Feb 12, 2015
Valentine’s Day can be a lackluster holiday. It’s February, skies are gray, and drugstores filled with candy and cards just don't do it for a lot of people. However, the day can be an opportunity to celebrate a love of place. Here is a selection of insights about Theodore Roosevelt’s love for North Dakota:
- Sometimes expressing feelings doesn’t require an all-out declaration of passion. On February 15, 1906, TR wrote to Henry Clay Hansbrough that he has a “peculiar feeling of warmth for North Dakota.”
- In North Dakota, it’s important to remember that an appreciation for the location can stay consistent even though fluctuating beef prices. In 1887, TR composes a letter to William Wingate Sewall and Wilmot Dow. “Prices for beef are even lower this year than they were last. I sold a train load. I cannot tell till next year how I came out. Tell Wilmot I never received a silver spoon for a sample; tell him to send it right along. With warm well-wishes for all.”
- Around Valentine’s Day many of us also have anxiety about our weight and that we aren’t getting enough exercise. The same is true of TR. “I do not have nearly so much chance for exercise as I used to and I am getting stout. But I am going to have a hunt with you and Wilmot yet …”
- When we love a place, we also want to share it with those we care about. In 1889, TR writes to Anna Roosevelt and says “You and Edith must come out here next year, and then go to the Yellowstone Park; I do not believe I will be able to keep the ranch house open much longer, and you ought to see something of the life.”
On this Valentine’s and President’s Day weekend, go out and embrace history, the great outdoors, and the location that surrounds you. TR would smile with pride.
Souvenir folder of the Badlands. From the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.