September 20, 2013, Buffalo, NY—The Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA) today through September 22 is celebrating its 94th Annual Meeting in Buffalo, the site in 1901 where Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th President of the U.S. The meeting, held in conjunction with the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, has the theme Relevant Reflections. A panel of distinguished historians and authors will explore how hot-button issues of Theodore Roosevelt’s times still make headlines today. The Annual Meeting reflects the TRA’s interest in first-class scholarship about TR, his life, times, and legacy.
“This year's TRA Annual Meeting promises to be a very informative and enjoyable event, located at one of the most important sites of Theodore Roosevelt's career, where he was sworn in as President,” said TRA president, Tweed Roosevelt, a great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt.
The Annual Meeting keynote speaker will be Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin. Her latest book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, will be released in November. Kearns Goodwin will be honored with the TRA’s Medal of Honor for Literature in recognition of her long and distinguished literary career.
Other speakers will address how issues that profoundly affected American life 100 years ago still impact our lives. Syndicated columnist and political commentator EJ Dionne will speak on Theodore Roosevelt: The Conservative Progressive and America’s Long Consensus, exploring how today’s political battles have at their core long-standing tensions between American’s love of individualism and our ongoing quest for community.
Themes covered by Annual Meeting speakers all are part of the TR Site’s new interpretation program, including environmental conservation, immigration and urban poverty, race and social inequities, big business and labor, and the U.S. in global affairs.
James Lewis, staff historian for the Forest History Society, will explore how Roosevelt’s forestry policies led him to ban Christmas trees from the White House. When the decision provoked a showdown with his own children, it became national news and helped focus the nation’s attention on the need for forest conservation.
Hans Krabbendam, a Netherlands-based expert on the Dutch-American immigration experience, will examine how Roosevelt’s ideas about immigration and urban poverty sparked the debate about immigrants’ economic and cultural assets and liabilities. Roosevelt had to settle the immigrant issue before he could tackle social welfare issues, and his qualified respect for immigrants was based on their role in an economically strong America.
Ray Smock, director of the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV, will address Theodore Roosevelt and the Race Problem: Then and Now. When Roosevelt invited African American leader, Booker T. Washington, to dinner at the White House in 1901, it sparked public outrage. Now, 112 years later, an African American is president, but racial issues are still front and center in our national dialogue.
Cornell University professor Nick Salvatore will speak about TR, the Corporations, and American Democracy. In the 1912 presidential campaign, TR identified as a Progressive supporter of the people who also thought the corporation an inevitable, permanent component of American industrial democracy. He lost the race, but in the process contributed to one of the most democratic political discussions of these core issues in the last century.
William Tilchin, a professor at Boston University and scholar of US diplomatic history and the history of presidential leadership, will address the remarkable and enduring foreign policy of Theodore Roosevelt.
In addition to these speakers, attendees who are coming from across the U.S., will partake in the city of Buffalo’s rich history and renowned hospitality, with historical tours and visits to landmarks such as the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, the Butler Mansion, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House and the Buffalo Yacht Club.
“The Theodore Roosevelt Association is delighted to hold our 94th Annual Meeting in Buffalo, N.Y. with our partners at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site,” said TRA executive director Laurence Pels. “Planning this wonderful weekend with the theme, Relevant Reflections, has been a pleasure; I’m confident all the guests will thoroughly enjoy themselves.”
The TRA is a congressionally chartered non-profit historical and public service organization dedicated to perpetuating the memory and ideals of Theodore Roosevelt. While looking back at Roosevelt’s life, times, and legacy, we have our sights on the future through programs that recognize brave and gifted individuals, inspire public service, bring comfort to sick children and develop tomorrow’s leaders. More information about the TRA is available online.
Theodore Roosevelt Association
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