Dakota Datebook: Remembering Theodore Roosevelt | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Dakota Datebook: Remembering Theodore Roosevelt

6:42 AM, 8:42 AM, 3:50 PM*, 5:44 PM, AND 7:50 PM* CT
  • Hosted by Steve Stark

Our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, was a lauded statesman, orator, and storyteller. He wrote more books than any other president and, indeed, more than most authors and intellectuals. To commemorate him and his North Dakota legacy, Roosevelt scholar and re-enactor Steve Stark has made selections from his speeches, books, and letters for a special Dakota Datebook series. Throughout 2019, listen for Dakota Datebook: Remembering Theodore Roosevelt in the regular Dakota Datebook time slots. 

*Airtimes during Main Street may vary.

Funding for this series is provided by the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

In May of 1895, before he emerged on the national stage, Theodore Roosevelt added New York City Police Commissioner to his resume.

Using his innate sense of duty, justice and honesty, TR was a bold transformative figure battling to reform a police force awash in corruption and political chicanery.

Sullys Hill Preserve

May 14, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt created the first National Park in North Dakota. It was just weeks old on this date in 1904 -- one of five national parks added by Roosevelt.

This is National Music Week, and though it wasn’t yet established when Theodore Roosevelt was president, music was prominent during his time in office. Whether in North Dakota or across the nation, he relished leading crowds in singing “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” a favorite of the Roughriders. He was also smitten with America’s traditional patriotic melodies.

Arbor Day

Apr 30, 2019

As the nation’s trailblazer of the conservation movement during the Industrial Age, Theodore Roosevelt linked and compared the lives of the American people with the health and existence of our American forests.

Arbor Day officially began on April 16, 1872. This year’s 147th Arbor Day is a descendent of the original. In North Dakota, it’s the first Friday in May. In 1907, Roosevelt extolled Arbor Day, with a message for the nation’s school children.

Among the many attributes of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy was his ability to compose insightful and penetrating speeches that, by accounts of his audiences, were impressive in their commanding delivery. His voice was said to modulate in pitches low to high, and his natural charisma was always mesmerizing.

Theodore Roosevelt’s only North Dakota visit while president came in April of 1903. His railroad excursion was a two-day event, packed east-to-west across the state with several stops. 

It was early April of 1903 when North Dakota welcomed the second sitting U.S. president to visit the state. The first, Rutherford B. Hayes, famously toured the giant Dalrymple farm, the first of the famous Bonanza Farms of the Red River Valley – the largest wheat operations in the world.

Theodore Roosevelt, North Dakota’s adopted son, was the second; and the two-day trip through Dakota’s plains was a homecoming for him.

On this date in 1917, the United States was on the verge of declaring war on Germany – an action that Theodore Roosevelt vigorously supported. He had made his blistering antagonism toward Woodrow Wilson’s former neutrality abundantly public.

Boat Thieves

Mar 25, 2019

On this date in 1886, Theodore Roosevelt was preparing to set out in pursuit of three men who stole his boat on the Little Missouri near his Elkhorn Ranch. His friends Will Dow and Bill Sewall quickly built a pursuit boat, and the following day, the trio of began the chase. It took days of trudging through the rugged and bitter weather of the frigid river valley, but the flinty cattlemen finally caught up with the three boat thieves, and they were soon headed home with the bad guys in tow. Leaving Sewell and Dow behind, TR enlisted a stranger to drive his wagon as he took the culprits to Dickinson.

Weasel Words

Mar 19, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt extolled the American West throughout his life, influenced by his adventures with the people of the West, from Dakota Territory’s Little Missouri River all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

He was never shy talking about the ethical standards he adhered to and strove to uphold in his personal, public and private life. He called out with pride the people he met in the West as being “average citizens of the right type.”

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