This year marks the fifth annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium at Dickinson State University. Our focus is Roosevelt’s presidency from September 14, 1901, to March 4, 1909. Roosevelt suddenly ascended to the presidency (upon the assassination of William McKinley in September 1901) at a time when we were making the difficult transition from a rural, essentially Jeffersonian, nation to an urban, industrial, and imperial giant. He led, sometimes dragged, the nation into the world arena with as much dynamism and joy as anyone has ever brought to America’s highest office.
This symposium will look at Roosevelt’s presidency from a number of perspectives: the changing nature of the presidency in the post-Civil War period; Roosevelt’s attitudes and policies towards the other nations of the Western Hemisphere; Roosevelt’s fascinating, complex, and often troubling race relations; Roosevelt’s presidential travels; Roosevelt’s expansive definition of presidential power.
Our symposium will also allow you to experience the Badlands that transformed Roosevelt from a class-conscious New York dude into the exemplar of the strenuous life who became the 26th president of the United States. Roosevelt often said, in his later life, “I would never have become president if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota.” We invite you to experience for yourself what he meant by that statement. Welcome to Roosevelt country.
This public humanities symposium begins Thursday, September 16, at 7 p.m., and concludes on Saturday, September 18, around 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday events are held on the campus of Dickinson State University, while Saturday includes a field trip to the Badlands and Medora, North Dakota.
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