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American History & Jewish History Blog
June 28, 2021

Paul Bunyan Day: The American West and Theodore Roosevelt

Paul Bunyan lives on in the American and Canadian consciousness as a strapping lumberjack giant who embodies the spirit of the rugged North-American West. Many Americans commemorate Paul Bunyan day by telling tales of the fictional Paul Bunyan and his giant blue ox named Babe and celebrating other heroes of western folklore. What better way for us at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation to mark the day than by sharing a letter from Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President (who himself often seemed larger than life) in which he declares his affinity for the West? Roosevelt describes himself as “nearly as much of a Dakota man as a New Yorker. I like pioneer life; and the part of our history for which I most care is that dealing with the extension of our frontier and the building up of the nation.” Happy Paul Bunyan Day!

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