Theodore Roosevelt Dakota Datebook Podcasts

We at the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation are proud to support the independently-produced Dakota Datebook segments done in cooperation by Prairie Public Broadcasting, TR Repriser and historian, Steve Stark, and the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most influential and iconic Presidents in the history of the United States — and he believed that he would not have reached the heights he did, had it not been for his time here, in the Badlands of North Dakota.

Enjoy these weekly podcast installments shared with permission from our friends at Prairie Public Broadcasting.

Reclamation Act

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC JUN 19, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt’s initial concern for the staggering dryness of the Western landscape was fostered by his Badlands experience. Water is naturally essential for a rancher, a meadowlark, or a tree. President Roosevelt’s first message to congress included his persistent emphasis on a nation’s co-dependence with the natural world. His passion never faltered.

Listen to episode 24

Father’s Day and Family

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC JUN 11, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt was the product of a loving and supportive family – influencing his entire life. TR’s record of social concern, the American people, ethical standards, honesty, scholarship and the safeguarding of our national resources are incomparable hallmarks of his life, passions and presidency.

Listen to episode 23

Elkhorn Ranch & Cowboy Life

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC JUN 3, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt’s residency in Dakota Territory began in June of 1884 when he saddled up for the life of a cowboy and rancher. In the wake of his wife and mother’s same-day deaths, the despondent 24-year old from New York found healing and solace in the Badlands and a lifetime connection with the people of the wild West.

Listen to episode 22

National Bison Range

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAY 27, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt’s love affair with Dakota Territory began with a North American bison. That infatuation never stopped. His first Badlands sojourn in 1883 was to hunt the disappearing western symbol. Throughout his life he exhibited fealty to habitat, protection, and wildlife, which included what TR called “The Lordly Buffalo.”

Listen to episode 21

Roosevelt becomes NYC Police Commissioner

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAY 22, 2019

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.

Listen to episode 20

Sullys Hill Preserve

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC 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.

Listen to episode 19

Music in the White House

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAY 6, 2019

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.

Listen to episode 18

Arbor Day

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC 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.

Listen to episode 17

Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena Speech

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC APR 23, 20191

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.

Listen to episode 16

Roosevelt Whistle Stops in North Dakota (part two)

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC APR 19, 2019

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.

Listen to episode 15

Roosevelt Whistle Stops
in North Dakota

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC APR 11, 2019

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.

Listen to episode 14

Theodore Roosevelt
and the Great War

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC APR 3, 2019

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.

Listen to episode 13

Boat Thieves

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC 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.

Listen to episode 12

Weasel Words

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC 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.”

Listen to episode 11

Pelican Island Refuge

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 11, 2019

This week in March of 1903, President Roosevelt created America’s first federal bird refuge. Pelican Island, Florida had long been a favorite haven for beautiful shore and wading birds where mangroves hugged the waters of the small island. Pelicans, peafowls, flamingos and spoonbills adorned the beach.

Listen to episode 10

Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 4, 2019

March 4th was Inauguration Day in the early 20th century, and on this date in 1901 Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as Vice President under William McKinley. Tragically, McKinley was shot six months into his second term and died eight days later. The stunned 42-year-old TR was sworn into office, becoming the youngest president in US history.

Listen to episode 9

United States Forest Service

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC MAR 1, 2019

People often imagine that Theodore Roosevelt started the National Park system, but it actually began much sooner. On this date in 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law.

However, Roosevelt did create five national parks doubling the number, and he’s known as the “Conservation President.” He protected over 230 million acres of public land, setting aside 150 national forests, the five national parks, America’s first 18 national monuments, the first 51 federal bird refuges, and our first game preserves.

Listen to episode 8

Washington’s Birthday

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC  FEB 19, 2019

Yesterday, on President’s Day, we celebrated the February birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. The observance often recalls the apocryphal cherry tree story of youngster Washington proclaiming “I cannot tell a lie.”

Listen to episode 7

Death of Alice and Mittie

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC FEB 13, 2019

24-year-old Theodore Roosevelt suffered a sorrow of volcanic proportions in February of 1884. Responding to an urgent cable from his brother, TR hastened from Albany to New York City where his wife Alice lived with his mother, Mittie.  Alice was in a dangerous state of health after giving birth to their first child. In another room, Mittie was on the threshold of death from Bright’s Disease.

Listen to episode 6

Roosevelt and Lincoln

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC Feb 7, 2019

President Abraham Lincoln was a friend with Theodore Roosevelt’s parents. As a youngster at his grandfather’s house, young six-year-old “Teedie” (as he was called), witnessed Lincoln’s coffin procession along New York City’s Broadway.

Lincoln was TR’s presidential hero. Fittingly, these two venerated chief executives earned their destiny to be memorialized in stone, side by side on Mount Rushmore, representing two presidents unified in character and moral leadership.

Listen to episode 5

Roosevelt on the Lutherans

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC  JAN 28, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt’s public speeches in the early 1900s explored diverse topics for a variety of citizen constituencies. Some of his themes back then are less likely to be addressed by contemporary American presidents.  This week in 1905 provided one of those occasions – when TR spoke at Lutheran Place Memorial Church in Washington, DC.

Listen to Episode 4

Theodore Roosevelt’s Wildlife Message

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC JAN 22, 2019

Since his days as a small boy, Theodore Roosevelt, was captivated by the natural world, especially by the animals. He devoured books – an enthrallment that enhanced his entire life. His later sojourns and retreats to western Dakota Territory, while reveling in cowboy escapades and cattle operations, also provided feet-on-the-ground and eyes-to-the-sky opportunities with nature.

Listen to Episode 3

More podcasts below…

Theodore Roosevelt on the Presidency

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC JAN 16, 2019

Like all presidents before and after his time in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt weathered both ardent supporters and equally opinionated detractors in the public and the press – yet TR emerged from his duties as chief executive saying no one had ever enjoyed being president as much as he did. 

Despite the criticisms and his tussles with newspapers, he maintained a firm conviction about the American citizen’s role, and even duty, in evaluating presidential performance.

Listen to Episode 2

Death of Theodore Roosevelt

By PRAIRIE PUBLIC JAN 7, 2019

America and the world lost one of its most fascinating and productive citizens with the passing of Roosevelt on January 6, 1919.  His health had become aggravated by rheumatic fever, mandating a month’s stay in hospital. He battled fever, vertigo and anemia, and could no long hear in his left ear. He had trouble with his balance, and never regained sight in one eye from one of his bouts of presidential boxing.

Listen to Episode 1

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