In 1935 Carmelita Hinton (1890-1983) founded The Putney School, the first coeducational New England boarding school, an experiment in progressive education, and a working farm, which she was to direct until 1955. She based its structure on her belief in the value of manual labor, art and music, and scholarship as equally necessary components of a healthy adult life. At first it enrolled the children of wealthy progressives and liberals; and though all its students, staff, and faculty were heeded and treated as constituents by Hinton, she was the sole director of every aspect of the school.
In 1956, Eleanor Roosevelt came to Putney School and spoke to the graduating students. Hear uncovered audio from her speech, and insight from her family. (A transcript of her full speech is included with the audio).
Audio Producer: Anna Kusmer. Kusmer is a radio producer and reporter based in Boston, MA.
Commentary also by: Marni Rosner, Carmelita Hinton's granddaughter.
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Pictured above: (L) Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933. (R) Carmelita Hinton Harvest Festival photo by Rudolph Furrer. Photo provided by family.