Why Teddy Roosevelt's Daughter Was Banned From The White House

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "I can do one of two things. I can be president of the United States or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both" (via White House History). Alice Lee Roosevelt was the eldest of President Teddy Roosevelt's children and his only child with his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt. Alice was born in 1884 but sadly, her mother died just a couple of days after giving birth, the same day Teddy's own mother died. Losing two women close to him at the same time was a devastating blow, and Teddy retreated to his ranch in North Dakota and left baby Alice in the care of his sister, Anna, in New York.

Roosevelt returned to New York after a couple of years and married Edith Kermit Carow in 1886. Together, Teddy and Edith had five children together, and they also raised Alice. However, as reported by ATI, Alice and her stepmother didn't have the best relationship. Alice's relationship with her father was also strained, as she felt he preferred her other siblings over her. Alice grew up to be an independent, strong-willed woman, and Teddy admitted he had a hard time disciplining her.

The public loved Alice Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901 when Alice was 17 years old. She was introduced to society at her debutante ball that was held at the White House in 1902, where the public got a better look at the beautiful woman she had become. As a teen, Alice marched to the beat of her own drum. According to White House History, she was known to smoke cigarettes and carried a snake named Emily Spinach in her bag. Teddy banned smoking in the White House, and Alice responded by climbing to the roof and smoking there, which technically, wasn't inside the house.

Alice didn't care about her public image. She consumed alcohol, got into gambling, and rode in fast cars with boys. She reportedly attended hundreds of parties as well (per Colorized). Despite being a rebellious young woman who didn't conform to social norms, the public adored her, and they often referred to her as Princess Alice. In an interview later in life, Alice recalled her mischievous ways and said, "I must admit a sense of mischief does get a hold of me from time to time. I'm a hedonist. I have an appetite for being entertained," she said, via The Washington Post.

She was banned from the White House twice

Alice Roosevelt did many controversial things throughout her rebellious years, and just before the Roosevelt family left the White House, she made sure to leave a little gift for the new occupants, the Tafts. Theodore Roosevelt was in office until 1909 and was succeeded by William Howard Taft. According to History, Alice reportedly buried a voodoo doll of Taft's wife, Nellie, on the front lawn of the White House. She was banned from visiting when the doll was discovered.

However, that wasn't all. Woodrow Wilson, who served as the president from 1913 to 1921, also banned Alice from the White House for her public comments about him. As noted by Knox Focus, she once described Wilson as a "whey-blooded schoolmaster," and she also made lewd jokes about him. One of Alice's relatives said that she was "witty and very, very bright and enormously herself and no one else." She lived a long life and died in 1980 at the age of 96.