This article is for quizzes on Wednesday March 8th...
John Flammang Schrank (March 5, 1876 – September 15, 1943) was a resident of New York, best known for his attempt to assassinate former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt on October 14, 1912 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The 1912 Presidential election campaign was characterised by a serious split in the Republican Party between the conservative wing under President William Howard Taft and the liberal/reform wing under ex-President Theodore Roosevelt. After a bitter confrontation at the Republican Convention, Taft won renomination. Roosevelt led a bolt of his followers, who held a convention and nominated him for President on the ticket of the Progressive Party, nicknamed the "Bull Moose Party." Taft and his supporters attacked Roosevelt for being power-hungry, and seeking to break the tradition that U.S. Presidents only serve up to two terms in office.
On October 14, 1912, while Theodore Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Schrank attempted to assassinate him.
It is unclear when Schrank's interest in domestic politics grew to the point that he would attempt to kill Roosevelt. It is known that he was an opponent of a sitting President's ability to seek a third term in office.
According to documents found on Schrank after the attempted assassination, Schrank had written that he was advised by the ghost of William McKinley in a dream to avenge his death, pointing to a picture of Theodore Roosevelt. Different accounts claim that in the dream he instead saw McKinley rise from a coffin and point at Roosevelt, who was wearing a monk's robe.
Roosevelt was at the Gilpatrick Hotel at a dinner provided by the hotel's owner, a supporter. The ex-President was scheduled to deliver a speech at the Milwaukee Auditorium. News had circulated that Roosevelt was at the hotel, and Schrank (who had been following Roosevelt from New Orleans to Milwaukee) went to the hotel. The ex-President had finished his meal, and was leaving the hotel to enter his car when Schrank acted.
Schrank did shoot Roosevelt, but the bullet lodged in Roosevelt's chest only after hitting both his steel eyeglass case and a 50-page copy of his speech he was carrying in his jacket. Roosevelt decided the bullet could not have penetrated to his lung because he coughed no blood and, declining suggestions that he go to the hospital, delivered his scheduled speech.