Italian earthquake baby named for U.S. president

On December 28, 1908, a large earthquake struck the Italian city of Messina. The earthquake (and subsequent tsunami) ended up claiming over 100,000 lives.

As part of the reconstruction effort, the U.S. erected hundreds houses in Messina for earthquake survivors. The first baby to be born in one of these houses arrived on May 16, 1909. He was named Theodore, after former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt, president at the time of the earthquake, had been replaced by Taft in early March.

Source: “Baby Named Theodore.” New York Times 18 May 1909: 4.

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