Happy Presidents Day, folks! Of all our country’s great and not-so-great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is one of my favorites. The man overcame childhood illness, championed conservation, won the Nobel Peace Prize, survived being shot, was the first president to fly in an airplane (it was built by the Wright brothers) and spent his retirement years on safari in Africa and rafting down the Amazon. A lesser known fact: he even helped reform and preseve football in America.

“When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.” – T.R.

Not only did he live a life of great adventure, but he also knew the value of hard work. His guidance to Americans at the beginning of the 20th century is just as applicable now, as we face new national challenges in a new century:

“I preach to you, then, my countrymen, that our country calls not for the life of ease but for the life of strenuous endeavor. The twentieth century looms before us big with the fate of many nations …. Let us therefore boldly face the life of strife, resolute to do our duty well and manfully; resolute to be both honest and brave, to serve high ideals, yet to use practical methods. Above all, let us shrink from no strife, through hard and dangerous endeavor, that we shall ultimately win the goal of true national greatness.” -“The Strenuous Life” a speech Theodore Roosevelt delivered in Chicago in 1899.