Conservation President

Part of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial.

"There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country. Just as we must conserve our men, women and children, so we must conserve the resources of the land on which they live." —Theodore Roosevelt

September 14, 1901

Becomes 26th President: While Roosevelt visits the Adirondacks, President McKinley is shot. He dies eight days later. A hasty inauguration ceremony is held in Buffalo, New York. 


September 1901
December 3, 1901

First Message to Congress: Roosevelt insists that government should preserve wilderness and natural resources "for the use and benefit of our people as a whole."

May 22, 1902
September 1902

Carriage Accident: While campaigning in Massachusetts, Roosevelt is thrown from a carriage and permanently injures his left leg.

November 1902
Exaggerated cartoon of Theodore Roosevelt, wearing a big hat and holding a gun, walking away from a person holding a tied up small bear.

Bear Hunt: While hunting in Mississippi, Roosevelt refuses to shoot a captured bear. Shortly afterwards, a toy manufacturer introduces stuffed bears and calls them "Teddy Bears."


March 14, 1903
March 1903
Painting of mountains and a row of trees reflected in a clear lake in front of them.

Alaskan Boundary Dispute Settled: After the settlement of a dispute with Britain over the Canada-Alaska border, Roosevelt protects Alaskan lands and wildlife.


May 1903
May 1903
November 8, 1904
A large crowd, including someone on horseback and soldiers, assembled in front of the Capitol building which is decorated with American flags..

Wins Presidential Election: Roosevelt wins in a landslide. "I am glad to be elected President in my own right."


February 1, 1905
June 2, 1905

Ken Salazar: Roosevelt pioneers government efforts to protect wildlife, creating four game preserves during his presidency. 

December 1905
William Hornaday stands in a room in front of a bookshelf, holding a large book open.

Cofounds American Bison Society: To rehabilitate Great Plains bison populations, Roosevelt joins with New York Zoological Society director William Hornaday in founding this organization.


June 8, 1906

David Hurst Thomas: Signs the Antiquities Act; eventually protects 18 sites, including archeological locations of Native peoples.

June 30, 1906

Signs Pure Food and Drug Act: Roosevelt expanded government's role in areas outside of conservation. Federal meat inspection was the key component of this landmark act. 

November 1906

Travels to Panama: The first president to travel internationally while in office; inspects Panama Canal construction.

December 10, 1906
May 1908
Over 60 people gathered for a group photo, with the front row seated and back rows standing.

Conference of Governors: Concerned about resources, Roosevelt calls the first Conference of Governors to consider conservation issues.


July 1, 1908

Douglas Brinkley: In just a few days, Roosevelt protects more than 16 million acres of forest. 

March 4, 1909

End of Presidential Term: As president, Roosevelt launched programs that would protect more than 230 million acres of U.S. land.