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Alice Lee Roosevelt, daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, was born Feb. 12, 1884. She was a healthy baby and weighed 8 ¾ pounds.
After her mother's death on Feb. 14th and her father leaving for North Dakota to get over his loss, Alice was cared for by her aunt, Theodore's sister, Anna Roosevelt, known as "Barnie", for two years.
All Alice had of her mother's were a few letters, a couple photos, a collection of poetry and some jewelry. Plus a locket of her mother's hair. Her step-mother -- Edith Kermit Carow (1861- 1948) -- married her father in Dec. 1886.
Alice would ask her father many times as she grew up about her mother, however, Theodore would not talk about his first wife, Alice's mother. She became very resentful. Plus with the stepmother and the new half-siblings, Alice felt left out.
She always felt like the outsider, against a stepmother and five half siblings. Her Aunt Barnie was the one to help keep her mother’s memory alive and tell the child things.
Alice was good at "mothering" the younger children, but she herself was "allergic to discipline."
With her father Vice President under President McKinley and then U.S. President, Alice became the spotlight of the country's attention. The color, "Alice Blue" was highly fashionable because Alice Roosevelt loved blue gowns. Hundreds of Americans sang or listened to the songs, "Alice Blue Gown" and "Alice, Where Art Thou?". Alice became a popular baby name.
During her time in the White House as her father was President, she made headlines for publicly smoking (even on top of the White House roof), driving fast cars, and as a single female even flirting with men. She attended events across the country, St. Louis World's Fair, Mardi Gras in New Orleans. While in Washington, D.C. she had some party going on every night. She was never bored, always looking for excitement.
Her father once stated; "I can either run the country or attend to Alice ... I cannot possibly do both."
Many gentlemen wanted to court Alice but she selected an older gentleman, Nicholas Longworth III (a member of US Congress House of Representatives 1903 - 1931 from Ohio).
Alice married Feb. 17, 1906 in the White House. Her wedding at the White House in the East Room was a super social event. There were gifts from world leaders. There were no bridesmaids, only male ushers at the wedding, because she didn't want any female to upstage her. Alice used a military sword to cut the wedding cake.
Even after the wedding Alice remained the center of attention. The media titled her "Princess Alice." As she was fond of light blue gowns and dresses, "My Sweet Alice Blue Gown" was featured in the popular 1919 musical production, "Irene". She and Nicholas traveled the world and she was very famous.
Alice and Nicholas had one child: Paulina Longworth (Feb. 14, 1925 - Jan. 27, 1957) who died of a drug overdose. Paulina had married Alex Sturm in Aug. 1944 ( he was born 1920 and died 1951). Paulina and Alex had one child, a daughter (only grandchild for Alice Roosevelt Longworth).
Alice Roosevelt Longworth did not have a happy marriage over the 25 years to Nicholas. He was a womanizer. After his death, she wrote in 1932 her autobiography, titled "Crowded Hours".
Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth was always in the political limelight and of great interest to the public, no matter what she did. She was very outspoken on many issues of the day. She was always a Washington DC socialite. She helped First Lady Jackie Kennedy restore the White House.
She kept a pillow in her parlor, embroidered with the words, "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." Her acerbic wit, gossip, and irreverence were legendary and were frequently recorded.
A quote by Alice: "I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches."
In 1958, Alice suffered from breast cancer but conquered it.
On Feb. 20, 1980, she died in Washington DC of emphysema, pneumonia, and cardiac arrest. She outlived her half-siblings at the age of 96.
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