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Archive for Monday, September 24, 2012

100 years ago: Thousands greet Roosevelt at Lawrence train depot

September 24, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for September 24, 1912:

"About three thousand Lawrence people greeted Colonel Roosevelt Saturday night when his train pulled into the Santa Fe station and for about ten minutes the Colonel was shaking hands, speaking, waving his hands, smiling and laughing. The Colonel had not long to wait in Lawrence but he made the best of his time and shook hands with as many as could get close enough to grasp the outstretched hands.... 'This is one of the times when I wish that I were an octopus,' laughed the Colonel after an exceedingly long stretch.... After he had satisfied himself that he had stretched to the limit he ceased handshaking, and was about to make a response to the demands for a speech when the College side of the affair asserted itself in a grand 'Rock Chalk.' Roosevelt hesitated and smiled his approval of the College boys' demonstration. 'I see the football season has begun,' was the Colonel's response. He followed with a short address directed mostly to the students who had gathered in large numbers at the depot. 'I am glad to be here in Lawrence, the home of Kansas University. I am especially glad to address these college men for I realize that we must look to them for leadership in the future.'... The Colonel then repeated his favorite piece of advice which he explained he had heard a football coach give his men while practicing on the field: 'Don't flinch, don't foul and hit the line hard.'... 'Don't be afraid to resent a wrong,' he continued. 'There are some men who are such gentlemen that they will not fight back when they are injured. I don't believe in such gentlemanliness. If you have been injured fight back every time. It is your duty. If you don't get a square deal, start a row and see that you do get one. Don't injure anyone yourself, and do not let anyone injure you without fighting for your rights.'... In the crowd that gathered about the rear of his car the Colonel discovered a little curly headed boy on his father's shoulders. He stretched out his hand and patted the youngster on the head, mussing up his hair. 'I'm glad to see all of the Little Bull Mooses,' laughingly remarked the Colonel and others held up their little folks while the Colonel shook hands with them or patted them on the head."

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