Theodore Roosevelt’s high-spirited daughter Alice. Her father said of her “I can either run the country or I can attend to Alice, but I cannot possibly do both.” In 15 months she attended 407 dinners, 350 balls and 300 parties
Her mother died when she was born. Roosevelt later remarried and Alice was raised partially by an aunt because she never got along with her stepmother, who liked to claim that if she’d lived, Teddy’s first wife would have ‘bored him to death’.
They once got mad at her for her fierce independence (ironically inherited from her father), and they threatened to send her to some strict girls boarding school as punishment. She responded in a letter, writing “If you send me I will humiliate you. I will do something that will shame you. I tell you I will.”
Her Dad was the governor of New York at the time, so her threat was a real one. It could have tanked Teddy’s career.
She was 17 when her dad suddenly became president (his predecessor was assassinated), and she became a celebutante in D.C. She went to all kinds of parties and soirees and her dramatic personal style started fashion trends–Her favorite color was a certain shade of blue, which is to this day known as “Alice blue”. She was a forerunner of flappers in the 1920s who flouted parental and societal rules for girls.
She had a pet snake named Emily Spinach which she would take to parties wrapped around her wrist. She liked to smoke cigarettes, ride in cars with boys, stay out late partying, and place bets with bookies, all things that women weren’t supposed to do at the time.
She was known to have a pillow on her sofa where she embroidered the words “If you can’t say something good about someone, sit right here by me”.