Is it too soon?
We often ask that before making a joke or quip about a terrible moment in our collective history.
Clearly, it's not too soon to create an historical event around the attempted assassination in Milwaukee of former President Teddy Roosevelt. Especially not in this case, because this isn't a celebration as much as a teachable moment.
Historic Milwaukee, Inc. hosts "To Kill A Bull Moose: The Attempted Assassination of Theodore Roosevelt, 100 Years Later," Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 333 W. Kilbourn Ave.
Mayor Tom Barrett will take part in the event, which kicks off at 3 p.m. with a re-enactment of the shooting at the hotel's east entrance, where German immigrant John Flammang Schrank shot Roosevelt during a speech at the Hotel Gilpatrick on Third Street.
Though he was shot in the chest, Roosevelt (who was campaigning for a third term) survived (obviously). Lore has it that the windy Roosevelt was saved by the thick wadded up speech text in his breast pocket. What's generally been considered quite amazing is that Roosevelt still went over to the Auditorium to deliver his 80-minute speech and upon finishing, went to be seen by a doctor.
That speaks volumes of Roosevelt's intestinal fortitude ... literally and figuratively, I guess.
After the event, marking the centennial of this important moment in Milwaukee – and U.S. – history, there will be a walking tour up the street to the Milwaukee Theatre (which was formerly the Auditorium) and at 4 p.m. refreshments and readings of excerpts from Roosevelt's Oct. 14, 1912 speech, at the Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave.
Presumably NOT in celebration of Schrank's work as a bartender, there will be a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres served after the festivities (if that's the right word to use here).
Roosevelt, of course, lost his 1912 bid for the presidency to Woodrow Wilson. The Hotel Gilpatrick was razed in the early 1940s and Schrank died in Waupun in 1943 and his body was donated to science; more specifically to the medical school at Marquette.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.