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Coming to Crystal Lake, 'Dueling Debater' to feature a historical face-off between two presidents

Scholar Clay Jenkinson becomes Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt at Nov. 18 event

Clay Jenkinson will present “Dueling Debater,” a historical face-off between Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.
Clay Jenkinson will present “Dueling Debater,” a historical face-off between Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.

See history come alive when scholar, writer and historical interpreter Clay Jenkinson presents “Dueling Debater,” a historical face-off between Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.

It’s been four years since the Crystal Lake Library Foundation and the Raue teamed up to host Jenkinson, of Bismarck, North Dakota, for a fundraiser event. Tickets for the event range from $45 to $55 and can be bought at the Raue Box Office, 26 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, or by phone at 815-356-9212 or through the Raue’s website at www.rauecenter.org.

Appearing in costume and in character, Jenkinson will assume the roles of both Jefferson and Roosevelt for the event.

The Crystal Lake Library Foundation brought Jenkinson back to the Raue because his shows are entertaining and educational and typically draw a big audience, Crystal Lake Library Foundation President Brian Pappalardo said.

“We’re excited to have Clay back. He puts on a spellbinding show,” he said. “Clay’s shows are also educational. You learn a lot about Thomas Jefferson and the presidency at the time. When Clay performs he’s so entertaining that no one ever wants him to stop.”

As one of the country’s leading Jefferson interpreters, Jenkinson has lectured about and portrayed Jefferson in 49 states over the past 15 years. Along with Roosevelt, he also assumes the historical roles of Meriwether Lewis, John Wesley Powell and J. Robert Oppenheimer.

The host of the nationally syndicated radio program “The Thomas Jefferson Hour,” Jenkinson is the author of nine books, including the critically acclaimed “The Character of Meriwether Lewis.”

He also has created four documentaries and has appeared in three documentaries by Ken Burns, including his most recent film, “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.”

A distinguished scholar of the humanities at Bismarck State College, Jenkinson has won multiple awards, including the National Humanities Medal, the highest honor awarded to a public humanities scholar in the U.S.

He’s been named Humanities Scholar of the Year in Kansas, Nevada and North Dakota. Jenkinson also is the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University and president of Dakota Sky Education Inc.

He grew up on the western plains of North Dakota, not far from the badlands where Roosevelt often traveled, and has performed before Supreme Court justices, presidents, 18 state legislatures and countless public, corporate and student audiences. He has appeared on the “Today Show,” “Politically Incorrect,” “The Colbert Report” and CNN.

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