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Theodore Roosevelt's North Dakota: Badlands, Bison, and the Making of a Conservationist

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 8:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1NV041
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Theodore Roosevelt National Park (National Park Service) 

In 1883, Theodore Roosevelt looked to the Badlands of western North Dakota as a place where he could transform himself from an asthmatic 24-year-old New Yorker into a big-game hunter, rancher, and authentic cowboy. A year later, it took on new meaning as place of refuge and solace after the deaths of his wife and mother.

The Badlands did transform Roosevelt over the course of the more than three decades he lived or visited there, reinventing himself into the kind of vigorous outdoorsman he’d idealized as a youth—and that shaped his public image as president. Perhaps more importantly, this corner of the West turned him into a passionate conservationist dedicated to the preservation of the rugged landscapes and native wildlife of the place he described as “where the romance of my life began.”

Experience the story —filled with dramatic vistas, vividly colored canyons, and wandering herds of wild bison— in a virtual presentation with well-known TR scholar and historian Clay Jenkinson, a story that brings you into the heart of Roosevelt’s Badlands and the national park that bears his name.

Jenkinson is president of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University, and a narrator in the Ken Burns series “The Roosevelts.”

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