President Obama will travel Tuesday to talk about his economic agenda in Osawatomie, Kansas, the same place where Theodore Roosevelt a century ago called for a New Nationalism.
“The President will talk about how he sees this as a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those working to join it,” the White House said in announcing the trip.
“He’ll lay out the choice we face between a country in which too few do well while too many struggle to get by, and one where we’re all in it together – where everyone engages in fair play, everyone does their fair share, and everyone gets a fair shot. Just over one hundred years ago, President Teddy Roosevelt came to Osawatomie, Kansas and called for a New Nationalism, where everyone gets a fair chance, a square deal, and an equal opportunity to succeed.”
In a 1966 article, the Kansas Historical Quarterlies described the TR speech as the most important ever delivered in Kansas, and said it reactions ranged from calling it the greatest speech ever to calling it socialistic.
“ON AUGUST 31, 1910, Theodore Roosevelt delivered what was perhaps the most important speech ever given in Kansas,” the article said.
“Surrounded by 30,000 enthusiastic listeners at Osawatomie, he developed a political creed which became a milestone along the road to the modern all-powerful state. This speech, later called the `New Nationalism Address,’ evoked a wide variety of responses. It was labeled `Communistic,’ `Socialistic,’ and `Anarchistic’ in various quarters; while others hailed it `the greatest oration ever given on American soil.’"