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1414TR symposium at Dickinson State

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  • Edward J. Renehan Jr.
    Sep 23, 2006
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       Dickinson State University
      Contents of Dickinson State Alumni News Vol: 48 - Iss: 4
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      Symposium spotlights TR the Adventurer

      Dickinson State University’s first annual Theodore Roosevelt Symposium is set for October 12-14, 2006 on the university campus, with culminating activities in Medora and at the Elkhorn Ranch. This year’s theme is “Roosevelt the Adventurer,” chosen to take advantage of the recent release of Candice Millard’s “River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey,” an account of Roosevelt’s 1913 exploration of the River of Doubt in South America.
      Clay S. Jenkinson, Dickinson State University Theodore Roosevelt scholar in residence, is the principal organizer and will serve as moderator for the symposium. Jenkinson is a Rhodes and Danforth scholar, author and first-person historical interpreter. He has traveled widely giving lectures on a variety of humanities topics and performing as the characters he has perfected, America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, Capt. Meriwether Lewis and Theodore Roosevelt.
      Millard will be the keynote speaker for the symposium. Her book describes how Roosevelt explored one of the last uncharted rivers in the world in 1913. It was, he said, “my last chance to be a boy.” The journey proved to be something of an ordeal. Roosevelt nearly died in the South American jungle. His health never fully recovered.
      Joining Millard are four other Theodore Roosevelt experts. These include Patricia O’Toole of Columbia University, who authored “When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House;” Douglas Brinkley, a Roosevelt scholar who is also the author of the just-released “The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” and Tweed Roosevelt, author and great-grandson of Roosevelt, who has retraced the South American journey and participated in Roosevelt-related safaris. Jenkinson will speak about Roosevelt’s adventures in the American West and the culminating “cowboy adventure” at Kettle and San Juan Hills in Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898.
      “We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from Candice Millard, Patricia O’Toole, and Douglas Brinkley in our first symposium,” Jenkinson said. “It’s an all-star cast of scholars coming to spend time at Dickinson State University and in the badlands. In addition, Tweed Roosevelt not only brings a Roosevelt family perspective to the forum, but is also an avid student of his great-grandfather's life and adventures.”
      Jenkinson said that Brinkley and O’Toole have been asked to contextualize Roosevelt’s thirst for adventure. O’Toole’s book is about the post-Presidential years, which proved to be something of an ordeal for Roosevelt and for America. Roosevelt was the youngest person ever to become President of the United States and the youngest man ever to leave the Presidency.
      The symposium is designed for a public audience and will culminate with a field trip to the Elkhorn Ranch 35 miles north of Medora. The organizers hope to attract Roosevelt enthusiasts from across North Dakota and the United States, as well as university and k-12 students.
      The Roosevelt symposium is part of Dickinson State University’s initiative to raise the profile of Theodore Roosevelt in North Dakota. In developing its TR Initiative, the university established the Medora Stakeholders, a group comprised of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.
      9/21/2006 1:05:50 PM
      Dickinson State University 
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