I’ve researched Vermont History to write two novels. As a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for the Vermont Humanities Council, I give public lectures on what I’ve learned. In the next two weeks, I’ll be giving two different talks.
Vermont Votes for a Democrat for the First Time in Over a Century
I’ll be speaking about 1964: A Watershed Year In Vermont Political And Cultural History on July 14 in Marlboro. This talk is based on the research I did for Into the Wilderness, my first published novel set in 1964.
1964 was the first year in over a century that Vermont did not support the Republican candidate for President. Thanks to Vermont ingenuity, dyed-in-the-wool Republicans who couldn’t bring themselves to cast a ballot for a Democrat didn’t have to. Republicans from the liberal end of Vermont’s GOP formed the Vermont Independent Party with Lyndon Johnson at the top of the ticket. Not only did LBJ win with 66% of the statewide vote, but so did the Democratic candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, and State Auditor – all positions that had been held by Republicans since the mid-nineteenth century. This political sea change has reverberated into this century.
1964: A Watershed Year in Vermont Political and Cultural Politics will follow the annual meeting of the Marlboro Historical Society and will take place the Marlboro Town House starting at 7 pm. Sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council, all these programs are free and open to the public in ADA accessible venues.
You Can’t Get There From Here
Getting From Here to There: A History of Roads and Settlement in Vermont, the second talk I’ll be giving grew from research I did for Elegy For a Girl, a novel set in 1958 during the building of the interstates.
It was while stopped in traffic during reconstruction of a state highway that I wondered what Vermont was like before the Interstate and learned that the difficulties of traveling in Vermont played a significant role in the state’s settlement, development, culture and politics.
Vermonters weren’t always eager to have good roads. Opposition began in 1753, when the Abenaki joined forces with the French to protest the building of a British military road along an Abenaki trail. Resistance to new roads has continued ever since, from the Green Mountain Parkway to the building of the interstates. Given this opposition, how is it we now drive cars in all seasons, in all weathers, in all corners of the state?
I’ll be giving this talk twice: first at the annual meeting of the Mount Holly Community Historical Museum to be held at the Odd Fellows Hall in Belmont at 7:30 PM. The second time, the talk will be at Memorial Hall in Wilmington on July 26 at 6 pm, sponsored by the Pettee Memorial Library.
If you come, please say hello.
It’s always a treat to meet my readers, so if you attend any of these events, please introduce yourselves. And thanks for reading the blog.
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