Theodore  “Teddy” Roosevelt was known for his endless energy. Buffalo Bill called him “a cyclone” and Mark Twain called him “an earthquake.” As a young man he spent two years as a cowboy on his ranch in the Dakota Territory. When Spain and the U.S. went to war in 1898, he organized a Volunteer Cavalry (an army unit on horseback), which was called “the Rough Riders.”

Roosevelt came back from the Spanish-American War as a national hero. He liked to say, “We had a ‘bully’ fight.” “Bully” was a slang word at the time that meant “first-rate” or “splendid.” Another phrase he liked to use when facing a problem was “never around, always through.”

Roosevelt was a very determined president. During his term, he forced coal mine owners to negotiate with striking miners, pushed through laws to conserve land and won the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end a war between Japan and Russia in 1905.

Roosevelt’s love of nature and wildlife inspired him to help conserve land and create national parks. While he was president, he created 51 national parks, four big-game refuges, and the first national game reserve. He also added 43 million acres of national forest. When Roosevelt believed in something he worked hard to promote it. He believed that the only thing worth doing in life was hard work for a worthy cause.

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