Pinback button promoting Theodore Roosevelt for president, 1904. The Whitehead & Hoag Co., Newark, New Jersey.
Sworn into office upon the death of William McKinley, just shy of his 43rd birthday, Theodore Roosevelt is the youngest person to become President of the United States. Although he vowed to continue the conservative policies of his predecessor, he transformed the image and function of the office. From what he called the presidency's "bully pulpit," he gave speeches aimed at raising public consciousness about the nation's role in world affairs and the need to regulate big business. But recognizing he had become president by accident, TR knew he needed a popular mandate to enact his progressive agenda. Though mistrusted by the party establishment, his immense popularity with the public assured him the nomination in 1904.
Campaigning on a promise to balance the interests of labor and capital with a reform program he called the Square Deal, he was elected in a landslide. Flushed with victory, he promised not to seek another term—a promise he would later regret and disown.
We offer an original Theodore Roosevelt campaign button from 1904, featuring his likeness.