A big personality in American history made his way to Portland Monday - former President Theodore Roosevelt. Well, a Teddy Roosevelt impersonator, that is.
Joseph Wiegand is not just any Teddy look-a-like, though. He is the nation's premier Roosevelt impersonator and has even performed in the White House.
The Oregon Historical Society invited him to Portland to speak to children at Holy Family Catholic School and other schools in the area.
MORE caught up with Wiegand, who explained why his work makes a difference to students.
“It brings history to life. It's not just in a book, it’s not just dates and battles and presidencies. This is flesh and blood,” he said. “All of the presidents have been real men. Someday a woman will serve as the president. Knowing that they were sons and brothers, husbands and fathers, someday daughters and sisters, wives and mothers… well, it’s flesh and blood.”
Speaking as Roosevelt, Wiegand also discussed how he left his mark in the state of Oregon.
“I hope that I left my campground cleaner that I found it,” “President Roosevelt” said. “Especially on this issue of conservation, I find a great resonance with the people of Oregon who love the outdoors and act responsibly to make sure that our natural resources are passed on to future generations in better conditions and not in worse.”
Roosevelt created the United States Forest Service during his presidency and was responsible for protecting about 230 million acres of public land.
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