Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Calvin Coolidge Oath of Office Centennial anniversary offers historic experience 

 

Wednesday, Aug.  2-5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.—Plymouth—On August 2, 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge was vacationing in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, when word came that President Warren Harding had suddenly passed away. Coolidge’s own father, Colonel John Coolidge, was a notary public and justice of the peace. By this authority, the father swore the son into the highest office in the land at 2:47 a.m. the next morning. This lamp-lit inauguration, unique in America’s history, became a symbol of Coolidge’s willingness to live the values he professed: humility, federalism, and the rule of law.

A century after taking office, Coolidge stands as perhaps America’s most misunderstood chief executive. Ronald Reagan called Coolidge “one of our most underrated presidents.” It’s time to change that. When you take a close look at Coolidge, you discover a leader who offers urgent lessons for our age of inflation, exploding debt, and partisan rancor. You also find a model of character, principle, and humility—rare qualities in Washington, then or now. Join the centennial celebrations brought to you by the Coolidge Foundation, the nonprofit founded by President Coolidge’s son John.

Events include:

Wednesday, Aug. 2

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tour the historic site. Explore the buildings and grounds of the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, often called the “best preserved presidential birthplace in America.”

4 p.m. Coolidge Foundation annual meeting, Union Christian Church. Coolidge Foundation members are invited to join chairman Amity Shlaes and president Matthew Denhart at the 2023 annual meeting to learn how the Coolidge Foundation is sharing President Coolidge’s legacy and values with Americans across the country. Musical performances and declamations by Coolidge scholars will enliven the hour. The annual meeting will be held in Plymouth’s Union Christian Church: 43 Messer Hill Road, Plymouth, Vermont. The annual meeting is open to all current members.

6:30 p.m. 100th Anniversary Gala, under the big tent. Join Coolidge friends from far and wide for a once-in-a-century gala celebration. Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. Vermont’s former Governor Jim Douglas will emcee with a toast to President Coolidge and all those who work to keep his legacy and values alive.

Late Evening: Coolidge Readings, Union Christian Church. A late-night group reading at Union Christian Church of the entire autobiography of Calvin Coolidge. This group reading will lead up to the homestead inauguration reenactment at 2:47 a.m. when Coolidge took this historic oath on precisely the 100th anniversary in 1923.

Thursday, Aug. 3

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tour the historic site. Explore the buildings and grounds of the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, often called the “Best Preserved Presidential Birthplace in America.”

11 a.m. Official Naturalization Ceremony, under the tent. Immigrants living in Vermont will take the Oath of Allegiance and become official U.S. citizens in a naturalization ceremony hosted by the Coolidge Foundation and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. A moving 1-hour outdoor ceremony will congratulate the new Americans. A reception with light refreshments will follow. A naturalization provides the ideal opportunity for school age children and young adults to observe what it means to choose to be an American.

2 p.m. Coolidge Centennial Ceremony. A public ceremony marking the centennial anniversary of the Coolidge presidency. The ceremony will take place in front of the Coolidge Homestead in Plymouth Notch, followed by a repeat a reenactment of the 1923 inauguration.

2:47 p.m. Homestead Inauguration Reenactment (reprise), Coolidge Homestead. A reprise of the Homestead Inauguration Reenactment, held in the afternoon for those unable to join the earlier overnight rendition.

4 p.m. Special presentation: Coolidge and the 1923 Tokyo earthquake, Union Church. One of Coolidge’s first challenges as president came in September 1923 when the Great Kanto Earthquake struck Japan, killing thousands and devastating the country. The response of President Coolidge and the American people is still remembered in Japan today. Learn more as Gov. Jim Douglas interviews Professor Yuichi Ono of Japan’s Tohoku University.

6 p.m. Theatrical premiere of  “Coolidge: Rediscovering an American President.” The Woodstock Town Hall Theatre will present Vermont’s theatrical premiere of the new Coolidge film.

Friday, Aug. 4

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tour the historic site. Explore the buildings and grounds of the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site.

Saturday, Aug. 5

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tour the historic site.

11:30 a.m. President Warren G. Harding Memorial Service, Union Christian Church. A memorial service for President Harding was held in Plymouth in the days following the  sudden passing of America’s 29th president. Step back in time for a period recreation with hymns and readings.

2:47 p.m. Homestead Inauguration Reenactment (reprise), Coolidge Homestead. A reprise of the Homestead Inauguration Reenactment, held on Saturday afternoon for those unable to join the Aug. 3 celebration.

For more information, visit: Coolidge2023.org.

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