President Theodore Roosevelt once called Chautauqua the “most American thing in America”. The traveling tent Chautauquas were an outgrowth of the lyceum movement and evolved in the early twentieth century to bring to rural America the same quality of entertainment, history and culture that was available to city dwellers. The Circuit Chautauquas were modeled after the Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York state, a community with summer long programs by politicians, writers, theologians, and musicians.