September 14th, 1901 was both a sad day and a momentous one in Buffalo’s rich history. In the midst of the Pan Am Expo, President William McKinley tragically passed away on Sept 14th as a result of an assassination attempt 8 days earlier. On the same day in accordance with our Constitution, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President of the United States.
President Roosevelt took the oath of office at the Ansley Wilcox House on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. During his 8 years as president, he launched what is known as the Progressive Era and ushered in major changes in American policy both domestically and around the world.
On the home front, Roosevelt pursued an aggressive policy of enforcing anti-trust laws (he was called the “trust-buster”) to protect American workers and he became known as a staunch conservationist for his efforts in preserving 125 million acres of land as national forests. On the foreign policy side, he saw success in mediating the Russian-Japanese War, he negotiated the treaty to establish the Panama Canal and instituted a new policy (known as the ‘Roosevelt Corollary’) of intervention in South American instability.
His inaugural site is now a museum open to the public where visitors can get a glimpse of that historic day and a deeper look at one our nation’s most influential presidents. Among other accolades, President Roosevelt was awarded a Nobel Prize and his likeness is part of Mount Rushmore. And it all began on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo.
“The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight – that he shall not be a mere passenger.”
– Theodore Roosevelt