“Glinda” visits the Coolidges, November 10, 1927

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As the White House Historical Association features the Coolidges this year, they recall for us the day great stage and silent film actress, Billie Burke, came to visit President and Mrs. Coolidge at the White House. Here she is, pausing for a picture on the White House grounds. Having seen her wonderful performance the previous night at the National Theatre in Noel Coward’s comedic play, “The Marquise” (based in eighteenth century France) she arrived to thank them for being there and to wish them well. A Washington D. C. native, she was keenly aware of both worlds, political and cultural. She is, of course, best known for her role twelve years later as “Glinda the Good Witch” in The Wizard of Oz. This small occasion encourages us to widen our gaze and understand how with the Coolidges there is more than initially meets the eye.

Billie Burke 1940

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