Central Oregon Coast Gets Visit from Former President
(Newport, Oregon) – The central Oregon coast will get a visit from a most distinguished former president in May: Theodore Roosevelt.
Actor Joe Wiegand is regarded as the country’s best Theodore Roosevelt impersonator, and he shows up at Newport's Lincoln County Historical Society on Thursday, May 16, bringing Roosevelt to life with his unparalleled grasp of history and uncanny resemblance to the 26th president. His depth of knowledge about the personal anecdotes in Roosevelt’s life makes his audiences feel they are truly in the presence of Teddy himself.
“OHS is thrilled to again partner with Wells Fargo to bring this educational experience to schools and historical organizations throughout the region,” said Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk.
Roosevelt’s achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as his political achievements. Roosevelt was 42 years old when sworn in as president of the United States, making him the youngest elected president. Roosevelt was also the first of only three sitting presidents to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Some of his accomplishments are still felt on the north Oregon coast to this day. As a young man, he spent a bit of time in the Oceanside area. In 1903, a pair of photographers noted the excessive killing of some wildlife around Oceanside's Three Arch Rocks, and they brought this to the attention of the 26th president. In 1907, Roosevelt declared the sea stacks a national wildlife refuge.
“Teddy” Roosevelt was president of the United States from 1901 to 1909. He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his cowboy personality and robust masculinity. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the first incarnation of the short-lived Progressive or “Bull Moose” Party of 1912. Before becoming president, he held offices at the city, state, and federal levels.
Wiegand is a political science graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He was a Harry S. Truman scholar and Thomas Watson Fellow in his college days. After a 25-year career in politics and public policy, Wiegand began to tour the country as Theodore Roosevelt. In 2008, to celebrate Roosevelt’s 150th birthday, Wiegand toured the 50 states. Their travels culminated with a performance in the East Room of the White House for President and Mrs. Bush on Roosevelt’s birthday.
Joe Wiegand performs at the Carriage House of the Lincoln County Historical Society, 545 SW Ninth St., Newport, at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, May 16. Audience members are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. Beverages and cookies will be served. The program is free to members and $5 for nonmembers. A basic membership is $20 a year.
The program is organized the Oregon Historical Society, sponsored by Wells Fargo, and hosted by the Lincoln County Historical Society. Wiegand will be joined on the tour by OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk and Wells Fargo History Museum Manager Steve Greenwood.
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