Keene State Celebrates Doris "Granny D" Haddock
March 10, 2011 Concord, New Hampshire: Today’s celebration of Granny D’s life - a year after her death - brings people from many different walks of New Hampshire life together, as she did throughout her years of unrelenting activism.
Today’s event features a proclamation by Governor John Lynch and the donation of Granny D’s archive to Keene State College by Jim and Libby Haddock. Doris Haddock was a substantive presence on the local, state and national stage - a strong advocate of citizen engagement in the political process and campaign finance reform.
Governor Lynch is proclaiming March 10, 2011 as “Remembering Granny D Day” in New Hampshire. In offering this honor the Governor noted Granny D’s iconic status in the Granite State, her strong will and her inspiring accomplishments including her 3,200 mile advocacy walk championing Campaign finance reform,civic education, environmental protection and her U.S. Senate run at the age of 94.
In her work for change, Granny D amassed an extraordinary archive of letters, photographs, memorabilia and ephemera that chronicle her work as an activist and organizer. The archive, for example, includes unique documentation of her trek across the United States - her original travel journal notes, the campaign reform banner she carried, and a pair of her iconic campaign shoes. These are all being donated to Keene State College (KSC), where the College’s archivist will care for them. The Granny D Collection will be a cornerstone of the Mason Library’s New Hampshire Social Justice Collection, intended to be actively used by students, scholars and citizens, who will not just look at the collection but work with the archival items to develop new scholarly and community-based work. The purpose of the NH Social Justice Collection is to document the history of social and civil rights activism in New Hampshire. The collection currently consists of archival holdings relating to the civil rights worker and Episcopal seminarian Jonathan M. Daniels, Christine Sweeney and her landmark civil rights case, NH Senator Junie Blaisdell, and the work of the socially conscious NH filmmaker Louis de Rochemont.
A bust of political activist Doris “Granny D” Haddock with her iconic vest and plumed hat set the stage for Wednesday’s Keene Sentinel interview with Ruth Meyer of the NH Coalition for Open Democracy, and Granny D’s son, Jim Haddock of Dublin, NH. These icons are but a few of the myriad objects, memorabilia, letters, and photographs that make up Granny’ D’s archives, which will be accessible to students and community members alike. The Granny D archive is part of the NH Social Justice Collection at Keene State’s Mason Library.
Keene State College President Helen Giles-Gee credited Dean of the Library Irene Herold and Archivist Rodney Obien as being instrumental in securing this extraordinary collection. “We are so pleased to be entrusted with this gift and will steward Granny D’s legacy with pride and humility. Community service and social justice are both front and center in the values of our college and our community; in that sense Granny D and all that she stood for will live on with us at Keene State College”.
Fellow campaigner and friend Ruth Meyer commented, “Granny D understood that regulation of large campaign donations is a reform that makes other reforms possible. We are delighted to honor this remarkable woman and her vision.”
Granny D’s legacy upholds the democratic system of government on which New Hampshire, and indeed our United States, was founded. Mrs. Haddock’s bequest reminds us of the intrinsic value civic discourse and civic engagement provide for schoolchildren and state legislators, alike. “Remembering Granny D Day” affirms the mantra Doris, herself, understood: “Democracy is not something we have. It is something we do.”