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August 16: Teddy Roosevelt Makes Headlines

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In the summer of 1910, former president Theodore Roosevelt was still making headlines in the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican newspaper. Roosevelt had been on page one in June as the paper recorded his interaction with passengers at sea off the coast of Ireland as he began his return after a triumphal tour of Europe.

The paper reported that North Dakota’s favorite adopted son was “the chief figure in a notable scene in the steerage this afternoon, when he attended a Catholic service held for 1,200 emigrants Russian and Poles.” The emigrants had gathered around T.R., many waving American flags. The paper noted that he welcomed his listeners to America and gave them advice on avoiding association with strangers upon landing. He also urged them to “be mindful of the duties of citizenship and to protect the rights of women.”

At the conclusion of his remarks the emigrants crowded about him, trying to kiss his hands. Later, at the service in the second cabin at which a German priest officiated, Roosevelt spoke in a similar vein to a gathering of Germans, who also cheered him.

The paper also reports on Roosevelt’s schedule and the weather, saying:

This morning Roosevelt attended Protestant services in the salon.
Monday he will address the crew and stokers, and Tuesday with French, German, and the Polish priests and protestant clergy.
He will give a reception to first and second cabin passengers.
The weather has been perfect ever since the boat left port.

By this date in August 1910, the news on Roosevelt shifted to his upcoming speaking tour of western states, which would include a stop in Medora. It was during this trip that he would put forward the doctrine of New Nationalism, encouraging government reforms to ensure equality and justice for all.

Dakota Datebook by Steve Stark

Sources:
The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, June 13, 1910
August 13, 1910, The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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