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Dorothy Thompson's Vermont Journal

07/07/07 10:52AM By Cyndy Bittinger

Dorothy Thompson was a larger-than-life public figure and one of the most famous women of the 1930s and 40s. A journalist, public speaker and foreign correspondent, Thompson was also a part-time Vermonter who spent summers and holidays in Barnard. All this week during Morning Edition, VPR presents "Dorothy Thompson's Vermont Journal", a series of commentaries by Cyndy Bittinger, based on her research of Thompson's life through the archives of the Vermont State Historical Society and the Historical Societies of Barnard and Woodstock.

Birthdays at Twin Farms
Dorothy Thompson's summers at Twin Farms in Barnard coincided with her birthday on July 9th, which was always an excuse for a rousing party, with an international guest list.

Public voice, private place
In Berlin, Dorothy Thompson witnessed the rise of the Nazi state and worked tirelessly to warn the world of the danger it represented. In Vermont, she sought refuge from the gathering storm.

Thompson's land corps
Journalist Dorothy Thompson was often ahead of her time. Her efforts in the early 1940's to promote country life and protect the family farm foreshadowed the Back-To-The-Land movement by a good twenty years.

Thompson invests
In Vermont, Dorothy Thompson found a way of life that provided a peaceful and safe haven, both for herself and for refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. It was a way of life she actively tried to protect.

Thompson legacy
Dorothy Thompson died in 1961 and is buried in the village cemetery in Barnard. A simple gravestone states that "she was a writer", but her influence in journalism and politics - from the local to the international - can still be felt today.

Vermont Women: Two Humanitarians
In this story from VPR's Vermont Women series, historian Cyndy Bittinger has the story of how Grace Coolidge and Dorothy Thompson attempted to rescue Jewish children from Germany in 1939.




Related Links

Vermont State Historical Society
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