John and Florence Coolidge, having had the Homestead deeded over to them by Grace Goodhue Coolidge, presented this magnificent gift as well as all the furnishings, down to a small pin cushion on the bedroom bureau, that were in the house in 1923, to the State of Vermont. Through the professional assistance of Payson R. Webber, A.I.A., in Rutland, VT, there was an access arrangement to all the rooms of the first floor of the Coolidge Homestead. By utilizing halls and corridors and glass partitions in front of doors, we were able to show the public each room of this simple Vermont house and to show each exactly as the way it looked on the night of August 3, 1923.” Vrest Orton, Calvin Coolidge’s Unique Vermont Inauguration, 1960.
Mr. Coolidge’s home, now owned by the State of Vermont and restored and operated by the Vermont Historic Sites Commission with Vrest Orton its chair, is opened for public viewing. John Coolidge, Governor of Vermont Joseph B. Johnson, Lieutenant Governor of Vermont Robert T. Stafford, former U.S. Senator for Vermont Ralph E. Flanders, representatives of the governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Mr. Orton are in attendance. H. Meade Alcorn, then-chairman of the Republican National Committee, is the principal speaker at the ceremony. The store and room in which Coolidge was born is privately owned.
The Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, Inc. (hereafter referred to as: the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation or the Foundation) Articles of Association are signed; the corporation is duly chartered by Howard E. Armstrong, the secretary of state of Vermont; and the Corporation is organized by electing the following officers:
|President||Deane C. Davis, Montpelier, VT|
|Vice President||Wallace C. Schinoski, Ludlow, VT|
|Clerk||Howard E. Armstrong, Montpelier, VT|
|Treasurer||George H. Amidon, Montpelier, VT|
|Executive Secretary||Edward Connery Lathem, Hanover, NH|
Edward Connery Lathem, Trustee and Subscriber (photo circa 2006).
An Executive Committee is elected of the officers and Joseph B. Johnson of Springfield, VT, and Payson R. Webber of Rutland, VT. (John Coolidge is added later.) The Corporation adopts By-Laws as required by law.
Subscribers are: John Coolidge, Joseph B. Johnson, Deane C. Davis, Wallace C. Schinoski, Austin B. Noble, Elmer E. Towne, Howard E. Armstrong, George H. Amidon, W. F. Corry, Stanley C. Wilson, Frederick N. Cook, Payson R. Webber, Edward Connery Lathem, Joseph W. Moore, W. Arthur Simpson, Consuelo Northrup Bailey, Ernest E. Moore, Vrest Orton, Ralph A. Foote, Franklin S. Billings, Jr., and Jean W. Simpson.
It is decided that the Foundation shall be kept entirely separate from the State.
Edward Connery Lathem, author and Dartmouth librarian, outlines the Foundation’s plan for educational initiatives and its role in inspiring study and a deeper appreciation of Calvin Coolidge. The Foundation encourages, supports, and/or affiliates with authors and publishers that strive to provide an honest picture of Calvin Coolidge and his era. The Foundation further encourages the reprinting and distribution of Coolidge materials and research. A Publishing Committee is formed and later a Publications Fund is established to assist scholarly research and publishing.
A partial list of authors (and co-authors, compilers, and editors) in chronological order includes:
Edward Connery Lathem, Meet Calvin Coolidge: The Man Behind the Myth, 1960; Your Son, Calvin Coolidge, 1968, (Copyright owned by John Coolidge); Calvin Coolidge: Cartoons of His Presidential Years, 1973.
Vrest Orton, Calvin Coolidge’s Unique Vermont Inauguration, 1960.
Ishbel Ross, Grace Coolidge and Her Era: The Story of a President’s Wife, 1962. The book is reprinted in 1988 with a Foreword by Mary French Rockefeller, and again in 2002 with an Introduction by Jennifer Sayles Harville.
Robert H. Ferrell, The Talkative President: The Off-The-Record Press Conferences of Calvin Coolidge, 1964,
Blanche Brown Bryant, Genealogical Records of the Founders and Early Settlers of Plymouth Vermont , 1967; The Diaries of Sally and Pamela Brown, 1832 – 1838 (and) Hyde Leslie 1887, Plymouth Notch, Vermont, 1970.
Margaret Jane Fisher, Calvin Coolidge, Jr., 1981
Various Coolidge friends and scholars, The Real Calvin Coolidge, 1983-2008, a booklet series.
Thomas B. Silver, Coolidge and the Historians, 1982.
John Almon Waterhouse, Calvin Coolidge Meets Charles Edward Garman, 1984.
Jane and Will Curtis and Frank Lieberman, Return to These Hills: The Vermont Years of Calvin Coolidge, 1984. Foreword is written by John Coolidge. The book is reprinted in 1998 with an Introduction by Howard Coffin.
Richard Norton Smith, Calvin Coolidge: The Twilight Years, 1986.
J. R. Green, Calvin Coolidge: A Biography of Post Cards, 1987; A Bibliography of Pamphlets Relating to Calvin Coolidge 1910 – 1988, 1989.
Clifford A. Pease, Jr., MD, Calvin Coolidge and His History: An Annotated Bibliography, 1987
Hendrik Booraem V, The Provincial: Calvin Coolidge and his World 1885-1895, 1994.
John Earl Haynes, Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era: Essays on the History of the 1920s, 1998.
Examining the Evidence, The Fall Issue of the New England Journal of History, 1998.
Robert H. Ferrell, The Presidency of Calvin Coolidge, 1998.
Peter Hannaford, The Quotable Calvin Coolidge: Sensible Words for a New Century, 2000.
Jerry L. Wallace, The Coolidge Presidency: A Chronology—1928, A Tool for Researchers, 2003.
Cynthia D. Bittinger, Grace Coolidge, Sudden Star, 2004.
Larry L. Krug, Coolidge-Dawes Lincoln Tour 1924, 2007.
Jerry L. Wallace, Calvin Coolidge: Our First Radio President, 2008.
David Pietrusza, Silent Cal’s Almanack: The Homespun Wit and Wisdom of Vermont’s Calvin Coolidge, 2008.
National Notary Association, Why Coolidge Matters: How Civility in Politics Can Bring a Nation Together, 2010.
Claude M. Fuess, Calvin Coolidge—Twenty Years After, originally published in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society (October 1953), Volume 63, pp. 351 – 369, reprinted as a commemorative edition, 2010.
Clarence Day, In the Green Mountain Country, 1934, is reprinted, 2010.
Straight Talk, The Spring Issue of the New England Journal of History, 2012
Soloist Mrs. George Chase at opening ceremonies of the celebration of the Centennial of Calvin Coolidge’s birth. (l. to r.) Master of Ceremonies Consuelo Northrup Bailey, Mrs. Chase, Vermont Governor Deane C. Davis, John Coolidge, Professor Emeritus Allen R. Foley of Dartmouth College, Sally Thompson, and Rev. Nevin Bender on the Cilley Store Porch. Photo courtesy of Aldo Merusi, Rutland VT. CCMF collection, Celebrations Folder.
The Centennial of Coolidge’s birth is celebrated in Plymouth Notch. The Coolidge Memorial Reception Center and Museum is dedicated.
Centennial of Calvin Coolidge’s birth. William B. Pinney and Sally Thompson are awarded framed citations by Vermont Governor Deane C. Davis. Courtesy of Aldo Merusi. CCMF collection, Celebrations Folder.
The sun comes out for the first time in days. The National Guard band is exhilarating and the Centennial starts with literally thousands of interested people attending the formal morning program which is held on the front porch of the post office and general store. Governor Deane C. Davis, Professor Emeritus Allen R. Foley of Dartmouth College, and John Coolidge are speakers. Trustee Consuelo Northrup Bailey is the mistress of ceremonies. Sally Thompson and William B. Pinney receive framed citations from the governor.
Centennial of Calvin Coolidge’s birth. (l. to r.) Richard W. Mallary, William B. Pinney, and Vermont Governor Deane C. Davis. Courtesy of Aldo Merusi. CCMF collection, Celebrations Folder.
The University of Vermont Choral Union sings several old-time songs, including some composed by Justin Morgan. The Whippoorwills Boys Barbershop Quartet also sings.
Following the morning program, Governor Deane C. Davis cuts the ribbon. State Senator Edward G. Janeway recognizes and pays tribute to the manifold time and substance made by Foundation members. The building fills with visitors.
A short private service is held at the grave of Calvin Coolidge with the Reverend Nevin Bender officiating. Former Speaker of the House Richard W. Mallary lays the wreath sent by President Nixon as has been done each year on July Fourth.
Postmistress Elaine Sailer opens the post office for a short time and all available commemorative envelopes are cancelled. A new guide to the historic buildings of Plymouth Notch is prepared by the Foundation, designed by Frank H. Teagle, Jr., and published by Robert A. Sharp. The state police estimate the attendance during the day to be 3,500.
A major four-day event is held honoring the 75th anniversary of the Homestead Inaugural under the leadership of Co-Chairs Robert G. Kittner and Mimi Baird. Two days are a conference at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, MA, and two days are a re-enactment celebration in Plymouth Notch.
July 30 – 31, 1998
A two-day conference “Calvin Coolidge: Re-examining the Evidence”, held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, MA. Robert G. Kittner and Mimi Baird are Co-chairs. Sheldon Stern, Jim Cooke, and Cynthia D. Bittinger coordinate the academic presentations. The proceedings of the conference are published in The New England Journal of History, Volume 55, No. 1, published in the Fall 1998 edition.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Symposium Calvin Coolidge: Re-examining the Evidence. (l. to r.) Robert H. Ferrell, Robert D. Novak, and Huge Sidey. Photo courtesy of Mimi Baird.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. Symposium Calvin Coolidge: Re-examining the Evidence. Michael Dukakis (right) with Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Kittner. Photo courtesy of Mimi Baird.
Richard Norton Smith, Calvin: We Hardly Knew Ye
Robert H. Ferrell, Calvin Coolidge: The Man and the Myth
Robert D. Novak, Coolidge’s Legacy
Hugh Sidey, Coolidge’s Relevance
Hendrik Booraem V, Coolidge and the Zen of Politics
Bernice Buresh, Calvin Coolidge and Me
Jim Cooke, Calvin Coolidge: More than Two Words
Michael S. Dukakis, From the Legislature to the Corner Office
Robert E. Gilbert, The Trauma of Death
Sheldon Stern, William Allen White: The Origins of a Stereotype
Cynthia D. Bittinger, Calvin Coolidge’s Courting Letters, 1904 – 1905
Richard Garvey, Coolidge and the Northampton Irish
J. R. Greene, Calvin Coolidge and the Vice-Presidency
Allison Lockwood, The Coolidges of Northampton
Lydia Coolidge Sayles, Grace Coolidge: My Grandmother
Alvin S. Felzenberg, Calvin Coolidge and Race; Racial Tensions
John Derbyshire, A Novelist Takes on Calvin Coolidge
Christopher Coolidge Jeter, Growing Up a Coolidge
Robert Sobel, Coolidge and American Business
August 2 – 3, 1998
The 75th anniversary of the Homestead Inaugural celebration is held at Plymouth Notch. Elizabeth G. Masterson oversees a volunteer committee for this two-day event. Huge publicity draws record attendance. Booths are set up for a broad range of activities. On August 1st Malcolm S. “Steve” Forbes and his daughter Moira attend.
On August 2nd U.S. Senators from Vermont Robert T. Stafford, Patrick Leahy, James M. Jeffords, and Bernie Sanders are present for the festivities.
Return To These Hills: The Vermont Years of Calvin Coolidge by Jane and Will Curtis and Frank Lieberman, with Foreword written by John Coolidge, is reprinted as a commemorative edition for the 75th anniversary of the Homestead Inaugural of Calvin Coolidge, with support of the Foundation. A new Introduction is written by Howard Coffin.
In the pre-dawn hours of August 3rd the Inaugural reenactment occurs. It is filmed and aired later that morning on the nationally televised Today Show. Luminaries read passages from the Autobiography. More than 100 people come to watch in the middle of the night. The reenactment participants include:
Christopher Coolidge Jeter as his great-grandfather Calvin Coolidge
Lydia Coolidge Sayles as her grandmother Grace Coolidge
Jim Cooke as Colonel John Coolidge
Porter H Dale as his grandfather Congressman Porter Dale
Eric Francis as Joseph Fountain from The Springfield Reporter
James Horrigan as William H. Crawford from Collier’s magazine
William W. Jenney as L.L. Lane
John Dumville as Erwin Geisser, Coolidge’s stenographer
August 1, 2009
August 7, 2010
Governor Jim Douglas, the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation , and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation join together for the Dedication and Grand Opening of the President Calvin Coolidge Museum and Education Center. Speakers are: State Preservation Officer Giovanna Peebles, Governor Jim Douglas, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, Jeremy Sayles, S. Edward Jeter, Tom Slayton, John Dumville, and Robert P. Kirby. Governor Jim Douglas is awarded the Calvin Coolidge Award for Distinguished Public Service. C-SPAN covers the ceremonies.
One-third of the building investment costs are funded by the Foundation and two-thirds by the State of Vermont. The project is a model for a private-public partnership. In all, Mimi Baird spearheads a capital campaign which raises $3,500,000. The dreams of John Coolidge, Edward Connery Lathem, and countless others for a memorial museum-library for Calvin Coolidge come true after 50 years.
October 7, 2010
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Gerard E. Jones and Roby Harrington III discussing preparations at the Straight Talk Symposium. Photo courtesy of Mimi Baird.
The 50th anniversary Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation celebration and the symposium Straight Talk are held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, MA. Barbara S. O’Connell, Vice President, is Chair of the Program Committee, as well as the symposium and Gala Dinner. Caroline Kennedy is Honorary Chair of the Gala Dinner.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Trustee Andrew T. Kostanecki introduces speaker Amity Shlaes at the Straight Talk Symposium. Photo courtesy of Mimi Baird.
Former President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Nancy Reagan as Honorary Advisors are acknowledged as are Letters of Congratulation received from former Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and William J. Clinton. Jerry L. Wallace is Symposium Consultant and Scholar. A Proclamation is issued by Governor of Vermont James H. Douglas. C-SPAN broadcasts to a national audience. The proceedings are to be published in The New England Journal of History.
Symposium speakers are: Amity Shlaes, David Pietrusza, John Van Til, Milton G. Valera, Tom Putnam, Michael S. Dukakis, Garland S. Tucker III, Carl Sferrazza Anthony, Martha Joynt Kumar, Joseph J. Thorndike, and Sarwar A. Kashmeri.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. David Pietrusza speaking at the Straight Talk Symposium. Photo courtesy of Emily Jones.
Gala 50th anniversary dinner keynote speaker is John C. “Jack” Bogle, Founder, The Vanguard Group. A standing ovation is given by a capacity crowd of over 200.
The budget for the symposium and gala is $85,000. Mimi Baird, Mr. and Mrs. Robert P. Kirby, the National Notary Association, Northern Trust, Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. O’Connell, the Panson Family Foundation are major sponsors. The 50th anniversary activities are to break-even, financially. The Coolidge message is communicated clearly. The education and awareness campaign is highly effective with national newspaper coverage including in the Boston Globe.
The booklet Calvin Coolidge—Twenty Years After, by Claude M. Fuess, originally published in the Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society (October 1953), Volume 63, pp. 351 – 369, is reprinted by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation as a commemorative edition for its 50th Anniversary.
A Speaking of Coolidge series features nationally recognized speakers:
|July 6, 2011||Amity Shlaes, author and Coolidge scholar|
|July 13, 2011||Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist related to former First Lady Grace Goodhue Coolidge|
|July 20, 2011||Nicholas R. Clifford, professor emeritus, Middlebury College|
|July 27, 2011||William Henkel, statesman|
|August 10, 2011||Joseph Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, professor at Mt. Holyoke College|
Major Sponsors of the Speaking of Coolidge series are Fox News, Northern Trust, and Mr. and Mrs. James H. Ottaway, Jr.
July 30, 2011
Plymouth Notch. (l. to r.) Steven and Stacia S. Selbo with Michael M. and Margaret Galbraith at the President Calvin Coolidge Museum and Education Center. Photo courtesy of Mimi Baird.
The Annual Dinner is An Evening with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer. A capacity audience of 250 persons gathers under a tent at the President Calvin Coolidge Museum and Education Center to hear guest speaker Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Stephen G. Breyer’s address, Making our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View. Justice Breyer is introduced by Executive Director Stephen S. Woods.
The Calvin Coolidge Award for Distinguished Public Service is awarded to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer by Robert P. Kirby.
An interactive museum exhibit is to unveiled for the Permanent Exhibit Room named after William B. Pinney. The design is determined by a collaborative Design Committee comprised of Giovanna Peebles, John P. Dumville, William W. Jenney and Mimi Baird. Mimi Baird was instrumental in encouraging the Vermont Legislature to approve a $250,000 grant for state-of-the-art exhibits which significantly enhance the educational quality of the exhibit.
Courtesy of A Chronicle: The Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation: The First Fifty Years, 1960 – 2012, © 2012