Featuring special guest
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Saturday, October 1, 2022
On Saturday, October 1, the Greenwich Historical Society celebrated 90 years of service to the Greenwich community at a dinner dance evoking the glamorous Café Society era and legendary El Morocco nightclub. Funds raised from this event have gone to support Historical Society educational programs, award-winning exhibitions and stewardship of the Bush-Holley House.
Our 90th anniversary dinner dance was a wonderful success, thanks to the support and participation of our members, friends, special guests and sponsors.
Take a look at event highlights in our media gallery.
Field Point Circle
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Goodwin is the author of seven critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, including her most recent, Leadership in Turbulent Times, which incorporates her five decades of scholarship studying Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Goodwin was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II.
Well known for her appearances and commentary on television, Goodwin is seen frequently in documentaries and on television news and cable networks and late-night talk shows. In 2020, she serves as the executive producer for History Channel’s six-hour, three-night miniseries event, “Washington,” which delves into the lesser-known details of America’s first president and shows the arc of his development as a leader.
Goodwin’s interest in presidential leadership was inspired by her experience as a 24-year-old White House Fellow, working directly for President Johnson in his last year in the White House, and later assisting him in the preparation of his memoirs.
Watch keynote speaker Doris Kearns Goodwin on the night of our 90th Anniversary.
Leadership in Turbulent Times is available for purchase in the Greenwich Historical Society Museum Store
The Venue: Easterly
“Easterly epitomizes the classic Greenwich shorefront estate. It is significant both for the rarity of its type and the quality of its design. Of the many pre-World War II mansions that embellished Greenwich’s shoreline, it is one of the very few that has survived relatively intact… The architectural significance of the house, together with its outstanding setting, is further magnified by its very visible location overlooking the Island Beach ferry route. The combination of these attributes creates a bona-fide landmark.”
The architect of Easterly was Charles Alonzo Rich (1855-1943) who, with Hugh Lamb, formed the partnership of Lamb & Rich (1882-1902), one of the preeminent architectural firms of the late 19th century. Rich has been attributed with the design of a large number of collegiate buildings, including complexes at Dartmouth, Smith, Amherst, Williams, Colgate, Barnard and Pratt Institute.
Isabel and Peter Malkin
Josie Merck Stevenson
Davidde and Ron Strackbein
Debbie and Russ Reynolds
Hugh B. Vanderbilt, Jr.
90th Anniversary Chairs
90th Anniversary COMMITTEE
Emily and Len Blavatnik
Cynthia Chang and Brian Scanlan
Kate and Jim Clark
Connie and Tom Clephane
Judy and Chris Collins
Alexandra and Peter Cumminskey
Colleen and Kipp deVeer
Julia and Tom Dunn
Haley and Joseph Elmlinger
Lisa and Chris Errico
Meredith and Brian Feurtado
Jeanine and Robert Getz
Heather and Andrew Georges
Connie Anne and Jeremiah Harris
Melissa and Carney Hawks
Ambassador Brenda Johnson and Mr. J Howard Johnson
Alexandra and Cody Kittle
Sharon Dorram Krause and Damien Krause
Elizabeth and Doug Lake
Sally and Larry Lawrence
Mara and Thomas Lehrman
Mallory and Greg Molenkamp
Tia and Michael Mahaffy
Magdalena and Liso Miguens
Mimi and John Henry Moulton
Anne and Charles Niemeth
Indra and Raj Nooyi
Dara and Tim O’Hara
Chrissy von Oiste
Kristen and Andrew Pitts
Ashley and Robert Reid
Deborah and Charles Royce
Leigh Ann and Robert Ryan
Irene and Edward Shaw
Catherine and David Tompkins
The Jean and David W. Wallace Foundation
Vickie and Daniel Waters
El Morocco Nightclub
“Has there ever been a place in Manhattan more glamorous than the El Morocco? Probably not.”
In the heyday of café society, a handful of New York City nightclubs stood at the center of the world as speakeasies like the Stork Club, 21 Club and El Morocco evolved into super-sophisticated nightclubs where the young and fashionable rubbed elbows with the rich and famous.
“El Morocco was the place to see and be seen.”
People came dressed in all their finery to see celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn, Maurice Chevalier, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Paulette Goddard let their hair down.
At the El Morocco, two bands played while Hollywood royalty cruised the room. There was a hierarchy in table arrangements, with the first table on the right reserved for the evening’s most glamorous visitors and the second table presided over by owner John Perona.
“You didn’t dare go unless you were perfectly turned out.”
Vogue editor Diana Vreeland recalled a particularly memorable evening when Clark Gable, star of gone with the Wind, turned up at El Morocco at the height of its chic. As the red velvet rope was lowered at the entrance to allow them to pass, the film star took Vreeland’s hand and said “Hold on to your hat kid, this place is gonna blow!”