MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Don’t miss Theodore Roosevelt’s resplendent return to Maplewood on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. at Jefferson School, 518 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood, sponsored by the Durand-Hedden House. Roosevelt once roamed the hills and meadows of Maplewood as a boy, exploring nature while visiting his Uncle Cornelius’s estate, now the Roosevelt Park section. Expertly played by historic interpreter Joe Wiegand, Roosevelt will come back to reconnect with Maplewood and vividly share stories of his life, family and presidency.
Born in New York City in 1858, Roosevelt graduated from Harvard University and was elected the youngest member of the New York State General Assembly. In the years that followed, he became a cattle rancher in the Dakota Territory, served as president of the Police Commission of New York City, assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, governor of New York, and vice president and president of the United States, all by age 42. A driving force of the Progressive movement, Roosevelt is admired today for championing his “Square Deal” domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, breaking of trusts, regulation of railroads, and pure food and drugs. He also made conservation a top priority and established many new national parks, forests and monuments. Many historians and political scientists consider him one of the five best U.S. presidents.
Wiegand is the nation’s premiere reprisor of Roosevelt. His performances have been featured at hundreds of historic places associated with Roosevelt’s life and legacy, and in film and on television.