The Roosevelt Neighborhood in Seattle proudly takes its name from the country’s 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt. In 1903, President Roosevelt visited Seattle and was greeted with much fanfare. Upon his death in 1919, Seattle named Roosevelt High School and the thoroughfare Roosevelt Way NE in his honor. In 1927, the Roosevelt neighborhood received its name via a naming contest held by the Commercial Club.
Today, Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood honors President Theodore Roosevelt and his commitment to sustainability and conservation with the annual Bull Moose Festival. The festival is named for Roosevelt’s political party, the Bull Moose Progressive Party, which was dubbed when Roosevelt told reporters, “I’m feeling like a bull moose,” referring to his strength and energy shortly after the party was formed in 1912.
The party’s progressive platform strongly aligns with long held Seattle tenets, including minimum wage laws, women’s rights, referendums, initiatives, protections for the working and middle classes, and environmental protection.
During Roosevelt’s presidency (1901-1909), the U.S. Forest Service was established, along with 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests, 5 National Parks, and 18 National Monuments. Roosevelt’s passion for the outdoors shaped his platform and goals during his presidency, and forever changed the American landscape by preserving 230,000,000 acres of wild land, just during his two terms.
Theodore Roosevelt is known for his oratory prowess, and is often quoted. Roosevelt once said,”It is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.”
The Bull Moose Festival in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood aims to honor Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy of sustainability by connecting Seattle’s history and the nation’s history with the wave of the future—new green technology, as well as the use of sustainable, artisanal craftsmanship that takes “reduce, reuse, recycle” to the next level. The festival will celebrate the arts, science, commerce, history, and invention and offer the neighborhood and surrounding communities a chance to connect with each other and participate in festival that revels in our namesake’s treasured cause of sustainability and conservation.