On What Vermonters Can Give America

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I am here, as some one in the audience has suggested, by right of birth. Vermont is my birthplace; it is a high and noble birthright to have, and the rising up to it entails a great and high obligation. 

Part of that birthright you have seen as you came here in the mountains, in the brooks hurrying down to the restless sea and in the lakes shining like silver in their green settings. 

Part of it you see here about you in the field, well tilled, not by expensive farm machinery, but by what is much more skilled and intricate, the brain and hand of men. 

You can see it under the schoolhouse and the church across the way, which by their size and position testify to the regard in which are held by our people things temporal and those eternal. They testify to the temperance of those who live here. 

It is a great heritage to be born in Vermont, among men given to thrift and industry and pledged to all things pious and noble in mankind. And it seems to me the one important thing we have to do, to impart to our Nation some things of the birthright and heritage of Vermonters, doing away with ignorance by popular education, doing away with the cynicism of the present day by inspiring men to reverence through giving them a wider and deeper view of the works of nature than they see about them. 

These things we must give our fellow Americans that through them they may be attached to our institutions, that they may better approach the privilege of living under law and order and the privilege of being Americans. And so, being faithful to itself, America may be faithful to all mankind. 

— Governor Calvin Coolidge, speech at Plymouth Notch, Vermont, July 15, 1920

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