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Presidential Politics Circa 1912 On Exhibit At the Koenig Center

Theodore Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party run for president documented

A visit to the TR in ’12 exhibit at the Koenig Center will not only inform you as to the presidential election campaign of Theodore Roosevelt, but it will illuminate the drama of the assassination attempt he survived. An exhibit case at the Koenig Center brings together — for the first time in his hometown — the revolver, the metal eye glass case from Meyerowitz with a bullet hole through it, the speech that took some of the bullet’s impact and a digital image of the X-ray (which belongs to the Library of Congress) showing where the bullet remained throughout TR’s life. Only the bloodied shirt is missing.

There are several firsts in the exhibit said Nicole Menchise, Oyster Bay Historical Society (OBHS) librarian and archivist. She said, “Those three original items, the gun (belonging to the Chapelle Manuscript collection), the glass case (belonging to the NPS) and the speech (belonging to the Chapelle Manuscript collection) were put together for this traveling exhibit for the first time since the day of the shooting, 100 years ago, and after the exhibit closes they will be disbursed to their individual owners.” Ms. Menchise, Philip Blocklyn OBHS executive director and Jacqueline Blocklyn curated the exhibit.

Mr. Blocklyn, explained that the shirt was part of the exhibit when it was first shown this summer at the TR Birthplace in NYC. “That was because the National Park Service (NPS) owns the Birthplace. They self-insure their things. No one else could afford the insurance.

“To get it here would have cost an exorbitant amount of money,” he said. FYI: all art exhibits include extensive insurance for the one of a kind items when they are being transported and shown.

The revolver was carefully guarded as it was brought to Oyster Bay. He said, “The U.S. Park Police brought the gun to the Nassau County Police and they installed it here. It’s a real gun, a 38 caliber Colt and you can still buy ammunition for it. So the gun is considered real.

“If it was a gun Julius Caesar used that might be different, but this is 100 years old and it can still be used. It has not been disassembled or tampered with since it is historical. It has to be handled like any modern gun,” explained Mr. Blocklyn.

The Sept. 21 opening was a gala affair with Theodore Roosevelt Association Executive Director Terrance Brown and TRA Treasurer Shawn Thomas in attendance. Sagamore Hill National Historic Site Superintendent Thomas Ross and his artist wife Kerrie were there as well as Oyster Bay Cove artist Mort Künstler, his wife Deborah, Brookville Village Historian Laura V. Dougherty, Bayville Museum Director David Rapelje and TR impersonator James Foote.

Superintendent Tom Ross said, “I just think it’s a great exhibit. I had an opportunity to see the exhibit in NYC at the Birthplace and I’m so glad we are able to travel it to Oyster Bay so the residents can see it. I hope the residents not only find it interesting, but inspirational too, as we are in another presidential election year.

“The election of 1912 was very interesting. There were three parties running, and also, our native son was essentially the third party candidate, and this is the 100th anniversary of that event.  Hopefully people will be inspired to take on their civic responsibility and to participate in the election process this fall, which TR would advocate for. I think that the exhibit can get people interested in the presidential election process.

“TR was big on people exercising their civic duties, and voting,” said Mr. Ross.  

Mr. Blockyn’s overview of the exhibit is that, “It is a review of the 1912 election year, beginning with the split in the Republican party and going through the primaries and convention and then the election itself. The emphasis is on TR and the Bull Moose Party or the Progressive Party as it was actually known.

“The assassination attempt is a whole sidebar including a photograph of the would-be assassin John Schrank of Brooklyn. He was a bartender who was apparently obsessed with the idea that TR was breaking that great American tradition of a two-term presidency,” he added.

The exhibit runs now through Nov. 11 at the OBHS Koenig Center at 20 Summit Street in Oyster Bay. Please call 922-5032 for more information.

News

There is a new psychic medium on the North Shore of Long Island to compete with the original “Long Island Medium,” Theresa Caputo. Her name is Mary Drew and she has been working for more than a decade doing private readings. Recently, Drew has expanded her horizons and has been conducting readings at restaurants, public events and fundraisers.

“I discovered my ability to speak and to hear the deceased voices when I was 10 years old,” said Drew, who grew up in Brookville and now resides in Glen Cove. “The first deceased person I had an encounter with was my grandmother and it was a very profound experience, to say the least.”

The Oyster Bay Charitable Fund and the Oyster Bay Rotary Club hosted the annual Oyster Festival “Kick-Off” press conference on Friday, Aug. 15 at the flagpole in Theodore Roosevelt Park.

In attendance were NY State Senator Carl Marcelino and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, both Honorary Oyster Festival Chairmen; Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr.; Oyster Bay Town Councilman Chris J. Coshignano; Oyster Bay Town Councilwoman Michelle Johnson; Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joseph Pinto; Oyster Bay Rotary President Judy Wasilchuk; Verizon Title Sponsor Representative, Director of Government Affairs Patrick Lespinasse; Executive Director, h2empower, African Studies Specialist Helen Boxwill; Oyster Festival Sports Representative James Werner; Long Island Rough Riders Representative Sarah Culmo and Emcee Harlan Friedman.

The 31st annual Oyster Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.


Sports

Picture-perfect weather was on board for the Mill Neck Family of Organizations’ Third Annual Sail the Sound for Deafness Regatta on Thursday, Aug. 7. The event, featuring an evening race of yachts, followed by a cocktail party, was held to benefit the organization that serves individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have other special needs.

In this year’s race, fifteen sailors took to the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor; three aboard their own boats, others on several boats provided by Oakcliff Sailing Center. The WaterFront Center’s oyster sloop, Christeen and two vessels from Oyster Bay Marine Center, brought a total of 45 spectators out to watch the race.

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.


Calendar

Movie at the Library

Thursday, August 28

Sagamore Hill Walk

Saturday, August 30

Hooks and Needles

Tuesday, September 2



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com