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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

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, Long Islanders taking mass transit may find themselves caught up in the mad dash of the holiday rush. But on the Oyster Bay line, riders are lucky in that they don’t experience the same level of stress over parking as some of the busier lines do.

“The Oyster Bay station never seems to get that crowded, but we’ll see what happens during Thanksgiving holiday when a lot of people come to visit families. I don’t think I’ll have a problem commuting, though,” says Michael Miniero, an Oyster Bay resident who regularly commutes to work on the LIRR.

What better way to celebrate a 100th birthday than by having a new room inauguration filled with local residents, live music and cocktails and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. That is what happened at the Locust Valley Library Sunday evening, Nov. 9, as the community room was officially renamed the Matinecock Neighborhood Association Community Room. Proceeds from the event went to the restoration of the new room.

Speakers at the centennial celebration included Library Board of Trustees President Charles Brisbane, Library Administrative Director Kathy Smith, Locust Valley Historical Society President Herb Schierhorst and Matinecock Nation Chief Little Running Fox.


Sports

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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