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Contact: Ed Cummins, 928-567-3322 x227
National Park ServiceNews Release
For Immediate Release - September 22, 2011
Ed Cummins, Chief Ranger, MOCA/TUZI, 928-567-3322 x227
Montezuma Castle to Host "Rough Riders" Living History Program Commemorating the Birthday of Theodore Roosevelt
Troop 1A of the Arizona Rough Riders Historical Association will be joining staff and visitors at Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ., on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., commemorating the birthday of President Theodore Roosevelt along with the accomplishments of northern Arizona's all-volunteer "Rough Riders" of the Spanish American War of 1898.
From 10:00 a.m. to noon, speakers will discuss the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, including his role in designating five national parks, 18 national monuments, and over 200 national forests, bird reservations, game preserves, and reclamation projects during his tenure as the nation's 26th President. Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Montezuma Castle one of the nation's first four national monuments on December 8, 1906, along with El Morro and Petrified Forest. Devils Tower in Wyoming was the country's first national monument.
Also during the morning session, members of the Rough Riders Historical Association will discuss Colonel Roosevelt's military career including recruiting, training, and leading the First Volunteer Cavalry of the Spanish-American War. The commemorative group will also deliver informal presentations on the war, the era, social mores, and contributions of northern Arizona's Troop A, the first volunteers in the country to fill recruitment quotas in 1898.
The accomplishments of Prescott's William Owen (Buckey) O'Neill, first to volunteer and also the captain of Troop A, will also be a topic. Buckey O'Neill was a journalist, lawyer, judge, and mayor of Prescott. He also worked as a guide to Montezuma Castle, bringing visitors, photographers, and researchers to the Verde Valley. O'Neill also served as adjutant general for the territory of Arizona, resigning this post to recruit and serve under the command of Col. Roosevelt. Captain O'Neill lost his life at the battle for the San Juan Hills in 1898. A bronze statue honoring him and the Rough Riders was dedicated at Court House Square in Prescott July 3, 1907.
From noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 29, visitors will have an opportunity to discuss the era with members of Troop 1A, and view period military gear, dress, and accessories appropriate for the era. The ladies of Troop 1A will also be in period dress and will focus on social customs and conventions of the late 1800s.
Regular admission fees apply October 29, but there is no additional charge for the program. There is no fee for children 15 and younger and Federal recreational passes are accepted, including the senior, annual and access passes. Montezuma Castle National Monument is located off exit 289, Interstate 17, and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas Day. For additional information, call 928-567-3322, ext. 0.
Caption for photo:
Troop 1A of the Arizona Rough Riders Historical Association will present talks and demonstrations of living history on Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, AZ. The commemorative group interprets the service of the First United States Volunteer Cavalry, along with discussions on the social customs and history of the 1898 Spanish-American War era. Based in Prescott, AZ., but with participants from all over Arizona, the historians and educators from Troop 1A will dress in period costumes and display military gear and accessories appropriate to the era. The special program honors the birthday and accomplishments of Theodore Roosevelt, leader of the "Rough Riders" and the nation's 26th President. On December 8, 1906, Roosevelt proclaimed Montezuma Castle one of the country's first four national monuments.
Photo by Diana Emery