Agenda & Speakers

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Genealogical Resources

Our program has been curated to combine educational opportunities with fellowship and celebration. You’ll have the chance to learn about Coolidge family history while meeting cousins and celebrating all the Coolidge family has contributed to America. The agenda below provides an early glimpse — more activities will be added in coming weeks. Check back for updates!

Friday, August 5, 2022

Afternoon            Arrival in Vermont

Early Evening    Welcome Reception and Dinner (Location TBA)

Saturday, August 6, 2022

On Saturday, we’ll gather at Plymouth Notch for a day of learning and festivity. Coolidge Cousins will have the opportunity to participate in Old Home Day activities — including wagon rides, cheese making, and more — and tour what’s been called “America’s best-preserved presidential birthplace.” Coolidge Cousins will also be treated to special sessions that will explore the legacy of the Coolidge family. A festive dinner will close out an exciting day.

Morning             Breakfast at Plymouth Notch

10:00 AM           “Cottenham to Watertown and Beyond” — Join us for a special session that will explore the journeys and contributions of the Coolidge Family in America.

12:00 PM           Lunch

2:47 PM              99th Anniversary Reenactment of the Homestead Inauguration — Roles available, for more information about playing a part, contact Tracy Messer.

3:30 PM              “The Spirits of Plymouth Notch” — A ghostly theatrical encounter staged in the Plymouth Notch cemetery with Coolidge ancestors sharing their life stories.

6:00 PM             Dinner and Special Program: “A Proud Legacy: President Coolidge’s Place in American History” — Join New York Times bestselling author and Coolidge biographer Amity Shlaes, and former Vermont Governor, James H. Douglas, for a discussion of the policy record and accomplishments of President Calvin Coolidge. Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas will emcee this dinner. The dinner will also include a lively and friendly Coolidge trivia contest!

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Morning              Optional Worship Services

Late Morning    Tour of Coolidge sites in Ludlow, Vermont

Afternoon           Depart for home


Confirmed Speakers

 

Amity Shlaes is the Chairman & CEO of the Coolidge Foundation. A noted historian and author, Miss Shlaes has written multiple New York Times bestselling books. Her books include: Coolidge, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Great Society: A New History, The Greedy Hand, and Germany: The Empire Within. Miss Shlaes has been awarded the Hayek Prize and the Frederic Bastiat Prize, and has twice been a finalist for the Loeb Prize in commentary. Earlier in her career, Miss Shlaes served on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, was as a senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations and directed the economic programs of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. She has taught at The King’s College and at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Her column has been carried by the Financial Times and Bloomberg.

 

Governor James H. Douglas served four terms as Vermont’s eightieth governor. During his tenure, he focused on strengthening the state’s economy, reducing the cost of living in Vermont and protecting the state’s natural environment. He advanced groundbreaking health reforms and worked to strengthen the relationship between Vermont and Quebec and the other Canadian provinces. Governor Douglas’s bipartisan outlook was recognized by his fellow governors who elected him chairman of the National Governors Association in 2009. Mr. Douglas’s distinguished career in state government included multiple terms as secretary of state and state treasurer, as well as service in the Vermont legislature. Currently, Governor Douglas serves as executive-in-residence at Middlebury College where he teaches political science. Governor Douglas serves on the boards of numerous companies and nonprofit organizations.

Jennifer Coolidge Harville is the great-granddaughter of President Coolidge and Grace Coolidge. Jennifer speaks frequently to audiences in New Hampshire and Vermont about the Coolidge family. Her talks include background information about Calvin Coolidge, his wife Grace, and Calvin’s rise in politics – locally in Northampton, Massachusetts, at the state level in Boston, Massachusetts, and at the national level. She describes the Coolidge family tree, talks about the Coolidge’s two sons, and shares how the early death of Calvin, Jr., left her grandfather, John, as the sole Coolidge descendant.

Ms. Harville lives in Westmoreland, New Hampshire with her husband David, their son Jake, and daughter Sheridan. She is a stay-at-home mother who enjoys volunteering at her local church and school. One of her passions is choral singing, and she is a member of the Brattleboro Concert Choir in Brattleboro, Vermont. She is a graduate of Gettysburg College and earned a master’s degree from Emory University.

Cal Thomas focuses on what promotes the general welfare, regardless of which party or ideology gets the credit. Without letting politics, or ignorance, get in the way, Thomas urges readers to pay attention so that politicians can no longer pick their pockets—literally or intellectually. With a twice-weekly column appearing in hundreds of newspapers, Thomas is one of the most widely read and one of the most highly regarded voices on the American political scene. For 19 years he was a commentator on Fox News Channel, which included his own show “After Hours” and as a panelist for “Fox News Watch.” For ten years he and Bob Beckel wrote the “Common Ground” column for USA Today. A graduate of American University, Thomas is a veteran of broadcast and print journalism. He has worked for NBC News in Washington, D.C. and hosted his own program on CBNC that was nominated for a Cable ACE Award in 1995. In 2011, Thomas received the William F. Buckley, Jr. Award for Media Excellence from the Media Research Center. His latest book is America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers…and the Future of the United States was published in 2019. He has four adult children, eleven grandchildren, and resides in the South Florida area. Mr. Thomas is a first cousin twice removed of First Lady Grace (Goodhue) Coolidge.

Christine (Coolidge) Schultze will be on the panel “Cottenham to Watertown and Beyond” exploring the history of the Coolidges in America. As an avid amateur genealogist, she has extensively researched her own Coolidge roots as did her father and grandfather before her. She is a Coolidge through and through; a descendant of the original John and Mary Ravens Coolidge and three of their sons: Simon, John and Nathaniel. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and an MBA, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Christine is retired from a career in the computer technology industry. She was raised in the Chicago area and still lives there thanks to the westward movement of her great grandfather, James Henry Coolidge, who made the journey to Illinois from Watertown in 1856.

Tracy Messer, also known as “Calvin Coolidge,” is your host for the weekend. Mr. Messer himself is a distant Coolidge Cousin. His day job is serving as Coolidge Ambassador for the Coolidge Foundation in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. He also is a living history performer and has been performing as the Thirtieth President since 2017. Earlier in his career, Mr. Messer worked within the high-tech and healthcare sectors as an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. Mr. Messer earned his master’s degree in Counseling from Colgate University and his bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College where he double-majored in Psychology and Spanish, having graduated with honors. Mr. Messer may be reached by email at: tmesser@coolidgefoundation.org.