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Annual Fourth Of July Parade TR And The Bull Moose Years

The parade marches from Church Street to the Derby-Hall bandstand and back

Quentin Roosevelt Post No. 4 the American Legion will hold their Annual Independence Day Parade on Wednesday, July 4th. Post Commander Reginald Butts, Jr. is the parade coordinator.

Town of Oyster Bay Historian John Hammond said he and Mr. Butts of the Legion, who run the annual 4th of July parade, work out a theme. Last year it was the Civil War. “This year the theme is Theodore Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Years, and the campaign of 1912. It is an appropriate theme for Oyster Bay. James Foote will be speaking as TR. I don’t know exactly what he will say as yet,” said Mr. Hammond.

Mr. Butt said the assembly time is 10 a.m. and the parade will start at 10:30 a.m. Those marching will assemble on Church Street outside the Oyster Bay Community Center. The parade will march from Church Street north to East Main Street, head west, crossing South Street and along Audrey Avenue to the Derby-Hall Bandstand.

Those participating in the parade will include several American Legion Posts, the Korean War Veterans Association and other veterans groups. Also taking part are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Friends of Raynham Hall Museum, the Atlantic Steamer Fire Company, the Oyster Bay Fire Company No. 1 and members of the National Park Service from Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Also marching will be James Foote, as President Theodore Roosevelt, a well as representatives from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the captain and a group of candidates for the Navy’s Sailor of the Year competition.

At the Derby-Hall bandstand, music will be provided by the Oyster Bay Community Band. The ceremony will include the Scouts leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and speeches from distinguished guests.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the units will reform and march back to the Oyster Bay Community Center. In the afternoon there will be activities at Sagamore Hill to which everyone is invited.

The Bull Moose Campaign

Colonel Roosevelt was shot in an assassination attempt by John Schrank, on Oct. 14, 1912 as he was entering the auditorium at Millwaukee to deliver a campaign speech.

On its website, the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA) has a stenographer’s transcript of TR’s Bull Moose speech that begins: “Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don’t know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. But fortunately I had my manuscript, so you see I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet - there is where the bullet went through - and it probably saved me from it going into my heart. The bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.”

In the fall, the Oyster Bay Historical Society will be hosting a Theodore Roosevelt Association exhibit, “TR in ’12” on Theodore Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party. The exhibit will open first in NYC at TR’s birthplace, and will be at the Koenig Center in the fall.

In the exhibit will be TR’s bloodied shirt that he wore after the assassination attempt, when he used the phrase. “it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” The shirt belongs to the Shapelle Manuscript Foundation and joins artifacts from many collections including items from the Harvard TR collection, to be seen in the exhibit.