Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Fells - The John Hay Estate - Lake Sunapee - Newbury, New Hamphire

My second visit to the Fells was fantastic. After performing at Keene State College, I took a morning drive to the beautiful home on Route 103A on the eastern shore of Lake Sunapee. Hay called it a farm.

The home is beautiful, a large white wooden two story structure with beautiful gardens. TR visited during his presidency and planted a maple tree in the field west of the veranda. Today, I rested against the tree while I read from the posthumously published Speeches of John Hay.

The relationship between Hay and Roosevelt dates all the way back to the Civil War, when TR's father lobbied Hay and Lincoln to create the Allotment Commisssion. After the war, Hay was an occassional guest at the Roosevelt home in Manhattan. Imagine young TR listening to his father and mother discussing the issues of the world with Hay during a family dinner.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Teddy Roosevelt Show Brings Me Back to Illinois - at Last

It’s good to be back in Illinois.

The family and I toured the fifty states in 2008 and 2009, researching and performing a one man show as Theodore Roosevelt. With a lot of work in the South and on the East Coast, our winter headquarters has been in Sewanee, Tennessee at our alma mater, the University of the South. At Sewanee, in March, I’ll workshop a TR and John Muir play with Lee Stetson, a talented Muir reprisor featured in the Ken Burns series on our national parks.

Summer was spent throughout New York, with the family camped in the 1000 Islands of the St. Lawrence River.

It’s been six months since my last visit, when my father was going through bladder cancer surgery and recovery. I’m glad to say Pops is all through with his chemotherapy and feels better and looks good. Thanks to all for prayers and good wishes for him. He’s performing throughout the Midwest – check out

Today, Pops and I journeyed around Kirkland and Rockford, running life’s errands. It was a great day, and a good supper follows.

I’m in Chicagoland until Sunday night, and if there’s a chance to catch up with friends, I hope you might find one of the following to be in your back yard.

Friday morning starts at the Skokie Theatre, 7924 North Lincoln Avenue for a 10:30 AM Teddy Roosevelt Show. The show lasts until 11:30 AM with another fifteen minutes or so of Q & A in character. Twenty-five dollar tickets are available at the door.

On Friday night, the officers of the Chicago Bull Moose Chapter of the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA) host a dinner meeting at Francesca’s Tavola Italian Restaurant at 208 South Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights. Dinner is a 6PM dutch treat at this $15-20 restaurant, and we have a private space or corner. As the president of the chapter, I would invite you to join us. We are affiliated with the national organization and have been awarded the 2012 annual TRA meeting, where I hope you will help us celebrate the storied Chicago history associated with Theodore Roosevelt, including the 1912 GOP and Progressive Conventions held here.

On Saturday, I’ll be in Fairdale, working on our home property, the old church on Highway 72. Anybody want to buy a church?

On Sunday, I’ll perform for my friends at the Warren Township Republican Party. Their 2:00 P.M. Luau promises to be as delicious as the entertainment is fun. The pig roast luau is at Jesse Oakes, a beautiful shelter complex at 18490 W. Old Gages Lake Road in Gages Lake, IL. The show starts at 3:30. Adult tickets for food and entertainment are $25 and children (11 & under) are free. Military (active, retired, guard & reserve) are $15.

Later Sunday, at 7:00 P.M., I perform the full theatre show at Aurora’s Copley Theatre, 20 East Galena Avenue. Tickets are $20, just $10 for seniors and students.

More information is available at:

I leave Monday morning for New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. I’ll be back for a run right before the February 2 primary. I stay in touch with Illinois every day, and I salute so many of my fellow Illinoisans who are still slugging it out as men and women in the arena. You have good and righteousness on your side, and all the rest is just hard work. I wish you the just rewards of the vigorous life. I shall return.

Bully for you!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Grand Dame of Madison Avenue - the Roosevelt Hotel

The Roosevelt Hotel New York City – The Grand Dame of Madison Avenue – is a wonderful hotel, with a location exceeded only by the friendliness and helpfulness of the hotel staff. At the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 45th Street, the hotel features a beautiful lobby and lounge where hundreds of guests relax, recharge and come and go through a day and night in the city.

On President Theodore Roosevelt’s 151st birthday, I was delighted to greet guests from around the world and around the country as they arrived at the iconic Manhattan hotel.
Built in 1924, the hotel was famous for broadcasting Guy Lombardo’s New Years Eve concert heard round the world on radio. Now the Roosevelt Grill is a beautiful restaurant at the northeast corner of the lobby floor. As one ascends a split level staircase towards the Roosevelt Grill, one sees a massive bronze relief with T.R. shown as a Western cowboy on horseback, waving a farewell with his cowboy hat, headed for a trail ride in the mountains beyond his shoulder.

The Long, Long Trail is a treasure of a work. Sculpted by James Earl Fraser and based on the drawing of J.N. “Ding” Darling, the Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist, the work was completed in 1922. The original 1919 drawing by Darling was a gift to Mrs. Edith Roosevelt, T.R.’s widow. As a cartoon, the Long, Long Trail was published around the world. After serving with the famed naturalists Aldo Leopold and Thomas Beck on the 1934 Committee for Wildlife Restoration, Darling went on to serve eighteen months as President Franklin Roosevelt’s Director of the Biological Survey. Darling initiated the Duck Stamp program which is such a vital source of funding for wildlife conservation efforts, even drawing the first duck stamp. Later, Darling would join others to found the National Wildlife Federation. The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida, was set aside in his honor.

James Earl Fraser was a pre-eminent American sculptor, famous for the 1913 buffalo nickel and the 1915 End of the Trail. In 1932, Fraser created the Theodore Roosevelt equestrian sculpture that still presides over the eastern entrance to the American Museum of Natural History.

Heading past the Long, Long Trail to the grille, one can dine beneath TR’s gaze from any of a dozen interesting photos and paintings. In the Madison Club Lounge, still more photos and paintings, including a handsome painted portrait of Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt of the First United States Cavalry, known to history as the Rough Riders.

For a Theodore Roosevelt fan, the Roosevelt Hotel is full of history. For the traveler to New York, on business or pleasure, the Roosevelt Hotel is a wonderful place to stay. Check out to see this beautiful hotel.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thanks Ken Burns and Douglas Brinkley.

As I spend my first nights of fall with the Ken Burns series “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” I read the last pages of my late summer companion, Douglas Brinkley’s “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America.” Both works culminate for me a season of life during which I have become quite clear that portraying TR is the right thing for me to do.

When I was a little boy of seven or eight, I discovered that adventure was open to me not only along the wooded banks of Salt Creek but also in books, in stories of heroic lives and in the pages of the volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica that mom brought home from the Jewel Tea.

A love of books and history is a cornerstone of what I do. TR is quoted as saying, “The only thing I like more than books is children.” As a child and an adult, TR was a voracious reader. He wrote some thirty books, hundreds of articles and several histories, including “The Winning of the West” in four parts. After his political aspirations were thwarted in 1912, TR was elected the president of the American Historical Association.

Not only does portraying TR happily require me to read all sorts of history, it leads me to explorations of literature and scientific texts which TR would have raced through in a day’s reading. I can only say that this part of the job is great fun and Brinkley’s book has been one more brilliant work in a long list of book borne adventures.

Now, just as adventure for me as a small boy was to be found within forest and stream, my adventures as TR have taken me to the tops of Mt. Marcy and Katahdin and to the marshes of Mississippi and the mangroves of Florida. As a family, we have adventured from the snow capped mountains and the tropical forest of Washington’s Olympic National Park to the brim of the Grand Canyon and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Trees in Yosemite. I have seen more of this great, big, beautiful country in the three years since becoming TR than in the previous forty years of my well travelled life, and this time I’m taking time to hike and swim and camp and climb. After years of political and public policy work, mostly at a computer behind a desk, the vigorous life on the road has been an elixir.

On issues of conservation, citizenship, duty, preparedness, morality and more, Theodore Roosevelt, eventually Chief Scout Citizen, embodied the Scout Law and Scout Oath before the Boy Scouts even existed. As we celebrate the centennial of the Boy Scouts of America and countless other beneficent and service organizations, I think TR has much to offer modern America in the manner of pointing the right way.

Whether as a public servant or a policy advocate, I always wanted to live a life that made a difference. Bringing TR to life may be just one way that, in the words of the Scouts, I can leave my campground cleaner than I found it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

On Being Theodore Roosevelt for Modern Audiences

In November, the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), the nation’s premier organization networking, training and certifying volunteers and professionals in the oral presentation of information for parks, museums, historic sites and more, has invited me to present at their convention in Hartford, Connecticut. The presentation allows me, really for the first time, to blend in some TR performance with a telling of the story of the 2008 TR Tour, my family’s fifty state journey in honor of Theodore Roosevelt’s 150th birthday.

As we travelled the states, we took in many a talk or tour led by a park ranger or docent, and our adventure was the more pleasant and interesting for their presentations and answers. In a way, my experience with the professional and volunteer interpreters helped shape my own ideas on how I perform as Theodore Roosevelt, how I share information and how I answer questions about TR.

During this, my second year as an NAI member, I continue to find encouragement in the admonition, inherent in the interpretive community, on behalf of accuracy and historical honesty. Just as I used to advise political candidates, if the accurate answer is “I don’t know” then say so…don’t make it up.

In the words of the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared.” The NAI encourages its members to train, to investigate, to research and to stay on their game. Know the material, and to the degree possible, know the audience and the range of needs and expectations within that audience.

In Hartford, I’ll share with NAI attendees some ideas about how to keep the interpretive presentation interesting and vital, and how to expand the mastery of material through the investigation of related topics. For example, the calendar, that is the historic calendar of events related to that site, provides an opportunity to seasonally freshen the presentations. In addition, any site certainly has at least one and more likely has dozens of interesting characters associated with the history of the place or times. Investigating these characters and weaving bits of these lives and experiences into the experience of visitors or audience members is a rich resource for that vital ingredient in oral presentation.

While I travel, I research. My summer travels included the Northwoods of Maine, where TR hiked Katahdin in 1879. I’m glad to say I successfully made the ascent in 2009. Performing for friends along the Indian River in Florida, birthplace of TR’s Pelican Island and the Wildlife Refuge System, I have renewed my own ornithological studies. All the while, Douglas Brinkley’s “The Wilderness Warrior” has been by my side and in my pack.

I look forward to writing more and more frequently about this great adventure that comes as a result of deciding to be the best Theodore Roosevelt I can be. I know that may seem a strange undertaking to some, but I assure you, it has been a very worthwhile and fulfilling thing to get good at it.

When climbing Katahdin, making the top of the Abol Trail, I took in the views from Thoreau Springs, a small and tepid natural spring within view of Baxter Peak. Later, after an ascent up Cathedral Cutoff, I enjoyed a little lunch at the springs on my way down the Hunt Trail.

Thoreau’s old line rang and echoed in my mind: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."----- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Conclusion, 1854

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gavia Immer

Gavia Immer – the common loon. Common it is to hear the call of the loon across the nighttime waters of the St. Lawrence River. It is a call which penetrates the stillness, and whether it warbles or blasts, rises or falls, has meaning to other loons, meaning both birds and bird watchers.

There is something wonderfully loony about bird watchers. From the enthusiast to the ornithologist, they have a passion and an energy appropriate for an endeavor that plays amongst the mysteries and beauties of feathered flight. The bird watcher, by nature, is in nature. Tramping about fields and marshes in the first light of dawn or floating about at night, pursuing the winged friend at roost, the bird watcher is the least likely outdoorsman to carry gadgets and gizmos and technological distractions. The field glasses and the field book join peeled eye and hearkened ear to keep watch, lest for the blink of an eye, a species is missed that might otherwise have been captured in mind’s memory.

The study of birds is rather new to me. As a Theodore Roosevelt reprisor, it is incumbent upon me to become well versed in the world of birds, that I might pretend and, in the pretending believe, that I can bring TR to life so that I, as him, can share some of his knowledge and passion with audiences today. How's that for looney?

A kayak trip took me against the current of the river and into Bob Hunt’s Marsh on the north end of Hill Island. There, a pair of Great Blue Heron, took roost among the half dead trees. A red tailed hawk circled above, while sea gulls of some sort came fishing. Swallows darted along the cliffs, no doubt enjoying an afternoon snack of the smaller winged variety. A flock of nine young brown ducks took little notice of me floating amongst them, though a gaggle of thirty Canadian Geese preferred my company not.

Pulling a few water lilies to grace the supper table, I paddled back to Indian Rock, glad that TR liked birds.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Rough Riders in San Antonio

On May 15, 1898, newly commissioned Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt reported for duty in San Antonio, Texas. Serving under the command of Colonel Leonard Wood, Roosevelt took the next two weeks to train with the enlisted men and officers of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, soon to be known as the Rough Riders.

To take up arms and fight in Cuba, thirty-nine year old TR resigned from his post as the Assistant Secretary of the United States Navy. Roosevelt's sixth child had just been born the previous November and TR's wife, Edith, was recuperating from a very difficult surgery. What compelled Roosevelt to leave the safety and comfort of home? In his own words:

"During the year preceding the outbreak of the Spanish War I was Assistant Secretary of the Navy. While my party was in opposition, I had preached, with all the fervor and zeal I possessed, our duty to intervene in Cuba, and to take this opportunity of driving the Spaniard from the Western World. Now that my party had come to power, I felt it incumbent on me, by word and deed, to do all I could to secure the carrying out of the policy in which I so heartily believed; and from the beginning I had determined that, if a war came, somehow or other, I was going to the front."

The story of Theodore Roosevelt's leadership of the Rough Riders is an amazing and inspirational tale, for battle field promotions saw Wood in command of the brigade while TR led the Rough Riders on their assualt up Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights.

I've got some of my own battles to fight today, as I imagine you might, too. Take some encouragement from the man who was willing to fight and die for what he believed to be right. Throughout his life, TR overcame tragedy and hardship by redoubling his effort, by taking action.

So, ladies and gentlemen..."Charge!"

All the best.

TR Joe

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14-16, 1903 TR & John Muir Camping in Yosemite

I've always enjoyed hearing people answer the question, "With which four historical people would you like to have dinner?" I think Jesus Christ tops the list and everyone from Mother Theresa to Michelangelo and Abraham Lincoln pepper the answers. I recall PBS actually producing some of these for stage and television, of course using actors, and, today, Facebook gives one a chance to play the game with friends.

Today is the 106th anniversary of TR's visit to Yosemite and of the beginning of a three day adventure TR had there with the great naturalist John Muir. As I look forward to a summer with at least a few nights under canvass or under the stars, these two names start my list in answer to the question, "With which four historical people would you like to sit around a camp fire?"

David Brinkley, in The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, due out in June from Harper Collins and excerpted in the May 2009 issue of Vanity Fair, recounts some of the magical moments shared by the two iconic conservationists.

One evening, Muir built a fire of fern and cedar boughs at Yosemite's Glacier Point, where the men would camp for the night. Brinkley:

"At one juncture, Muir became animated. 'Watch this,' he said. Grabbing a flaming branch from the fire, he lit a dead pine tree which was set off on its own and protected on a ledge. With a roar, flame shot like a bonfire up the dead branches. Suddenly Muir did a Scottish jig around the pine torch. Roosevelt, leaping to his feet, hopped around the flaming tree as well, shouting 'Hurrah!' over and over into the night sky. 'That's a candle,' Roosevelt told Muir, that 'took 500 years to make. Hurrah for Yosemite!, Mr. Muir.'

So, "Hurrah!" for two men who spent their lives in service to their fellows and to the cause of conservation. Under Muir's influence, TR would charge the Interior Department to see through greater Federal authority and a greater Federal footprint for Yosemite, a park that pre-dated Yellowstone, though that under California state jurisdiction.

In other issues, like the conflict between preservation advocated by Muir and his Sierra Club and the resource management viewpoint advocated by TR and his ally, Gifford Pinchot, these men would have much about which to disagree. On these nights, in the midst of the grandeur of Yosemite, away from the reporters and the dignitaries, two luminaries agreed on much. May we remember their pine candle as a symbol of the great light shone by these men in the area of conservation.

Oh, by the way, add Jesus Christ and Abe Lincoln to finish my fivesome around the fire.

Have a bully day!

TR Joe

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The White House Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources

On May 13, 1908, Theodore Roosevelt ushered the conservation agenda into the modern era, when he hosted the three day White House Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources. The meeting was attended by governors and scientists and chaired by Gifford Pinchot, Chief Forester of the United States. In 1908, many of the attendees were hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Roosevelt Administration had a tremendous record on conservation. Even the casual observor must be amazed at the record: 230 million acres of national forests, national parks, national monuments and wildlife refuges added to the public trust. The Newlands Reclamation Act, the Inland Waterways Commission and the establishment of an independent Forest Service all date to TR's time at the helm.

Today, we are called to meet new challenges. In 2008, the White House Conference on North American Wildlife Policy was held in Reno, Nevada, hometown, by the way, of Congressman Francis G. Newlands, author of the namesake bill which saw the rivers of the west tamed for the goals of settlement and agriculture. TR and later administrations saw to it that many of the reservoirs created by the works of the Reclamation Act became the backbone of our Midwestern and Western migratory bird refuges.

As in 1908, many of the attendees in Reno were hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. In 2008, thank goodness, there were many more women in attendance. The conference produced a series of recommendations, especially for the federal government and its departments and agencies that play important roles in wildlife management. In the spirit of TR and the 1908 conference, I commend your time and attention to the proceedings and the recommendations of the 2008 conference here:

Have a great, green day!

TR Joe

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celebrating the Battle of Manila Bay

"You may fire when ready, Gridley." On this day in 1898, Commodore George Dewey, aboard his flag ship cruiser, the U.S.S. Olympia, commanded the United States Asiatic Squadron as it destroyed the Spanish naval forces in the Battle of Manila Bay. According to many Roosevelt biographers, the young Assistant Secretary of the Navy had much influence on seeing the strategic command given to Dewey the previous year.

Today, you can see the U.S.S. Olympia, beautifully restored and cared for by the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Tours are open to the public for a small charge which provides admission to the nearby museum as well. The museum features a great interpretive display about the ship, the Spanish-American War and the Battle of Manila Bay. In later years it was the Olympia that carried back from Europe the remains of World War I's Unknown Soldier whose final resting place would be in Arlington National Cemetery and the heart of every true American.

Any trip to or through Philly deserves a stop here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 1909 - TR's last day as President

This is it. The final day celebrating the centennial of TR's Presidency. On this day one hundred years ago, William Howard Taft took the oath of office as our 27th President. The Roosevelt Administration was over. The Roosevelt Era was still at hand.

Weeks later, TR and Kermit were hunting in Africa. A year later, TR and Edith were touring Europe where great crowds came out to meet and listen to the Cowboy President. TR accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded in 1906 for settling the Russo-Japanese War with Treaty of Portsmouth the previous year and made his Man in the Arena Speech (Citizenship in a Republic) at the Sorbonne.

Throughout 1910, TR toured the United States, promoting his viewpoints and his favorite candidates. Republicans lost the Congress that November and the split between TR and Taft widened. By 1911, TR and Taft were at such odds that a Republican Primary contest was in the works. The 1912 contests for the Republican nomination and the TR versus Taft versus Wilson general election came to pass. The publication of an autobiography and the beginning of an exploration of an uncharted Amazonian river followed in 1913 and 1914.

The year that saw Europe explode, first saw the waters and ships flowing through TR's Panama Canal. Certainly, TR would have wished to be at the helm when the canal and the navy were poised to play such an important part in the war to come. Instead, Wilson worked his way to re-election with the yellow phrase - "He kept us out of war."

TR criticized the Wilson Administration, especially regarding its lack of war preparedness. When war finally came, Wilson refused to appoint Roosevelt to command the four volunteer cavalry regiments authorized by Congress. "It is rather up to us to do what father preaches," said his youngest, Quentin, destined to die in the air above the French River Marne.

After his presidency, preaching a New Nationalism and a thorough devotion to victory over Germany, TR strode mightily for another decade across the America he loved, passing in his sleep on Epihany Day, January 6, 1919. He like his beloved people at peace after the long battle.

His great American journey of sixty years certainly inspired our family journey of the past 13 months. We have travelled the fifty states. I have brought TR to life from TR's birthplace to the White House, from Olympic National Park to Key West National Wildlife Refuge, from the USS Missouri anchored at Pearl Harbor to Katahdin, highest point in Maine and hundreds of beautiful and interesting places in between.

The weeks ahead will take me and sometimes my girls to Florida, North Carolina, New York and beyond. I hope that I can bring TR to life for you and yours someday soon. On this the day when we remember the seven and a half years that he wielded the Big Stick as president, I give thanks for all that was Theodore Roosevelt and all that is his legacy for the people of the world.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Great White Fleet

One hundred year ago, today, February 22, 1909, the Great White Fleet returned to the U.S. Naval base at Hampton Roads/Norfolk, Virginia. President Theodore Roosevelt greeted the returning fleet and spoke on board the U.S.S. Connecticut.

This is Washington's birthday, too often blurred in the celebration of Presidents Day. When the fleet returned on Washington's birthday, TR, his presidency in its final weeks, enjoyed this capstone achievement.

In the journey of the Great White Fleet, the United States demonstrated to the world that we could do in peace what might be necessary to do in war.

In 1897, as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, TR went to the US Naval War College and said that America had only given lip loyal service to the Washingtonian maxim that the most effectual means of preserving the peace was preparing for war. With the journey and the sacrifice of the Great White Fleet our loyalty to Washington's wisdom became the bond of deeds over words.

God bless the United States Navy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Great Man and the Grand Canyon

On January 11, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt established the Grand Canyon National Monument. TR saw the Grand Canyon for the first time in 1903, when he spoke these words:

"In the Grand Canyon, Arizona has a natural wonder which, so far as I know, is in kind absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world. I want to ask you to do one thing in connection with it in your own interest and in the interest of the country - to keep this great wonder of nature as it now is.

I was delighted to learn of the wisdom of the Santa Fe railroad people in deciding not to build their hotel on the brink of the canyon. I hope you will not have a building of any kind, not a summer cottage, a hotel, or anything else, to mar the wonderful grandeur, the sublimity, the great loneliness and beauty of the canyon.

Leave it as it is. You can not improve on it. You can only mar it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American if he can travel at all should see.

We have gotten past the stage. my fellow-citizens, when we are to be pardoned if we treat any part of our country as something to be skinned for two or three years for the use of the present generation, whether it is the forest, the water, the scenery. Whatever it is, handle it so that your children's children will get the benefit of it."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Old Lion is Dead

In the early morning hours of January 6, 1919, Theodore Roosevelt died in his bed, at his home, his beloved Sagamore, in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York.

Since his youngest son, Quentin, had been shot down and killed in a dog fight over the Marne River in France on July 14, 1918, life had taken its toll on the Old Lion. For weeks that late fall and early winter he had been in hospital, convalescing in part from a return of his malarial infections.

On January 5, he rested while working at his family home. He read and dictated letters, reworked a magazine article and an editorial, and reviewed the book of a friend. Toward evening he told Edith, “I wonder if you will ever know how much I love Sagamore Hill.”

At his bedside that night, he made some notes intended for the instruction of the Republican national Committee Chairman who was working to bring TR back as the GOP presidential candidate in 1920.

“James, please put out the light,” were TR’s last words, spoken to his loyal valet at midnight. James awoke from his bedside chair to witness TR’s death rattle at 4:00 A.M. A coronary embolism in his life-long weak heart was the fatal blow.

Archie, sent home with severe injuries from the war in Europe, cabled his brothers in Germany, “The Old Lion is dead.”

On this, the 90th anniversary of the death of Theodore Roosevelt, on the Feast of the Epiphany, I offer a prayer of thanks for the life and the service of a great American. May we all take some courage from his example.