The US presidential election of 1912 was fought among three major candidates. Incumbent President William Howard Taft was re-nominated by the Republican Party with the support of the conservative wing of the party. Although Taft was Theodore Roosevelt's hand picked successor, Taft's performance in office failed to satisfy Roosevelt's political supporters including former Mandan mayor Henry Coe. After TR failed to garner the Republican nomination, Roosevelt called his own convention and created the Progressive Party (nicknamed the "Bull Moose Party").
Theodore Roosevelt made a short campaing stop in Mandan on October 4 arrived on the evening No. 5 train. Roosevelt addressed a large crowd that had assembled at the depot. During the past few days, The ‘Bull Moose’ leader had also made speaking stops at Grand Forks, Fargo, Jamestown and Bismarck.
After the train had stopped near the depot, Roosevelt appeared on the rear platform and began speaking of the new movement represented in the Progressive Party, when he spotted one of his old ranch employees from the 1880s, Charlie Rowe, who was summoned onto the platform. Roosevelt slapped him on the back with a ‘Hello, Charlie’ and then proceeded to tell the crowd of some of the incidents of his ranching days in western North Dakota.
Twenty minutes later, the locomotive began to build steam for the next leg of the journey west, and ‘Teddy’ called out ‘goodbyes’ saying that he was truly glad to be back in this section where a man was accepted for what he is worth, and that he would always have a warm place in his heart for the sturdy manhood of the West. Roosevelt waved his hat to the crowd as the train slowly gathered speed for its journey to Dickinson.
With the three-way race and split factions of the Republican Party, Woodrow Wilson defeated both Taft and Roosevelt in the general election. Wilson became the only elected President of the Democratic Party between 1892 and 1932. It was also the last election in which a candidate who was not a Republican or Democrat came second in either the popular vote or the Electoral College.
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