"Last Taps" at President Calvin Coolidge gravesite in Plymouth Notch

A Master Sergeant plays Taps at President Coolidge's Gravesite in Plymouth, Vermont

Every year on Independence Day, hundreds of Americans visit the historic town of Plymouth in Central Vermont. The town has remained almost untouched since the turn of the century. It is where the 30th president of the United States is buried. President Calvin Coolidge was born here and when he was president the area became known as his summer White House.

The homes of Calvin Coolidge's family, the community church, cheese factory, one-room schoolhouse, and general store have been carefully preserved, as have many of their original furnishings. You can see cheese being made the old-fashioned way, and take a horse drawn wagon ride. Other buildings open to the public include the Cilley General Store, the Post Office, and the Wilder Restaurant (serving lunch), the church, several barns displaying farming tools of the era, and the dance hall that served as the Summer White House. The President is buried in the nearby Plymouth Notch cemetery. He died in 1933 at age 60.

What makes July 4th a bit different in Plymouth is that it was President Coolidge's birthday. He is the only American president who shares his birthday with that of the nation. So every year, there's a procession from the village to the nearby cemetery where there is a ceremonial playing of "Taps."

The White House sends the traditional red, white and blue flower wreath which is carried at the head of the procession to the cemetery and laid at the president's gravestone. The event is low key with a basic message about the importance of preserving historic sites instead of turning them into ski resorts.

The Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site is considered one of the best preserved Presidential sites in the country.