Heather Cox Richardson: The Tragedies That Made Theodore Roosevelt

Diane Ravitch's blog

Heather Cox Richardson wrote a wonderful post about Theodore Roosevelt and the tragedies that changed his life.

On Valentine’s Day in 1884, Theodore Roosevelt lost both his wife and his mother.

Four years before, Roosevelt could not have imagined the tragedy that would stun him in 1884. February 14, 1880, marked one of the happiest days of his life. He and the woman he had courted for more than a year, Alice Hathaway Lee, had just announced their engagement. Roosevelt was over the moon: “I can scarcely realize that I can hold her in my arms and kiss her and caress her and love her as much as I choose,” he recorded in his diary. What followed were, according to Roosevelt, “three years of happiness greater and more unalloyed than I have ever known fall to the lot of others.”

After they married in fall 1880, the Roosevelts moved into…

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