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Contact: Riley Hays, 605-673-8332
Jewel Cave National Monument is excited to announce that Gib Young, professional Theodore Roosevelt impersonator, will be performing a living history program on Sunday, July 3. From 1 to 4 p.m. at the visitor center, the public will be able to experience Jewel Cave as if the former president were there sharing the resources with them. Mr. Young will also be available for autographs and photos.
Although he never set foot within the cave, Theodore Roosevelt declared Jewel Cave a National Monument on February 7, 1908 using the Antiquities Act. The cave was run by a private corporation until 1933, when the National Park Service began overseeing the Monument. Countless renovations and changes have occurred over the last 108 years, but visitors can expect to be transported back to the early 1900s during this exciting afternoon.
Theodore Roosevelt was passionate about the outdoors and is considered one of the great pioneers when it comes to protecting cultural and natural resources purely for the enjoyment of future generations. From 1906 to 1909, he used the Antiquities Act to create eighteen National Monuments, many of which later became National Parks. The year 2016 marks the 110th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, also created by Roosevelt, which allows the President to set aside land for federal protection without congressional approval. It was the first Act designed to specifically protect cultural and historical resources.
Superintendent Bonnie Schwartz states, "Although most visitors probably don't think about Jewel Cave as a cultural history site, we are excited to share some of the Monument's history.Mr. Young is an incredibly talented interpreter, and we are thrilled to have him here during the Centennial."
Jewel Cave is celebrating the 2016 NPS Centennial with an assortment of special activities. This visit by Roosevelt is one of the Monument's signature events. The holiday weekend also includes a live Birds of Prey Program at the visitor center on Saturday, July 2 at 1 p.m.Together with the Black Hills Raptor Center, visitors can learn about some of the birds of prey that inhabit the Monument's landscape.