Image courtesy of Library of Congress.
As Vice President, Theodore Roosevelt catapulted into the presidency after the death of President William McKinley on September 14, 1901. Roosevelt is one of nine presidents to be memorialized in Joint Sessions and Meetings of Congress.
A Joint Session of Congress, serving as a memorial tribute to the late President Theodore Roosevelt
, was held in the House Chamber. Representatives and Senators gathered to pay respect to the 26th President, who had passed away on January 6. Joining them were members of the Supreme Court, the President’s Cabinet, the diplomatic corps, foreign dignitaries, and former President William Howard Taft. Conspicuously absent was President Woodrow Wilson, then in Paris negotiating the Versailles Peace Treaty, which concluded World War I. House Chaplain
Dr. Henry Couden opened the ceremony by invoking Roosevelt as “one of the nation’s noblest sons—a writer, a speaker, a scientist, a patriot, a soldier, a statesman.” Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr.
of Massachusetts also eulogized his close friend: “We can not approach Theodore Roosevelt’s death along the beaten path of eulogy, or satisfy ourselves with the empty civilities of commonplace funeral tributes, for he did not make his life journey over main-traveled roads, nor was he ever commonplace.”