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Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site


On September 6, 1901, President William McKinley was shot twice during a reception at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Doctors removed one of the bullets, but failed to find the second, and McKinley died from an infection eight days later. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, assured by doctors that McKinley would live, was hiking in the Adirondacks on September 13 when he was suddenly summoned to Buffalo. The next day, in the library of the home of his friend Ansley Wilcox, Roosevelt took the oath of office to become the twenty-sixth President. He stood in front of the bay window on the south side of the room, wearing a frock-coat lent him by Wilcox. The coat is now on display at the house, which was designated the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in 1966.

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
©The Victorian Society in America
When duty called, the Rough Rider was ready
and assumed the Presidency at what is now
the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site.

The entire surprise ceremony was over within half an hour, but Roosevelt appeared ready for the job: "Here is the task, and I have got to do it to the best of my ability; and that is all there is to it."

Roosevelt, who was reelected in 1904, passed more reform bills during his tenure than any other administration since the Civil War. He helped secure the construction of the Panama Canal and the peace treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site Information
Address: 641 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY
Telephone: 716/884-0095
Hours of Operation:

  • Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday - Sunday, noon - 5:00 p.m.
  • Closed New Year's Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and December 24, 25, and 31

Admission:

  • $5 for adults
  • $3 for seniors age 62+ and college students with IDs
  • $1 for children age 6 - 14
  • Free for children 5 and younger­

Learn more about these other national historic sites:

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site Clara Barton National Historic Site
Fort Larned National Historic Site
Grant Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site
Adams National Historic Site
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Hampton National Historic Site Lincoln Home National Historic Site Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site
Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site Edison National Historic Site Fort Scott National Historic Site Harry S. Truman National Historic Site Longfellow National Historic Site Sagamore Hill National Historic Site Thomas Stone National Historic Site
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Eisenhower National Historic Site Fort Smith National Historic Site Herbert Hoover National Historic Site Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site Saint Paul's Church National Historic Site Thomas Stone National Historic Site
Boston African -American National Historic Site Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site Fort Vancouver National Historic Site Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site Manzanar National Historic Site

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To learn more about national national monuments, memorials, and historic sites, and other travel destinations in North America, visit:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.