'Teddy Roosevelt' to offer a 'Salute to Citizenship' at two April 14 performances

History comes to life in a "Salute to Citizenship" as Joe Wiegand returns to Illinois as Teddy Roosevelt. During performances in Aurora on Saturday, April 14, Wiegand will salute the local American Legion.

Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84 was organized in 1919 and named in honor of 20-year-old Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, who gave his life in battle over France on July 14, 1918, as a member of the 95th Aero Squadron - United States Army Air Corps.

Wiegand will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St., Aurora. This performance is free and open to the public. Visit

A second performance by the "Rough Rider" President will follow at the Paramount Arts Center, 23 E. Galena Blvd. in Aurora, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and a performance from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m.

The evening performance also is free and open to the public and will feature a free-will offering to benefit the programs of the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84. To reserve your free ticket in advance, visit

"Bringing history to life is very important to achieving one of the pillars of our core purpose, which is to preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in the Great Wars," stated Mike Eckburg, American Legion Post Commander. "The performance by Joe Wiegand is remarkable, and I encourage everyone, young and adult, to come and listen to some of our great country's history."

Wiegand, a former county commissioner in DeKalb County, has been traveling the country for a decade, performing as Theodore Roosevelt in theaters, parks, and schools, on television, and in film.

In 1982, as a student at Palatine High School, a young Wiegand was elected governor of the Premier Boys State, a program of the Youth and Americanism Committee of the American Legion. Wiegand went on to Washington, D.C., where his peers elected him the president of the American Legion Boys Nation. Scholarships from Boys Nation sent Wiegand on to college at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

"Our nation owes a great debt to the men and the women of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary who have served veterans and their families while they and their families have served the nation. I owe a great personal debt of gratitude to the American Legion," Wiegand says. "The chance to bring a great, patriotic American to life for the benefit and entertainment of the American Legion and their guests is an honor and a real pleasure."

Wiegand has been featured in "The Men Who Built America" on the History Channel and was featured in the I-MAX film "National Parks Adventure." His work has been seen on C-SPAN, and Wiegand was featured at the White House on the occasion of Theodore Roosevelt's 150th birthday in 2008.

Based in Medora, North Dakota, gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Wiegand travels the 50 states and internationally and is regarded as the nation's premiere impersonator of Theodore Roosevelt.

Quentin Roosevelt was killed in aerial combat on July 14, Bastille Day, 1918, over the Second Battle of the Marne. His gravesite became a point of pilgrimage for allied soldiers headed to the front.

When founded in 1919, Post 84 Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion was named in honor of the president's fallen son. When American officers met in Paris, France in March 1919, it was what would become known as the impetus for founding the American Legion, an organization of veterans for the support of one another and for the widows and orphans of their fallen comrades.

On July 14, 2018, Wiegand and a young colleague, Austin Artz, who portrays Lt. Quentin Roosevelt, will be in France, where the same local village where Quentin was originally buried will change the name of its primary school to honor Quentin Roosevelt.

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