(John) Calvin Coolidge
Served 1923-1925 (became President upon the death of Harding), 1925-1929

John Calvin Coolidge was born July 4, 1872, in the family home in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.

He was known as Calvin to distinguish him from his father of the same name. Working on his father’s farm and in his father’s store, Coolidge learned early the merits of thriftiness. He graduated from Amherst College cum laude in l895 and married Grace Anna Goodhue October 4, l905. They had two sons.

Next PageCoolidge worked his way up the political ladder like no other President. He was a city councilman, mayor, state assemblyman, and Governor of Massachusetts.

In 1920, Warren Harding asked him to be his running mate on the Republican ticket. Elected that fall, he served as Vice President from 1921 until Harding’s death in 1923. Coolidge’s father, a justice of the peace, swore him into office in the family farmhouse.

The first national Christmas Tree was lighted in the year 1923 on the White House lawn by President Calvin Coolidge.
In 1924, Coolidge was re-elected President, and Charles G. Dawes was his Vice President.

Coolidge was a man of few words. He set the tone for his administration when he said, “The business of America is business.”

Coolidge’s wife Grace was a popular First Lady. The family introduced many pets to the White House, including a beautiful white collies named Rob Roy and Prudence Prim. Grace thought so much of Rob Roy that she included him in the official portrait on view at the White House today. The Coolidges also had a raccoon named Rebecca whom they often walked around the White House on a leash, and it was said there was an electric bucking horse in the basement.

In 1927, however, Coolidge was devastated by the death of his 16-year-old son, Calvin Jr. , who died of blood poisoning from a blister that came from playing tennis on the White House lawn. Coolidge wrote, “When he went, the power and glory of the Presidency went with him… I don’t know why such a price was exacted for occupying the White House.”

Coolidge was attributed to encouraging investors in the stock market, helping to create the boom that eventually led to the great depression. Coolidge surprised everyone when, in l927, he decided he had enough of politics and declared “I do not choose to run for President in 1928.” Some historians suggested that he took himself out of the nomination process because he foresaw the stock market crash of 1929. He was not drafted for nomination and Herbert Hoover received the nomination on the first ballot.

Coolidge and his wife retired to Northampton, Massachusetts, where he had previously had a law practice, but he did not resume his practice. Instead, he lived in seclusion in a large mansion known as The Beeches and wrote a syndicated newspaper column of political observations. He died suddenly in Northampton January 5, l933, and was buried in the graveyard of his birthplace in Vermont.

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1 Comment

  1. Claire Mclean
    November 17, 2013

    The Presidential Museums website is launched today, November 18th, and we are notifying as many people as we can to come on board and join the celebration. It is an important part of this web site to institute the CALENDAR feature and to keep it up to date with the direct input and co-operation of each Presidential Museum and Library starting with our dear “friend” and number 31 President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. We will be in touch with the Museums, asking for their help, this week so be on the look out for our call.
    This feature along with the monthly Calendar will also, we anticipate, act as a round robin and a chatter box about not just the Obama presidency, while we admit there is a lot to chat about there, but also involve all the presidencies. Join in on the trivia, gossip, chatter and “twitter” will help make us all learned historians, so come on aboard and be our guest.
    Claire McLean,
    Founder and CEO


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