On New Year’s Day, 1907 President Teddy Roosevelt invited “all citizens who are sober, washed, and free of bodily advertising” to come to the White House and wish the President of the United States a Happy New Year. So, they lined up on a perfect, spring-like 55 degree day (“Roosevelt weather” it was said) and he shakes 8,150 hands (averaging 50 grips a minute) in under 3 hours. An unusual number of children, inspired by the nice weather, arrive seemingly determined to enter the White House on roller skates! When finished, the President hastily retires upstairs and scrubs himself clean (my kind of guy!). (Source: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris – an excellent read).
Wow! The man cares for the people and is accessible. I’m sure those who met him for about one second had a Happy New Year as they felt “the warmth of the handshake” and the characteristic phrase “Dee-lighted!” from their very own President. I’d like to meet the man myself, no roller skates please! He is a character, larger than life. I’ll try to introduce him to you little by little….