President Theodore Roosevelt,Â 2004 Inductee (1858-1919)
The 26th President of the United States serving from 1901 to 1909, Mr. Roosevelt was a dynamic, far-sighted and outspoken leader. He is historically famous for his “Rough Riders” regiment that stormed the hills of Cuba in the Spanish-American War; for his determination to build the Panama Canal; for his building up of America’s naval power; for his domestic social reforms and for his mediation of the Russo-Japanese War which won him the Nobel Peace Prize. He had a special fondness for Arizona since many of his rough riders were from the Grand Canyon State. Learning farmers in the Salt and Verde Rivers Valleys had formed a Water Users Association and wanted to build a large dam, he helped push through Congress the National Reclamation Act. This allowed for construction of dams with government loans. Two years after leaving office in March 1911, he participated in the dedication of Roosevelt Dam, the first great water reclamation project in the west. He also took notice of the Yavapai Nation Americans who had been living on the San Carlos Reservation and wanted to return to their homeland along the Verde River. On Sept. 15, 1903 he issued the executive order establishing the Fort McDowell Reservation.