A benefit presentation for the South Carolina Olympia Committee Project to bring the USS Olympia to Port Royal will be held Thursday, October 10, 6:30 p.m. in Beaufort High School Auditorium. Teddy Roosevelt played a major role as Assistant Secretary of the Navy — he was effectively running the Navy when war broke out with Spain in 1898 and promptly resigned to form and lead the Rough Riders volunteer cavalry. A war hero in Cuba, he was elected New York’s governor, then vice president, becoming president upon William McKinley’s assassination — all by the age of 42. Teddy Roosevelt was one of the most energetic presidents to ever live in the White House and his legacy has had a profound and lasting impact on America’s domestic and international policies.
The presentation is by Joe Wiegand, regarded as the nation’s premiere reprisor of Theodore Roosevelt; his fifty-state tour celebrating TR’s sesquicentennial birthday included a performance at the White House.
The USS Olympia — as a modern, steel-hulled, coal-fired battle cruiser with advanced armament — exemplified America’s state-of-the-art, blue-water Navy. The vessel meshed with TR’s vision of America’s role in the world; he employed it effectively to advance his policy of “Big Stick” diplomacy. Port Royal was vital to the ship’s operations, and to its sailors and Marines.
“The South Carolina Olympia Committee’s mission is to bring the USS Olympia, one of America’s most historic ships, to Port Royal, one of America’s most historic towns,” says Pete Richards with the SCOC. Port Royal and Mare Island, CA, are headquarters for the two remaining groups seeking the Olympia. “It has been a long journey,” notes Richards, “But we are hopeful we will be successful in bringing the Olympia to Port Royal and ensuring a bright future for this storied national treasure.”