On 14 October 1912, the former US president Theodore Roosevelt went to Milwaukee to give a speech. Although TR had retired from the political front line almost four years earlier, he had now decided to launch a comeback and was running for president on the independent Progressive Party ticket. Everywhere he was greeted by large, enthusiastic crowds and Milwaukee was no exception. But, as TR was leaving his hotel for the auditorium, a madman called John Flammang Schrank raised a pistol and fired, hitting the former presi-dent in the chest.
TR’s companions urged the driver to race to the hospital. But their chief, almost incredibly, was having none of it. ‘You get me to that speech,’ he said thickly. The bullet had been deflected by the thick notes of his text, buried within his coat, which meant that it lodged