Forty years ago, in May 1971, the Troy Public Library at 510 West Big Beaver opened its doors to the public.
To honor that occasion, then-Troy children's librarian Marguerite Hart wrote to dozens of actors, authors, artists, musicians, playwrights, librarians, and politicians of the day. She asked them to write a letter to the children of Troy about their memories of reading and of books, and the importance of libraries.
Hart received 97 Letters to the Children of Troy from individuals who spanned the arts, sciences, and politics across the 50 states, Canada, and several other countries. Those replying included First Lady Pat Nixon; Michigan Governor William Milliken; Governor of California (and future president) Ronald Reagan; first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong; Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown; authors Isaac Asimov, Hardie Gramatky, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Ben Spock, and E.B. White; and actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Vincent Price, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.
In collecting these letters, Marguerite Hart created a snapshot of the cultural and political landscape of the early 1970s. She accumulated a diverse anthology of letters that enriches the Troy Public Library’s remarkable history, and one that is a lasting tribute to the children of Troy – past, present, and future.
Several Letters to the Children of Troy are currently on display in the Troy Public Library's lobby. Visit the Library and take a look at these pieces of Troy history.
To view all the letters, visit troylibrary.info/letterstothechildrenoftroy.