July 1, 1898: Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders Storm San Juan Hill, Cuba
On this day in 1898, American forces and Theodore Roosevelt’s First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry (the “Rough Riders”) defeated Spanish forces at the Battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba. This victory was a defining moment in the Spanish-American War because it led to Spanish surrender about a month later, effectively concluding the war.
The Rough Riders were a mixed troop, composed of cowboys, Native Americans, African Americans, miners, hunters, law enforcement, and college students. Roosevelt’s leadership of the cavalry made him a war hero and helped him advance his political career to become Vice President and eventually President.
Explore the Roosevelts’ lives with the site for Ken Burns’s upcoming film, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.
Watch a clip from the upcoming film about Teddy Roosevelt’s involvement in the Spanish-American War.
Photo: Lt. Colonel Theodore Roosevelt of the Rough Riders, 1898 . Credit: Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University