Joe Wiegand has brought Theodore Roosevelt character to life from San Diego, Calif., to the White House and now Wood River Public Library.

Wiegand appeared Monday night in a presentation at the library. He is a native of Illinois and it was an opportunity for him to return to his home state. He  is taking the Roosevelt character to each state and has performed in front of President Barack Obama. Teddy Roosevelt was 26th president of the United States from Sept. 14, 1901, to March 4, 1909.

“I bring Theodore Roosevelt to life today,” he said. “I tell humorous stories but with a message of inspiration that is appropriate for a modern audience. I tell the stories from a very fascinating life both in politics and his life as a family member, exploring African and South America and much more. I do this with great joy and delight.”

Wiegand uses Roosevelt’s most famous statement in full form often in his presentations: “Speak softly and carry a big stick you will go far.”

“He made that comment at the state fair in St. Paul, Minn.,” Wiegand said. Most know the comment as the shortened “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

Jane Bruce, a spokesperson for the event, said the show was excellent.

“I would say his humor was the highlight,” she said of Wiegand’s show. “He was hilarious and had everyone laughing. He even did the show for the Wood River Rotary. He was especially attentive to the children. Children asked some very good questions. He is truly and actor.”

Joe Wiegand brings Theodore Roosevelt to the Wood River Public Library

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