The barkeep who tried to kill Teddy Roosevelt

By 1912, John Schrank had been through a lot. The 36-year-old resident of East 10th Street, who owned a bar on 10th between Avenue C and D, had lost his girlfriend in the 1904 General Slocum ferry disaster. His parents and the relatives who raised him died when he was a kid.


And he had a beef with Teddy Roosevelt. That year, New York native Roosevelt was running again for President on the Bull Moose ticket.

Apparently Schrank didn’t like that Roosevelt was seeking a third term. Plus, as he wrote later, the ghost of William McKinley told Schrank to avenge his death by shooting TR.

So while Roosevelt was campaigning in Wisconsin, Schrank tried to assassinate him.

But the bullet ricocheted off Roosevelt’s steel eyeglass case and the copy of the speech in his coat pocket; it only caused a minor chest wound. Roosevelt declined to go to the hospital and went right on campaigning.

Schrank was committed to a mental home in Wisconsin. He died in 1943.


Right after the assassination attempt, Roosevelt supposedly told the crowd, “I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot, but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.”

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One Response to “The barkeep who tried to kill Teddy Roosevelt”

  1. thisiscrazy Says:

    it’s not like they arrested him….

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