
the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life —
the life of toil and efifort. of labor and strife ; to preach the highest
form of success which comes not to the man who desires easy peace,
but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardships, or
from bitter toil, and who out of these, wins the splendid ultimate

The man was a physical marvel both in his wonderful capacity
for work or plav. He radiated energy just as the sun radiates heat
and light. The White House atmosphere when he was at home fairly
gleamed and sparkled with electric energy. Everybody and every-
thing kept moving. Yet with all his activities, few students or scholars
read more than he did. It is said of him that he always rested with
a book in his hand. He loafed with Dante and Plutarch, Herodotus
and Thucydides. Indeed a list of only part of his reading for two
years in the presidency is bewildering in the number of titles an</

authors and its wide scope of literature. In the midst of the crowded
campaign of 1904 he actually read all of Macaulay's "History of
England," James Ford Rhodes' "History of the United States" and
Dickens' "Story of Martin Chuzzlewit." As a librarian I do not care
\o trust myself to comment on this subject further.

But what more can I say of Theodore Roosevelt that has not
ilready been written or said by lips more eloquent than mine? It
is impossible for me to compress into a few brief remarks tonight the
life of such a marvellous man and hope to convey to you an adequate
sense of the man's greatness, and what we owe to him as a nation of
freedom loving people. When the icy hand of death the fell destroyer
was laid upon him. he saw the completion of a task, the awakening
of high ideals of patriotism and justice in the heart of the American
r.ation, that no other could have so well accomplished. He fell asleep
on the morning of January 6, 1919. in the fullness of his fame and
with the hope of immortality in his heart.

A short time before his death, he wrote to a friend, "It is idle to
complain or to rail at the inevitable: serene and high of heart, we
nuist face our fate and go down into the darkness."

Though the (great mystery of life and death, what we come from
and whither we are going, had not yet been revealed to him, his body
now lies buried in peace and his name and his spirit will live with us

His life teaches us that we are living under the best form of
government, in these United States, ever devised by the ingenuity of
man. We are living in a country of the greatest opportunities and
any man however humble or poor he mav be by merit, honesty, and
fidelity mav rise to the highest honor. His life teaches us that every
man in public life tnust be incorruptibly honest, not alone in a finan-
cial sense but honest in his dealings with the people in all ways. As
Lincoln has said, "You can fool all the people sometime, and some
of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the- people all of the

In stunming up, if Air. Roosevelt is to be remembered by his acts,
tliree things alone have made him immortal: first, his constant and
reiterated pleas by precept and example for stalwart Americanism ;
second, his crowning victory in establishing peace between Russia and
Japan during the late Russo-Japanese war, one of the noblest achieve-
ments of American diplomacy — it thrilled the world ; third : his
buildini? of the Panama canal, the greatest engineering feat in the
nages of historv. No triumph of war or peace can be compared with
it. Through all the dark time of uncertainty and doubt as to what the
future had in store for him and his mighty undertaking, he kept the
nroject moving until he had actually cut the great continent of America
in two.

Abuse and misrepresentation were heaped upon him by his enemies,
but he went serenely down the long road that seemed to him right,
with his face lifted to the stars, still kissing the clouds of hope and
fondlv believing in the justice of his cause. His spirit was never
broken and leadership came to him because he had an iron nerve
and a heart that never quailed nor faltered.

So in conclusion as long as the American people appreciate the
achievements and noble sentiments of this great American hero the
nation will still live. So long as there can be found anywhere a man
to speak for .\merican ideals of libertv and citizenship, created, as
we believe, by God himself and shaped by the fathers of this republic,
there will the name and memory of Theodore Roosevelt be cherished



Addresses and Presidential messages. 1904. 815 — R67

African game trails. 1910. 799— R6754

America and the world war. 1915. 940.91— R67
American big-game hunting: the book of the Boone and Crockett

club. 1893. 799-R676

American ideals, and other essays. 1897. 304 — R67
Americanism. Address delivered before the Knights of Columbus,

Carnegie Hall, New York, Oct. 12, 1915. (In his Fear God and

take your own part.) 304 — R6712

Applied ethics. 1911. 172— R67


Online LibraryCambridge (Mass.)Memorial exercises, commemorating the sixty-fourth anniversary of the birth of Theodore Roosevelt (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 2)