Theodore Roosevelt talked a lot.
Six years ago when I started this blog, I wanted to publicize my study of our twenty-sixth president to a larger audience. I’d finished my book about his childhood as a naturalist but continued to find he was more fascinating with each new thing I read about him.
Not only did TR like to talk, but he put 35 books and 150,000 letters down on paper (not counting personal letters before and after his presidency). At one point, thinking his political career was going nowhere, he referred to himself as a “literary feller.”
You may or may not realize his common catchphrases still in use today. “Good to the last drop,” “the right stuff,” “throwing my hat into the ring,” and “lunatic fringe” came from him. His political programs, “The New Nationalism” and “The Square Deal” sound familiar, don’t they? Cousin Franklin, a TR wannabe from the time he was in college, combined them to make…The New Deal. Seems the country wasn’t ready to adopt Theodore’s progressive ideas until it was in such a hole in the 30s.
A good friend and superb re-enactor of Theodore Roosevelt, Larry Marple, set to sharing TR’s thoughts on his Facebook page during the past month. With his permission, I have copied some of them below. Larry and his wife, Julia, who portrays Edith Roosevelt, spend the summers in Medora, North Dakota, enlightening visitors about the Roosevelts’ time in the West.
“There is no effort without error and shortcoming…”
“There must be honesty in public life…”
“That land of the West has gone now…”
“Some of my supporters sent me a small bear…”
I will share more of these delightful vignettes in a future blog. Check out the Marples’ re-inactments on troosevelt1904.com.