Family Day and Two “First Ladies” Presented 3/23 at Coolidge Historic Site

From Diane Kemble, Education Director, Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation

March 23 at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
“A First Lady and the First Lady of American Journalism”

The stories of two remarkable humanitarians, Grace Coolidge and Dorothy Thompson, will be explored in a special presentation on March 23 at 1:30 at the Coolidge Museum and Education Center. Cyndy Bittinger, teacher, VPR commentator, former Director of the Coolidge Foundation, and author of Vermont Women, Native Americans and African Americans, Out of the Shadows of History, will speak of Vermonter Grace Coolidge’s multi-faceted life which included attempts to rescue children prior to WW II. Ms. Bittinger will also tell of journalist Dorothy Thompson who was one of the early voices speaking against the regime of Adolph Hitler, saying that non-Jews must “speak our sorrow and indignation and disgust in so many voices that they will be heard.”

Both women were responsible for preserving parts of Vermont. Dorothy Thompson married writer Sinclair Lewis who bought the Connett and Chase properties in Barnard, VT to create Twin Farms. She leaves a legacy of preservation accomplishments as well as the creation of the Vermont Land Corps during WW II. Grace Coolidge and her son John helped preserve the village of Plymouth Notch, birthplace of her husband, President Calvin Coolidge.

Following the talk, enjoy a “sneak peek” at some of Grace Coolidge’s belongings from the collections!

This event is sponsored by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, in collaboration with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. The talk is free but donations are appreciated. Reception and book signing follow. The museum exhibit, More Than Two Words, Calvin Coolidge’s Life and Legacy, will be open.

Note that Family Day will run from 10 until 1:30 with activities for all ages including the museum exhibit, hands-on projects in the classroom, old-time movies by the fireplace and the Coolidge Quest around the village. The Cheese Factory will be open.

The new President Calvin Coolidge Museum and Education Center is located on 3780 Route 100A, Plymouth, VT 05056. For more information see or call 802-672-3389. Donations are appreciated.

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