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Keeping Cool With Coolidge On Silent Cal's Birthday

Alden Pellet
Associated Press
In this June 25, 2010 photo, a couple sits in the shade at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch. President Coolidge was born on the 4th of July in 1872.

Friday is of course Independence Day, but it’s also the birthday of President Calvin Coolidge, one of only two U.S. presidents born in Vermont.

For years the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation has held an event to honor the only president born on Independence Day.

Matt Denhart is the new executive director of the foundation, and it will be his first time at the celebration.

“I’ve heard so much about it. I just arrived in December, and have been looking forward to this since the day I set foot in the normally tranquil Plymouth Notch,” he said.

Large crowds are expected for the events, which begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday. A delegation of the Vermont National Guard will lead a march to the Plymouth Notch cemetery. A wreath from the White House will be placed on the president’s grave.  Jennifer Sayles Harville, Coolidge’s great-granddaughter will sing the national anthem.

This year also marks the 90th anniversary of the passing of Calvin Coolidge, Jr. He died in 1924 while his father served as president, so children will help mark that event by placing a wreath on his grave.

Also this year, a group of invited readers and members of the public will read the entire autobiography of Calvin Coolidge, starting at 1:00 p.m. at Plymouth’s Union Christian Church.

“This is actually an old tradition. Back in 1998 the foundation sponsored a public reading of the autobiography on the 75th anniversary of the Coolidge inauguration, so we’re reviving that old tradition. We thought what a great idea to read this book aloud. It’s a beautiful autobiography, 247 pages, although the print is rather large and the margins quite big, so it’s doable to do in one day,” Denhart explained.

“This is his own book and so everything that he put in there I think he must have thought was important enough for other people to remember.”

More information about the events can be found on the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation’s website.

Melody is the Contributing Editor for But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids and the co-author of two But Why books with Jane Lindholm.
A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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