Center of the West Presents Presidential Perspectives of Yellowstone

Wednesday, August 06 2014 20:46   Museums

Ten American presidents have visited Yellowstone National Park, and of these, five delivered speeches about the park during or shortly after their visit.

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, Associate Professor Dr. Ross Eaman of Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, talks about each of the five president’s perspective on Yellowstone. The presentation takes place at the Coe Auditorium of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Woyming. Eaman's talk will begin at 12:15 p.m. and is free with admission.

“Delivered at five critical junctures in American and park history, these speeches reveal a changing relationship between the American people and the world’s first national park,” Eaman said.

The five presidents who toured the park and subsequently spoke about it are: Theodore Roosevelt, 1903; Warren G. Harding, 1923; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937; Gerald Ford, 1978; and Bill Clinton, 1995.

By means of numerous photographs, many not yet in the public domain, Eaman will recount the presidential visits, using each speech as a “looking-glass” into American social and intellectual history, as well as the history of “Wonderland.”

Eaman holds a BA from Carleton University, an MA from the University of Toronto, and a PhD from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario—each degree in history. During the 1980s, Eaman served as research director for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) Oral History Project, a joint endeavor with the National Archives of Canada and Carleton’s School of Canadian Studies. Long involved in promoting public broadcasting in Canada, he currently writes, lectures, and teaches on media and communication.

His current research includes a series on the literary arts programming of CBC radio and a monograph on communication and the built environment. In recent summers, Eaman has been studying Yellowstone National Park as a “built environment and rhetorical object,” conducting research at the Yellowstone Park archives in Gardiner, Montana, and other western historical research centers.

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Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now operating its summer schedule, open daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For additional information, visit the Center’s website or the Center’s pages on Facebook and Google+.