VPT Will Present New Documentary on Aiken

Arts / Dec. 1, 2005 12:00am EST

VPT Will Present New Documentary on Aiken

Legendary Vermont politician George D. Aiken is the subject of a new documentary from independent producer Rick Moulton that will show on public television next week.

"Vermont's George Aiken: Balancing Freedom and Unity" premieres Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 9 p.m. It chronicles the life and times of Aiken, from his birth into a farming family to the growth of his horticultural business to his roles as a town representative, speaker of the Vermont House, lieutenant governor, governor, and his 34-year tenure as a U.S. senator.

Aiken was a progressive Republican, liberal on social issues but fiscally conservative, who was renowned for his common-sense approach to politics. He created allegiances based on ideas rather than partisanship, always looking after the social needs of his constituents and the needs of businesses for ensuring economic prosperity. He died in 1984.

The documentary uses archival film and photos as well as interviews to tell the story. Personal perspectives are offered by Aiken's widow Lola Aiken and his daughter Dorothy Morse; Richard Mallary, former VELCO CEO and former congressman; oral historian Charles Morrissey; University of Vermont political scientist Frank Bryan; U.S. Senate historian Don Richie; UVM professor emeritus Samuel Hand; Aiken's administrative aide Steven Terry; and the White House press corps's Helen Thomas offer.

The program will repeat on Dec. 11 at 7 a.m.

Moulton, a resident of Huntington, has produced other historical documentaries including "Legends of American Skiing" and "Vermont Memories."

Funding is from the University of Vermont. Vermont Public Television provided post-production services.

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