Calvin Coolidge
Overview
 
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4, 1872 January 5, 1933) was the 30th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1923–1929). A Republican lawyer from Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 state politics, eventually becoming governor
Governor of Massachusetts
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the executive magistrate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States. The current governor is Democrat Deval Patrick.-Constitutional role:...

 of that state. His conduct during the Boston Police Strike
Boston Police Strike
In the Boston Police Strike, the Boston police rank and file went out on strike on September 9, 1919 in order to achieve recognition for their trade union and improvements in wages and working conditions...

 of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action.
Quotations

There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.

Telegram to American Federation of Labor|AFL president Samuel Gompers, 14 September 1919; concerning the Boston Police Department1919 police strike|1919 Boston Police strike

There are racial considerations too grave to be brushed aside for any sentimental reasons. Biological laws tell us that certain divergent people will not mix or blend. The Nordics propagate themselves successfully. With other races, the outcome shows deterioration on both sides. Quality of mind and body suggests that observance of ethnic law is as great a necessity to a nation as immigration law.

"Whose Country Is This?," Good Housekeeping Magazine, February 1921

The chief business of the American people is business.

Speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors|American Society of Newspaper Editors, 17 January 1925

If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final.

"wikisource:Calvin Coolidge's Speech on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence|Speech on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence", 5 July 1926

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776 — that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance of the people of that day and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But, that reasoning cannot be applied to the great charter.

Foundations of the Republic; Speeches and Addresses (1926), p. 451.

I do not choose to run for President in 1928.

Statement to reporters, 2 August 1927; cited in Bartlett's Famous Quotations, 16th ed. (1992).

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Quote from a program at a Coolidge memorial service, 1933; cited in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999)

Encyclopedia
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4, 1872 January 5, 1933) was the 30th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1923–1929). A Republican lawyer from Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 state politics, eventually becoming governor
Governor of Massachusetts
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the executive magistrate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, United States. The current governor is Democrat Deval Patrick.-Constitutional role:...

 of that state. His conduct during the Boston Police Strike
Boston Police Strike
In the Boston Police Strike, the Boston police rank and file went out on strike on September 9, 1919 in order to achieve recognition for their trade union and improvements in wages and working conditions...

 of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. Soon after, he was elected as the 29th Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small-government conservative, and also as a man who said very little.

Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity. As a Coolidge biographer put it, "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class
Middle class
The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength." Some later criticized Coolidge as part of a general criticism of laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 government. His reputation underwent a renaissance during the Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 Administration, but the ultimate assessment of his presidency is still divided between those who approve of his reduction of the size of government programs and those who believe the federal government should be more involved in regulating and controlling the economy.

Birth and family history

John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., was born in Plymouth Notch
Plymouth, Vermont
Plymouth is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The population was 555 at the 2000 census. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, was born in and is buried in Plymouth...

, Windsor County, Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, on July 4, 1872, the only U.S. President to be born on Independence Day
Independence Day (United States)
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain...

. He was the elder of the two children of John Calvin Coolidge, Sr.
John Calvin Coolidge, Sr.
John Calvin Coolidge, Sr. was an American politician and businessman from Vermont and the father of President Calvin Coolidge.-Political and business career:...

 (1845–1926) and Victoria Josephine Moor (1846–1885). Coolidge senior engaged in many occupations, and ultimately enjoyed a statewide reputation as a prosperous farmer, storekeeper and public servant; he farmed, taught school, ran a local store, served in the Vermont House of Representatives and the Vermont Senate, and held various local offices including justice of the peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

 and tax collector. Coolidge's mother was the daughter of a Plymouth Notch farmer. Coolidge's chronically ill mother died, perhaps from tuberculosis, when he was twelve years old. His sister, Abigail Grace Coolidge (1875–1890), died at the age of fifteen, when Coolidge was eighteen. Coolidge's father remarried in 1891, to a schoolteacher, and lived to the age of eighty.

Coolidge's family had deep roots in New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

. His earliest American ancestor, John Coolidge, emigrated from Cottenham
Cottenham
Cottenham is a village in Cambridgeshire, England. It is close to The Fens. Before the fens were drained in the 19th century Cottenham was on the last contour before the waterlogged marshes, with Ely being the nearest dry land around to the north-east....

, Cambridgeshire, England, around 1630 and settled in Watertown, Massachusetts
Watertown, Massachusetts
The Town of Watertown is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 31,915 at the 2010 census.- History :Archeological evidence suggests that Watertown was inhabited for thousands of years before the arrival of settlers from England...

. Another ancestor, Edmund Rice
Edmund Rice (1638)
Edmund Rice , was an early immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony who was born in Suffolk, England, and lived in Stanstead, Suffolk and Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire prior to sailing with his family to America. He arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in summer or fall of 1638, presumed to be first...

, arrived at Watertown in 1638. Coolidge's great-great-grandfather, also named John Coolidge, was an American military officer in the Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 and one of the first selectmen
Board of selectmen
The board of selectmen is commonly the executive arm of the government of New England towns in the United States. The board typically consists of three or five members, with or without staggered terms.-History:...

 of the town of Plymouth Notch. Most of Coolidge's ancestors were farmers. Other well-known Coolidges, architect Charles Allerton Coolidge, General Charles Austin Coolidge
Charles A. Coolidge (general)
Charles Austin Coolidge, Jr. was a United States Army soldier who served in the American Civil War, the American West, Spanish-American War, and in Asia before retiring in 1903 as a brigadier general....

, and diplomat Archibald Cary Coolidge
Archibald Cary Coolidge
Archibald Cary Coolidge was an American educator. He was a Professor of History at Harvard College from 1908 and the first Director of the Harvard University Library from 1910 until his death...

 among them, were descended from branches of the family that had remained in Massachusetts. Coolidge's grandmother Sarah Almeda Brewer had two famous first cousins: Arthur Brown
Arthur Brown (Utah)
Arthur Brown was a United States Senator from Utah.Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he attended the common schools and graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1862. He pursued graduate work at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and graduated from the law department of the...

, a United States Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

, and Olympia Brown
Olympia Brown
Olympia Brown was an American suffragist. She is regarded as the first woman to graduate from a theological school, as well as becoming the first full time ordained minister...

, a women's suffragist. It is through Sarah Brewer that Coolidge believed that he inherited American Indian
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 blood, but this descent has never been established by modern genealogists.

Western Massachusetts lawyer

Coolidge attended Black River Academy
Black River Academy
Black River Academy is a historic academy on High Street in the village of Ludlow in Vermont.Black River Academy was chartered in Ludlow in 1835 and operated as a school, serving as the Town of Ludlow's public high school until 1938, when a new school was built...

 and then Amherst College
Amherst College
Amherst College is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States. Amherst is an exclusively undergraduate four-year institution and enrolled 1,744 students in the fall of 2009...

, where he joined the Phi Gamma Delta
Phi Gamma Delta
The international fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta is a collegiate social fraternity with 120 chapters and 18 colonies across the United States and Canada. It was founded at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, in 1848, and its headquarters are located in Lexington, Kentucky, USA...

 fraternity. At his father's urging, Coolidge moved to Northampton, Massachusetts
Northampton, Massachusetts
The city of Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Northampton's central neighborhoods, was 28,549...

, after graduating to take up the practice of law. Avoiding the costly alternative of attending a law school
Law school
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education.- Law degrees :- Canada :...

, Coolidge followed the more common practice of the time, apprenticing with a local law firm, Hammond & Field, and reading law
Reading law
Reading law is the method by which persons in common law countries, particularly the United States, entered the legal profession before the advent of law schools. This usage specifically refers to a means of entering the profession . A small number of U.S...

 with them. John C. Hammond and Henry P. Field, both Amherst graduates, introduced Coolidge to the law practice in the county seat of Hampshire County
Hampshire County, Massachusetts
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 152,251 people, 55,991 households, and 33,818 families residing in the county. The population density was 288 people per square mile . There were 58,644 housing units at an average density of 111 per square mile...

. In 1897, Coolidge was admitted to the bar, becoming a country lawyer
Country Lawyer
In the United States, a country lawyer, or county-seat lawyer, is an attorney who has completed little or no formal legal training and has become a member of a county bar or a state bar after "reading law"; traditionally, these lawyers practiced general law in a rural setting, or on the frontier...

. With his savings and a small inheritance from his grandfather, Coolidge was able to open his own law office in Northampton in 1898. He practiced transactional law, believing that he served his clients best by staying out of court. As his reputation as a hard-working and diligent attorney grew, local banks and other businesses began to retain his services.

Marriage and family

In 1905, Coolidge met and married a fellow Vermonter, Grace Anna Goodhue
Grace Coolidge
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge was the wife of Calvin Coolidge and First Lady of the United States from 1923 to 1929.-Biography:...

, who was working as a teacher at the Clarke School for the Deaf
Clarke School for the Deaf
Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, formerly Clarke School for the Deaf, is a private school located in Northampton, Massachusetts that specializes in educating deaf children using the oral method through the assistance of hearing aids and cochlear implants...

. While Grace was watering flowers outside the school one day in 1903, she happened to look up at the open window of Robert N. Weir's boardinghouse and caught a glimpse of Calvin Coolidge shaving in front of a mirror with nothing on but long underwear and a hat. After a more formal introduction sometime later, the two were quickly attracted to each other. They were married on October 4, 1905, in the parlor of her parents' home in Burlington, Vermont
Burlington, Vermont
Burlington is the largest city in the U.S. state of Vermont and the shire town of Chittenden County. Burlington lies south of the U.S.-Canadian border and some south of Montreal....

.

They were opposites in personality: she was talkative and fun-loving, while he was quiet and serious. Not long after their marriage, Coolidge handed her a bag with fifty-two pairs of socks in it, all of them full of holes. Grace's reply was "Did you marry me to darn your socks?" Without cracking a smile and with his usual seriousness, Calvin answered, "No, but I find it mighty handy." They had two sons: John
John Coolidge
John Coolidge was an executive with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, the founder of the Plymouth Cheese Corporation and the first son of President Calvin Coolidge and Grace Anna Goodhue.-Biography:...

, born in 1906, and Calvin, Jr.
Calvin Coolidge, Jr.
Calvin Coolidge Jr. was the son of President Calvin Coolidge-Biography:Calvin Coolidge, Jr, was born in Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, on April 13, 1908 and was the younger of the two children of Calvin Coolidge , the 30th President of the United States and Grace Anna Goodhue ,...

, born in 1908. The marriage was, by most accounts, a happy one. As Coolidge wrote in his Autobiography, "We thought we were made for each other. For almost a quarter of a century she has borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces."

City offices

The Republican Party was dominant in New England in Coolidge's time, and he followed Hammond's and Field's example by becoming active in local politics. Coolidge campaigned locally for Republican presidential candidate William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

 in 1896, and the next year he was selected to be a member of the Republican City Committee. In 1898, he won election to the City Council
City council
A city council or town council is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality or local government area.-Australia & NZ:Because of the differences in legislation between the States, the exact definition of a City Council varies...

 of Northampton, placing second in a ward where the top three candidates were elected. The position offered no salary, but gave Coolidge experience in the political world. In 1899, he declined renomination, running instead for City Solicitor, a position elected by the City Council. He was elected for a one-year term in 1900, and reelected in 1901. This position gave Coolidge more experience as a lawyer, and paid a salary of $600. In 1902, the city council selected a Democrat for city solicitor, and Coolidge returned to an exclusively private practice. Soon thereafter, however, the clerk of courts
Court clerk
A court clerk is an officer of the court whose responsibilities include maintaining the records of a court. Another duty is to administer oaths to witnesses, jurors, and grand jurors...

 for the county died, and Coolidge was chosen to replace him. The position paid well, but barred him from practicing law, so he only remained at the job for one year. The next year, 1904, Coolidge met with his only defeat before the voters, losing an election to the Northampton school board
Board of education
A board of education or a school board or school committee is the title of the board of directors or board of trustees of a school, local school district or higher administrative level....

. When told that some of his neighbors voted against him because he had no children in the schools he would govern, Coolidge replied "Might give me time!"

State legislator and mayor

In 1906 the local Republican committee nominated Coolidge for election to the state House of Representatives
Massachusetts House of Representatives
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. Representatives serve two-year terms...

. He won a close victory over the incumbent Democrat, and reported to Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 for the 1907 session of the Massachusetts General Court
Massachusetts General Court
The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the Colonial Era, when this body also sat in judgment of judicial appeals cases...

. In his freshman term, Coolidge served on minor committees and, although he usually voted with the party, was known as a Progressive Republican
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

, voting in favor of such measures as women's suffrage
Women's suffrage
Women's suffrage or woman suffrage is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or...

 and the direct election of Senators
Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established direct election of United States Senators by popular vote. The amendment supersedes Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures...

. Throughout his time in Boston, Coolidge found himself allied primarily with the western Winthrop Murray Crane faction of the state Republican Party, as against the Henry Cabot Lodge
Henry Cabot Lodge
Henry Cabot "Slim" Lodge was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. He had the role of Senate Majority leader. He is best known for his positions on Meek policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles...

-dominated eastern faction. In 1907, he was elected to a second term. In the 1908 session, Coolidge was more outspoken, but was still not one of the leaders in the legislature.

Instead of vying for another term in the State House
Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House, also known as the Massachusetts Statehouse or the "New" State House, is the state capitol and house of government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is located in Boston in the neighborhood Beacon Hill...

, Coolidge returned home to his growing family and ran for mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 of Northampton when the incumbent Democrat retired. He was well liked in the town, and defeated his challenger by a vote of 1,597 to 1,409. During his first term (1910 to 1911), he increased teachers' salaries and retired some of the city's debt while still managing to effect a slight tax decrease. He was renominated in 1911, and defeated the same opponent by a slightly larger margin.

In 1911, the State Senator
Massachusetts Senate
The Massachusetts Senate is the upper house of the Massachusetts General Court, the bicameral state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Senate comprises 40 elected members from 40 single-member senatorial districts in the state...

 for the Hampshire County area retired and encouraged Coolidge to run for his seat for the 1912 session. He defeated his Democratic opponent by a large margin. At the start of that term, Coolidge was selected to be chairman of a committee to arbitrate the "Bread and Roses
Bread and Roses
The slogan "Bread and Roses" originated in a poem of that name by James Oppenheim, published in The American Magazine in December 1911, which attributed it to "the women in the West." It is commonly associated with a textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts during January-March 1912, now often...

" strike by the workers of the American Woolen Company
American Woolen Company
The American Woolen Company was established in 1899 under the leadership of William M. Wood and his father-in-law Frederick Ayer through the consolidation of eight financially troubled New England woolen mills. At the company's height in the 1920s, it owned and operated 60 woolen mills across New...

 in Lawrence, Massachusetts
Lawrence, Massachusetts
Lawrence is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States on the Merrimack River. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a total population of 76,377. Surrounding communities include Methuen to the north, Andover to the southwest, and North Andover to the southeast. It and Salem are...

. After two tense months, the company agreed to the workers' demands in a settlement the committee proposed. The other major issue for Republicans that year was the party split
United States presidential election, 1912
The United States presidential election of 1912 was a rare four-way contest. Incumbent President William Howard Taft was renominated by the Republican Party with the support of its conservative wing. After former President Theodore Roosevelt failed to receive the Republican nomination, he called...

 between the progressive wing, which favored Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, and the conservative wing, which favored William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...

. Although he favored some progressive measures, Coolidge refused to leave the Republican party. When the new Progressive Party
Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

 declined to run a candidate in his state senate district, Coolidge won reelection against his Democratic opponent by an increased margin.

The 1913 session was less eventful, and Coolidge's time was mostly spent on the railroad committee, of which he was the chairman. Coolidge intended to retire after the 1913 session, as two terms were the norm, but when the President of the State Senate
President of the Massachusetts Senate
The President of the Massachusetts Senate is the presiding officer. In the United States Congress, the Vice President of the United States is the ex officio President of the United States Senate. In Massachusetts, however, the President of the Senate is elected from and by the Senators...

, Levi H. Greenwood
Levi H. Greenwood
Levi Heywood Greenwood was a businessman and Republican politician from Massachusetts in the and early 20th century. He was the father of former Fitchburg Mayor Robert E. Greenwood.-Early years:...

, considered running for Lieutenant Governor, Coolidge decided to run again for the Senate in the hopes of being elected as its presiding officer. Although Greenwood later decided to run for reelection to the Senate, he was defeated and Coolidge was elected, with Crane's help, as the President of a closely divided Senate. After his election in January 1914, Coolidge delivered a speech entitled Have Faith in Massachusetts, which summarized his philosophy of government. It was later published in a book, and frequently quoted.
Do the day's work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it. If it be to help a powerful corporation better to serve the people, whatever the opposition, do that. Expect to be called a stand-patter, but don't be a stand-patter. Expect to be called a demagogue, but don't be a demagogue. Don't hesitate to be as revolutionary as science. Don't hesitate to be as reactionary as the multiplication table. Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. Don't hurry to legislate. Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation.
Have Faith in Massachusetts as delivered by Calvin Coolidge to the Massachusetts State Senate, 1914.


Coolidge's speech was well-received and he attracted some admirers on its account. Towards the end of the term, many of them were proposing his name for nomination to lieutenant governor. After winning reelection to the Senate by an increased margin in the 1914 elections, Coolidge was reelected unanimously to be President of the Senate. As the 1915 session ended, Coolidge's supporters, led by fellow Amherst alumnus Frank Stearns
Frank Stearns
Frank Waterman Stearns was an American businessman whose father, Richard H. Stearns had founded the R. H. Stearns department store and company in Boston. His mother was Louise M. Waterman....

, encouraged him again to run for lieutenant governor. This time, he accepted their advice.

Lieutenant Governor

Coolidge entered the primary election
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 for lieutenant governor and was nominated to run alongside gubernatorial candidate Samuel W. McCall
Samuel W. McCall
Samuel Walker McCall was a member of the United States House of Representatives, and the 47th Governor of Massachusetts...

. Coolidge was the leading vote-getter in the Republican primary, and balanced
Ticket balance
In United States politics, balancing the ticket is when a political candidate chooses a running mate with the goal of bringing more widespread appeal to the campaign. It is most prominently used to describe the selection of the U.S. Vice Presidential candidate.There are several means by which the...

 the Republican ticket by adding a western presence to McCall's eastern base of support. McCall and Coolidge won the 1915 election, with Coolidge defeating his opponent by more than 50,000 votes.

Coolidge's duties as lieutenant governor were few; in Massachusetts, the lieutenant governor does not preside over the state Senate, although Coolidge did become an ex officio member of the governor's cabinet. As a full-time elected official, Coolidge no longer practiced law after 1916, though his family continued to live in Northampton. McCall and Coolidge were both reelected in 1916 and again in 1917 (At the time, both offices were held for one-year terms). When McCall decided that he would not stand for a fourth term, Coolidge announced his intention to run for governor.

1918 election

Coolidge was unopposed for the Republican nomination for Governor of Massachusetts in 1918. He and his running mate, Channing Cox, a Boston lawyer and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives
Massachusetts House of Representatives
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is the lower house of the Massachusetts General Court, the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is composed of 160 members elected from single-member electoral districts across the Commonwealth. Representatives serve two-year terms...

, ran on the previous administration's record: fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism
Fiscal conservatism is a political term used to describe a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending. Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance...

, a vague opposition to Prohibition
Prohibition
Prohibition of alcohol, often referred to simply as prohibition, is the practice of prohibiting the manufacture, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The term can also apply to the periods in the histories of the countries during which the...

, support for women's suffrage, and support for American involvement in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The issue of the war proved divisive, especially among Irish
Irish American
Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

- and German-Americans. Coolidge was elected by a margin of 16,773 votes over his opponent, Richard H. Long, in the smallest margin of victory of any of his state-wide campaigns.

Boston police strike

In 1919, in response to rumors that policemen of the Boston Police Department
Boston Police Department
The Boston Police Department , created in 1838, holds the primary responsibility for law enforcement and investigation within the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the oldest police departments in the United States...

 planned to form a union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

, Police Commissioner Edwin U. Curtis issued a statement saying that such a move would not be tolerated. In August of that year, the American Federation of Labor
American Federation of Labor
The American Federation of Labor was one of the first federations of labor unions in the United States. It was founded in 1886 by an alliance of craft unions disaffected from the Knights of Labor, a national labor association. Samuel Gompers was elected president of the Federation at its...

 issued a charter to the Boston Police Union. Curtis said the union's leaders were insubordinate and planned to relieve them of duty, but said that he would suspend the sentence if the union was dissolved by September 4. The mayor of Boston, Andrew Peters
Andrew James Peters
Andrew James Peters was an American politician. He was born on April 3, 1872 in Jamaica Plain, a section of Boston. His family had been in Massachusetts since the first Andrew Peters arrived there in 1657. Peters attended Harvard University and Harvard Law School. He served two terms in the...

, convinced Curtis to delay his action for a few days, but Curtis ultimately suspended the union leaders on September 8.
"Your assertion that the Commissioner was wrong cannot justify the wrong of leaving the city unguarded. That furnished the opportunity; the criminal element furnished the action. There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.  ... I am equally determined to defend the sovereignty of Massachusetts and to maintain the authority and jurisdiction over her public officers where it has been placed by the Constitution and laws of her people." (emphasis added)
Telegram from Governor Calvin Coolidge to Samuel Gompers September 14, 1919.

The following day, about three-quarters of the policemen in Boston went on strike. Coolidge had observed the situation throughout the conflict, but had not yet intervened. That night and the next, there was sporadic violence and riot
Riot
A riot is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. While individuals may attempt to lead or control a riot, riots are thought to be typically chaotic and...

ing in the lawless city. Peters, concerned about sympathy strike
Sympathy strike
Secondary action is industrial action by a trade union in support of a strike initiated by workers in another, separate enterprise...

s, had called up some units of the Massachusetts National Guard
Massachusetts National Guard
The Massachusetts National Guard was founded as the Massachusetts Bay Colonial Militia on December 13, 1636, and contains the oldest units in the United States Army. It is currently headquartered in Milford, Massachusetts and commanded by Major General Joseph C...

 stationed in the Boston area and relieved Curtis of duty. Coolidge, furious that the mayor had called out state guard units, finally acted. He called up more units of the National Guard, restored Curtis to office, and took personal control of the police force. Curtis proclaimed that all of the strikers were fired from their jobs, and Coolidge called for a new police force to be recruited.

That night Coolidge received a telegram from AFL leader Samuel Gompers
Samuel Gompers
Samuel Gompers was an English-born American cigar maker who became a labor union leader and a key figure in American labor history. Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor , and served as that organization's president from 1886 to 1894 and from 1895 until his death in 1924...

. "Whatever disorder has occurred", Gompers wrote, "is due to Curtis's order in which the right of the policemen has been denied …" Coolidge publicly answered Gompers's telegram with the response that would launch him into the national consciousness (quoted, above left). Newspapers across the nation picked up on Coolidge's statement and he became the newest hero to opponents of the strike. In the midst of the First Red Scare
First Red Scare
In American history, the First Red Scare of 1919–1920 was marked by a widespread fear of Bolshevism and anarchism. Concerns over the effects of radical political agitation in American society and alleged spread in the American labor movement fueled the paranoia that defined the period.The First Red...

, many Americans were terrified of the spread of communist revolution, like those that had taken place in Russia
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, Hungary
Hungarian Soviet Republic
The Hungarian Soviet Republic or Soviet Republic of Hungary was a short-lived Communist state established in Hungary in the aftermath of World War I....

, and Germany. While Coolidge had lost some friends among organized labor, conservatives across the nation had seen a rising star. Although he usually acted with deliberation, the Boston police strike gave him a national reputation as a man who would take decisive action.

1919 election

Coolidge and Cox were renominated for their respective offices in 1919. By this time Coolidge's supporters (especially Stearns) had publicized his actions in the Police Strike around the state and the nation and some of Coolidge's speeches were published in book form. He faced the same opponent as in 1918, Richard Long, but this time Coolidge defeated him by 125,101 votes, more than seven times his margin of victory from a year earlier. His actions in the police strike, combined with the massive electoral victory, led to suggestions that Coolidge run for President in 1920.

Legislation and vetoes as governor

By the time Coolidge was inaugurated on January 2, 1919, the First World War had ended, and Coolidge pushed the legislature to give a $100 bonus to Massachusetts veterans. He also signed a bill reducing the work week for women and children
Child labor
Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries...

 from fifty-four hours to forty-eight, saying, "We must humanize the industry, or the system will break down." He signed into law a budget that kept the tax rates the same, while trimming four million dollars from expenditures, thus allowing the state to retire some of its debt.

Coolidge also wielded the veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 pen as governor. His most publicized veto was of a bill that would have increased legislators' pay by 50%. Although Coolidge was personally opposed to Prohibition, he vetoed a bill in May 1920 that would have allowed the sale of beer or wine of 2.75% alcohol or less, in Massachusetts in violation of the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution established Prohibition in the United States. The separate Volstead Act set down methods of enforcing the Eighteenth Amendment, and defined which "intoxicating liquors" were prohibited, and which were excluded from prohibition...

. "Opinions and instructions do not outmatch the Constitution," he said in his veto message, "Against it, they are void."

1920 election

At the 1920 Republican National Convention
1920 Republican National Convention
The 1920 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States nominated Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding for President and Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge for Vice President...

 most of the delegates were selected by state party conventions, not primaries. As such, the field was divided among many local favorites. Coolidge was one such candidate, and while he placed as high as sixth in the voting, the powerful party bosses never considered him a serious candidate. After ten ballots, the delegates settled on Senator Warren G. Harding
Warren G. Harding
Warren Gamaliel Harding was the 29th President of the United States . A Republican from Ohio, Harding was an influential self-made newspaper publisher. He served in the Ohio Senate , as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio and as a U.S. Senator...

 of Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 as their nominee for President. When the time came to select a Vice Presidential nominee, the party bosses had also made a decision on who they would nominate: Senator Irvine Lenroot
Irvine Lenroot
Irvine Luther Lenroot was a member of the United States Republican Party who served in the House of Representatives from 1909 to 1918, and in the United States Senate from 1918 to 1927, for the state of Wisconsin. He was also Warren G...

 of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. A delegate from Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Wallace McCamant
Wallace McCamant
Wallace McCamant was an American jurist in Oregon. A Pennsylvania native, he served as the 46th Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court from 1917 to 1918. Later he served briefly on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...

, having read Have Faith in Massachusetts, proposed Coolidge for Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 instead. The suggestion caught on quickly, and Coolidge found himself unexpectedly nominated.

The Democrats nominated another Ohioan, James M. Cox
James M. Cox
James Middleton Cox was the 46th and 48th Governor of Ohio, U.S. Representative from Ohio and Democratic candidate for President of the United States in the election of 1920....

, for President and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, for Vice President. The question of the United States joining the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

 was a major issue in the campaign, as was the unfinished legacy of Progressivism
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

. Harding ran a "front-porch" campaign from his home in Marion, Ohio
Marion, Ohio
Marion is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Marion County. The municipality is located in north-central Ohio, approximately north of Columbus....

, but Coolidge took to the campaign trail in the Upper South, New York, and New England. On November 2, 1920, Harding and Coolidge were victorious in a landslide, winning every state outside the South. They also won in Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, the first time a Republican ticket had won a Southern state since Reconstruction.

"Silent Cal"

The Vice-Presidency did not carry many official duties, but Coolidge was invited by President Harding to attend cabinet meetings, making him the first Vice President to do so. He gave speeches around the country, but none were especially noteworthy.

As Vice-President, Coolidge and his vivacious wife Grace
Grace Coolidge
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge was the wife of Calvin Coolidge and First Lady of the United States from 1923 to 1929.-Biography:...

 were invited to quite a few parties, where the legend of "Silent Cal" was born. It is from this time that most of the jokes and anecdotes involving Coolidge originate. Although Coolidge was known to be a skilled and effective public speaker, in private he was a man of few words and was therefore commonly referred to as "Silent Cal." A possibly apocryphal story has it that Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles....

, seated next to him at a dinner, said to him, "Mr. Coolidge, I've made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you." His famous reply: "You lose." It was also Parker who, upon learning that Coolidge had died, reportedly remarked, "How can they tell?" Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Alice Roosevelt Longworth
Alice Lee Roosevelt Longworth was the oldest child of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States. She was the only child of Roosevelt and his first wife, Alice Hathaway Lee....

 supposedly once commented that, "He looks as if he'd been weaned on a pickle." Coolidge often seemed uncomfortable among fashionable Washington society; when asked why he continued to attend so many of their dinner parties, he replied, "Got to eat somewhere."

As President, Coolidge's reputation as a quiet man continued. "The words of a President have an enormous weight," he would later write, "and ought not to be used indiscriminately." Coolidge was aware of his stiff reputation; indeed, he cultivated it. "I think the American people want a solemn ass as a President," he once told Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore
Ethel Barrymore was an American actress and a member of the Barrymore family of actors.-Early life:Ethel Barrymore was born Ethel Mae Blythe in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second child of the actors Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Drew...

, "and I think I will go along with them." However, he did hold a then-record number of presidential press conferences, 520 during his presidency. Some historians would later suggest that Coolidge's image was created deliberately as a campaign tactic, while others believe his withdrawn and quiet behavior to be natural, deepening after the death of his son in 1924.

Succession to the Presidency

On August 2, 1923, President Harding died while on a speaking tour in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. Vice-President Coolidge was in Vermont visiting his family home
Coolidge Homestead
The Coolidge Homestead, also known as Calvin Coolidge Homestead District or President Calvin Coolidge State Historical Site, was the childhood home of the thirtieth President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge and the place where he took the presidential oath of office...

, which had neither electricity
Electricity
Electricity is a general term encompassing a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning, static electricity, and the flow of electrical current in an electrical wire...

 nor a telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

, when he received word by messenger of Harding's death. Coolidge dressed, said a prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

, and came downstairs to greet the reporters who had assembled. His father, a notary public
Notary public
A notary public in the common law world is a public officer constituted by law to serve the public in non-contentious matters usually concerned with estates, deeds, powers-of-attorney, and foreign and international business...

, administered the oath of office in the family's parlor by the light of a kerosene lamp
Kerosene lamp
The kerosene lamp is a type of lighting device that uses kerosene as a fuel. This article refers to kerosene lamps that have a wick and a tall glass chimney. Kerosene lanterns that have a wick and a glass globe are related to kerosene lamps and are included here as well...

 at 2:47 am on August 3, 1923; Coolidge then went back to bed. Coolidge returned to Washington the next day, and was re-sworn by Justice Adolph A. Hoehling, Jr.
Adolph A. Hoehling, Jr.
Adolph A. Hoehling, Jr. was a United States federal judge.Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hoehling received an LL.B. from Columbian University in 1889 and an LL.M. from Columbian University in 1890. He was in private practice in Washington, D.C...

 of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia is a federal district court. Appeals from the District are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit The United States District Court for the District of Columbia (in case citations, D.D.C.) is a...

, as there was some confusion over whether a state notary public had the authority to administer the presidential oath.

Finishing Harding's term

The nation did not know what to make of its new President; Coolidge had not stood out in the Harding administration and many had expected him to be replaced on the ballot in 1924. He appointed C. Bascom Slemp
C. Bascom Slemp
Campbell Bascom Slemp was an American Republican politician. He was a six-time United States congressman from Virginia's 9th congressional district from 1907 to 1922 and served as the presidential secretary to President Calvin Coolidge...

, a Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 Congressman and experienced federal politician to work jointly with Edward T. Clark, a Massachusetts Republican organizer whom he retained from his vice presidential staff, as Secretaries to the President (a position equivalent to the modern White House Chief of Staff
White House Chief of Staff
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President.The current White House Chief of Staff is Bill Daley.-History:...

). Although many of Harding's cabinet appointees were scandal-tarred, Coolidge announced that he would not demand any of their resignations, believing that since the people had elected Harding, he should carry on Harding's presidency, at least until the next election.

He addressed Congress when it reconvened on December 6, 1923, giving a speech that echoed many of Harding's themes, including immigration restriction
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 and the need for the government to arbitrate the coal strikes then ongoing in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. Coolidge's speech was the first Presidential speech to be broadcast to the nation over the radio The Washington Naval Treaty
Washington Naval Treaty
The Washington Naval Treaty, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was an attempt to cap and limit, and "prevent 'further' costly escalation" of the naval arms race that had begun after World War I between various International powers, each of which had significant naval fleets. The treaty was...

 was proclaimed just one month into Coolidge's term, and was generally well received in the country. In May 1924, the World War I veterans' World War Adjusted Compensation Act
World War Adjusted Compensation Act
The World War Adjusted Compensation Act, or Bonus Act, was a United States federal law passed on May 19, 1924, that granted a benefit to veterans of American military service in World War I.-Provisions:...

 or "Bonus Bill" was passed over his veto. Coolidge signed the Immigration Act
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

 later that year, though he appended a signing statement
Signing statement
A signing statement is a written pronouncement issued by the President of the United States upon the signing of a bill into law. They are usually printed along with the bill in United States Code Congressional and Administrative News ....

 expressing his unhappiness with the bill's specific exclusion of Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 immigrants. Just before the Republican Convention began, Coolidge signed into law the Revenue Act of 1924
Revenue Act of 1924
The United States Revenue Act of 1924 , also known as the Mellon tax bill cut federal tax rates and established the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals, which was later renamed the United States Tax Court in 1942. The bill was named after U.S...

, which decreased personal income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 rates while increasing the estate tax, and creating a gift tax
Gift tax
A gift tax is a tax imposed on the gratuitous transfer of ownership of property. The United States Internal Revenue Service says a gift is "Any transfer to an individual, either directly or indirectly, where full consideration is not received in return."When a taxable gift in the form of cash,...

 to reinforce the transfer tax system.

1924 election

The Republican Convention
1924 Republican National Convention
The 1924 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held in Cleveland, Ohio at the Public Auditorium from June 10 to June 12. For this convention the method of allocating delegates changed in order to reduce the overrepresentation of the South...

 was held from June 10–12, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

; President Coolidge was nominated on the first ballot. The convention nominated Frank Lowden
Frank Orren Lowden
Frank Orren Lowden was a Republican Party politician from Illinois, who served as the 25th Governor of Illinois and as a United States Representatives from Illinois...

 of Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 for Vice President on the second ballot, but he declined by telegram. Former Brigadier General Charles G. Dawes
Charles G. Dawes
Charles Gates Dawes was an American banker and politician who was the 30th Vice President of the United States . For his work on the Dawes Plan for World War I reparations he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served in the First World War, was U.S...

, who would win the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 in 1925, was nominated on the third ballot; he accepted.

The Democrats held their convention
1924 Democratic National Convention
The 1924 Democratic National Convention, also called the Klanbake, held at the Madison Square Garden in New York City from June 24 to July 9, took a record 103 ballots to nominate a presidential candidate. It was the longest continuously running convention in United States political history...

 from June 24 to July 9 in New York City. The convention soon deadlocked, and after 103 ballots, the delegates finally agreed on a compromise candidate, John W. Davis
John W. Davis
John William Davis was an American politician, diplomat and lawyer. He served as a United States Representative from West Virginia , then as Solicitor General of the United States and US Ambassador to the UK under President Woodrow Wilson...

, with Charles W. Bryan
Charles W. Bryan
Charles Wayland Bryan was the younger brother of perennial U.S. Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, with whom he shares the distinction of being the only set of brothers to be nominated for national office by a major party.-Biography:Born in 1867 in Salem, Illinois, Bryan...

 nominated for Vice President. The Democrats' hopes were buoyed when Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.
Robert Marion "Fighting Bob" La Follette, Sr. , was an American Republican politician. He served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was the Governor of Wisconsin, and was also a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin...

, a Republican Senator from Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, split from his party to form a new Progressive Party
Progressive Party (United States, 1924)
The Progressive Party of 1924 was a new party created as a vehicle for Robert M. La Follette, Sr. to run for president in the 1924 election. It did not run candidates for other offices, and it disappeared after the election except in Wisconsin. Its name resembles the 1912 Progressive Party, which...

. Many believed that the split in the Republican party, like the one in 1912, would allow a Democrat to win the Presidency.

Shortly after the conventions Coolidge experienced a personal tragedy. Coolidge's younger son, Calvin, Jr., developed a blister from playing tennis on the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 courts. The blister became infected, and within days Calvin, Jr. developed sepsis
Sepsis
Sepsis is a potentially deadly medical condition that is characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state and the presence of a known or suspected infection. The body may develop this inflammatory response by the immune system to microbes in the blood, urine, lungs, skin, or other tissues...

 and died. After that Coolidge became withdrawn. He later said that "when he died, the power and glory of the Presidency went with him." In spite of his sadness, Coolidge ran his conventional campaign; he never maligned his opponents (or even mentioned them by name) and delivered speeches on his theory of government, including several that were broadcast over radio. It was easily the most subdued campaign since 1896, partly because the President was grieving for his son, but partly because Coolidge's style was naturally non-confrontational. The other candidates campaigned in a more modern fashion, but despite the split in the Republican party, the results were very similar to those of 1920. Coolidge and Dawes won every state outside the South except for Wisconsin, La Follette's home state. Coolidge had a popular vote majority of 2.5 million over his opponents' combined total.

Industry and trade

... it is probable that a press which maintains an intimate touch with the business currents of the nation is likely to be more reliable than it would be if it were a stranger to these influences. After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. (emphasis added)
President Calvin Coolidge's address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Washington D.C., January 25, 1925.

During Coolidge's presidency the United States experienced the period of rapid economic growth known as the "Roaring Twenties
Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s, principally in North America, but also in London, Berlin and Paris for a period of sustained economic prosperity. The phrase was meant to emphasize the period's social, artistic, and cultural dynamism...

". He left the administration's industrial policy in the hands of his activist Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

, who energetically used government auspices to promote business efficiency and develop airlines and radio. With the exception of favoring increased tariffs, Coolidge disdained regulation, and carried about this belief by appointing commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act...

 and the Interstate Commerce Commission
Interstate Commerce Commission
The Interstate Commerce Commission was a regulatory body in the United States created by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. The agency's original purpose was to regulate railroads to ensure fair rates, to eliminate rate discrimination, and to regulate other aspects of common carriers, including...

 who did little to restrict the activities of businesses under their jurisdiction. The regulatory state under Coolidge was, as one biographer described it, "thin to the point of invisibility."

Coolidge's economic policy has often been misquoted as "generally speaking, the business of the American people is business" (full quotation at right). Some have criticized Coolidge as an adherent of the laissez-faire
Laissez-faire
In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies....

 ideology, which they claim led to the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. On the other hand, historian Robert Sobel
Robert Sobel
Robert Sobel was an American professor of history at Hofstra University, and a well-known and prolific writer of business histories.- Biography :...

 offers some context based on Coolidge's sense of federalism
Federalism
Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. The term "federalism" is also used to describe a system of the government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and...

: "As Governor of Massachusetts, Coolidge supported wages and hours legislation, opposed child labor
Child labor
Child labour refers to the employment of children at regular and sustained labour. This practice is considered exploitative by many international organizations and is illegal in many countries...

, imposed economic controls during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, favored safety measures in factories, and even worker representation on corporate boards. Did he support these measures while president? No, because in the 1920s, such matters were considered the responsibilities of state and local governments."

Taxation

Coolidge's taxation policy was that of his Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Mellon: taxes should be lower and fewer people should have to pay them. Congress agreed, and the taxes were reduced in Coolidge's term. In addition to these tax cuts, Coolidge proposed reductions in federal expenditures and retiring some of the federal debt
United States public debt
The United States public debt is the money borrowed by the federal government of the United States at any one time through the issue of securities by the Treasury and other federal government agencies...

. Coolidge's ideas were shared by the Republicans in Congress, and in 1924 Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1924
Revenue Act of 1924
The United States Revenue Act of 1924 , also known as the Mellon tax bill cut federal tax rates and established the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals, which was later renamed the United States Tax Court in 1942. The bill was named after U.S...

, which reduced income tax rates and eliminated all income taxation for some two million people. They reduced taxes again by passing the Revenue Acts of 1926
Revenue Act of 1926
The United States Revenue Act of 1926, , reduced inheritance and personal income taxes, cancelled many excise imposts, and ended public access to federal income tax returns.Passed by the 69th Congress, it was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge....

 and 1928
Revenue Act of 1928
The Revenue Act of 1928 , formerly codified in part at 26 U.S.C. sec. 22, is a statute enacted by the 70th United States Congress in 1928 regarding tax policy....

, all the while continuing to keep spending down so as to reduce the overall federal debt. By 1927, only the richest 2% of taxpayers paid any federal income tax. Although federal spending remained flat during Coolidge's administration, allowing one-fourth of the federal debt to be retired, state and local governments saw considerable growth, surpassing the federal budget in 1927.

Farm subsidies

Perhaps the most contentious issue of Coolidge's presidency was that of relief for farmers. Some in Congress proposed a bill designed to fight falling agricultural prices by allowing the federal government to purchase crops to sell abroad at lowered prices. Agriculture Secretary Henry C. Wallace
Henry Cantwell Wallace
Henry Cantwell Wallace was a United States farm leader. He served as the Secretary of Agriculture between 1921 and 1924. He was the father of Henry Agard Wallace, who would follow in his footsteps as Secretary of Agriculture under President Franklin D. Roosevelt...

 and other administration officials favored the bill when it was introduced in 1924, but rising prices convinced many in Congress that the bill was unnecessary, and it was defeated just before the elections that year. In 1926, with farm prices falling once more, Senator Charles L. McNary
Charles L. McNary
Charles Linza McNary was a United States Republican politician from Oregon. He served in the Senate from 1917 to 1944, and was Senate Minority Leader from 1933 to 1944. In the Senate, McNary helped to pass legislation that led to the construction of Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, and worked...

 and Representative Gilbert N. Haugen
Gilbert N. Haugen
Gilbert Nelson Haugen was a seventeen-term Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa's 4th congressional district, then located in northeastern Iowa. For nearly five years, he was the longest-serving member of the House...

—both Republicans—proposed the McNary-Haugen Farm Relief Bill
McNary-Haugen Farm Relief Bill
The McNary-Haugen Farm Relief Act, which never became law, was a highly controversial plan in the 1920s to subsidize American agriculture by raising the domestic prices of farm products. The plan was for the government to buy the wheat, and either store it or export it at a loss. It was...

. The bill proposed a federal farm board that would purchase surplus production in high-yield years and hold it (when feasible) for later sale, or sell it abroad. Coolidge opposed McNary-Haugen, declaring that agriculture must stand "on an independent business basis," and said that "government control cannot be divorced from political control." He favored instead Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

's proposal to modernize agriculture to create profits, instead of manipulating prices. Secretary Mellon wrote a letter denouncing the McNary-Haugen measure as unsound and likely to cause inflation, and it was defeated.

After McNary-Haugen's defeat, Coolidge supported a less radical measure, the Curtis-Crisp Act, which would have created a federal board to lend money to farm co-operatives in times of surplus; the bill did not pass. In February 1927, Congress took up the McNary-Haugen bill again, this time narrowly passing it. Coolidge vetoed it. In his veto message, he expressed the belief that the bill would do nothing to help farmers, benefitting only exporters and expanding the federal bureaucracy. Congress did not override the veto, but passed the bill again in May 1928 by an increased majority; again, Coolidge vetoed it. "Farmers never have made much money," said Coolidge, the Vermont farmer's son, "I do not believe we can do much about it."

Flood control

Coolidge has often been criticized for his actions during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was the most destructive river flood in the history of the United States.-Events:The flood began when heavy rains pounded the central basin of the Mississippi in the summer of 1926. By September, the Mississippi's tributaries in Kansas and Iowa were swollen to...

, the worst natural disaster to hit the Gulf Coast until Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 in 2005. Although he did eventually name Secretary Hoover to a commission in charge of flood relief, Coolidge's lack of interest in federal flood control has been criticized. Coolidge did not believe that personally visiting the region after the floods would accomplish anything, but would be seen only as political grandstanding. He also did not want to incur the federal spending that flood control would require; he believed property owners should bear much of the cost. On the other hand, Congress wanted a bill that would place the federal government completely in charge of flood mitigation. When Congress passed a compromise measure in 1928, Coolidge declined to take credit for it and signed the bill in private on May 15.

Civil rights

Coolidge spoke out in favor of the civil rights of African Americans and Catholics. He appointed no known members of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

 to office; indeed the Klan lost most of its influence during his term.

In 1924, Coolidge responded to a letter that claimed the United States was a "white man's country":
On June 2, 1924, Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act
Indian Citizenship Act of 1924
The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, also known as the Snyder Act, was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder of New York and granted full U.S. citizenship to America's indigenous peoples, called "Indians" in this Act...

, which granted full U.S. citizenship to all American Indians
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

, while permitting them to retain tribal land and cultural rights. However, the act was unclear on whether the federal government or the tribal leaders retained tribal sovereignty.
Coolidge repeatedly called for anti-lynching
Lynching
Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that...

 laws to be enacted, but most Congressional attempts to pass this legislation were filibustered by Southern Democrats.

Coolidge appointed some African Americans to federal office. He retained Harding's choice of Walter L. Cohen
Walter L. Cohen
Walter L. Cohen, Sr. was an African American Republican politician and businessman in the U.S. state of Louisiana.The New Orleans native was the son of Bernard Cohen and the former Amelia Bingaman...

 of New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, as the comptroller of customs and offered Cohen the post of minister to Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

, which the businessman declined.

Foreign policy

Although not an isolationist, Coolidge was reluctant to enter into foreign alliances. Coolidge saw the landslide Republican victory of 1920 as a rejection of the Wilsonian
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 idea that the United States should join the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

. While not completely opposed to the idea, Coolidge believed the League, as then constituted, did not serve American interests, and he did not advocate membership in it. He spoke in favor of the United States joining the Permanent Court of International Justice
Permanent Court of International Justice
The Permanent Court of International Justice, often called the World Court, was an international court attached to the League of Nations. Created in 1922 , the Court was initially met with a good reaction from states and academics alike, with many cases submitted to it for its first decade of...

, provided that the nation would not be bound by advisory decisions. The Senate eventually approved joining the Court (with reservations
Reservation (law)
A reservation in international law is a caveat to a state's acceptance of a treaty. By the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties , a reservation is defined as a...

) in 1926. The League of Nations accepted the reservations, but suggested some modifications of their own. The Senate failed to act; the United States never joined the World Court.

Coolidge's best-known initiative was the Kellogg-Briand Pact
Kellogg-Briand Pact
The Kellogg–Briand Pact was an agreement signed on August 27, 1928, by the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Weimar Germany and a number of other countries.The pact renounced war , prohibiting the use of war...

 of 1928, named for Coolidge's Secretary of State, Frank B. Kellogg
Frank B. Kellogg
Frank Billings Kellogg was an American lawyer, politician and statesman who served in the U.S. Senate and as U.S. Secretary of State. He co-authored the Kellogg-Briand Pact, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1929..- Biography :Kellogg was born in Potsdam, New York, and his family...

, and French foreign minister Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand was a French statesman who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France during the French Third Republic and received the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize.- Early life :...

. The treaty, ratified in 1929, committed signatories including the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan to "renounce war, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another." The treaty did not achieve its intended result the outlawry of war but did provide the founding principle for international law after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

Coolidge continued the previous administration's policy not to recognize the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. He also continued the United States' support for the elected government of Mexico against the rebels
Cristero War
The Cristero War of 1926 to 1929 was an uprising and counter-revolution against the Mexican government in power at that time. The rebellion was set off by the strict enforcement of the anti-clerical provisions of the Mexican Constitution of 1917 and the expansion of further anti-clerical laws...

 there, lifting the arms embargo on that country. He sent his close friend Dwight Morrow
Dwight Morrow
Dwight Whitney Morrow was an American businessman, politician, and diplomat.-Life:Born in Huntington, West Virginia, he moved with his parents, James E. and Clara Morrow to Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1875. His father James, was principal of Marshall College, which is now Marshall University...

 to Mexico as the American ambassador
United States Ambassador to Mexico
The United States has maintained diplomatic relations with Mexico since 1823, when Andrew Jackson was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to that country. Jackson declined the appointment, however, and Joel R. Poinsett became the first U.S. envoy to Mexico in 1825. The rank...

. Coolidge represented the U.S. at the Pan American Conference in Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, making him the only sitting U.S. President to visit the country. The United States' occupation of Nicaragua and Haiti continued under his administration, but Coolidge withdrew American troops from the Dominican Republic in 1924.

1928 Election

In the summer of 1927, Coolidge vacationed in the Black Hills
Black Hills
The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, USA. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly—accurately described as an "island of...

 of South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, where he engaged in horseback riding and fly fishing and attended rodeo
Rodeo
Rodeo is a competitive sport which arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later the United States, Canada, South America and Australia. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States,...

s. He made Custer State Park
Custer State Park
Custer State Park is a state park and wildlife reserve in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota, USA. The park is South Dakota's largest and first state park, named after Lt...

 his "summer White House". News coverage of Coolidge's time in the Black Hills soon increased tourism in the general region and promoted the popularity of Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park is a United States national park north of the town of Hot Springs in western South Dakota. Established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt, it was the seventh U.S. National Park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world. The cave is...

. While on vacation, Coolidge surprisingly issued his terse statement that he would not seek a second full term as President in 1928: "I do not choose to run for President in 1928
I do not choose to run
I do not choose to run is President Calvin Coolidge’s statement to the press on his decision not to run for the 1928 Presidential election. The statement was ambiguous, and led to considerable debate as to the intentions of its language.- Background :...

." After allowing the reporters to take that in, Coolidge elaborated. "If I take another term, I will be in the White House till 1933 … Ten years in Washington is longer than any other man has had it—too long!" In his memoirs, Coolidge explained his decision not to run: "The Presidential office takes a heavy toll of those who occupy it and those who are dear to them. While we should not refuse to spend and be spent in the service of our country, it is hazardous to attempt what we feel is beyond our strength to accomplish." After leaving office, he and Grace returned to Northampton, where he wrote his memoirs. The Republicans retained the White House in 1928 in the person of Coolidge's Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

, Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

.

Coolidge had been reluctant to choose Hoover as his successor; on one occasion he remarked that "for six years that man has given me unsolicited advice—all of it bad." Even so, Coolidge had no desire to split the party by publicly opposing the popular Commerce Secretary's nomination. The delegates did consider nominating Vice President Charles Dawes to be Hoover's running mate. But Coolidge (who hated Dawes) remarked that this would be "a personal affront" to him, and the convention selected Senator Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis
Charles Curtis was a United States Representative, a longtime United States Senator from Kansas later chosen as Senate Majority Leader by his Republican colleagues, and the 31st Vice President of the United States...

 instead.

Cabinet

OFFICE NAME TERM
President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

Calvin Coolidge 1923–1929
Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

None 1923–1925
  Charles G. Dawes
Charles G. Dawes
Charles Gates Dawes was an American banker and politician who was the 30th Vice President of the United States . For his work on the Dawes Plan for World War I reparations he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served in the First World War, was U.S...

1925–1929
Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes
Charles Evans Hughes, Sr. was an American statesman, lawyer and Republican politician from New York. He served as the 36th Governor of New York , Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States , United States Secretary of State , a judge on the Court of International Justice , and...

1923–1925
  Frank B. Kellogg
Frank B. Kellogg
Frank Billings Kellogg was an American lawyer, politician and statesman who served in the U.S. Senate and as U.S. Secretary of State. He co-authored the Kellogg-Briand Pact, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1929..- Biography :Kellogg was born in Potsdam, New York, and his family...

1925–1929
Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

Andrew Mellon 1923–1929
Secretary of War
United States Secretary of War
The Secretary of War was a member of the United States President's Cabinet, beginning with George Washington's administration. A similar position, called either "Secretary at War" or "Secretary of War," was appointed to serve the Congress of the Confederation under the Articles of Confederation...

John W. Weeks
John W. Weeks
John Wingate Weeks was an American politician in the Republican Party. He served as a United States Representative for Massachusetts from 1905 to 1913, as a United States Senator from 1913 to 1919, and as Secretary of War from 1921 to 1925.-Life and career:Weeks was born and raised in Lancaster,...

1923–1925
  Dwight F. Davis
Dwight F. Davis
Dwight Filley Davis was an American tennis player and politician. He is best remembered as the founder of the Davis Cup international tennis competition.-Biography:...

1925–1929
Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty
Harry M. Daugherty
Harry Micajah Daugherty was an American politician. He is best known as a Republican Party boss, and member of the Ohio Gang, the name given to the group of advisors surrounding president Warren G...

1923–1924
  Harlan F. Stone 1924–1925
  John G. Sargent
John G. Sargent
John Garibaldi Sargent was an American lawyer and statesman.-Biography:He graduated from Tufts College in 1887, and earned a master's degree from the same institution in 1912. He studied law in the interim and was admitted to the Vermont bar in 1890...

1925–1929
Postmaster General Harry S. New 1923–1929
Secretary of the Navy
United States Secretary of the Navy
The Secretary of the Navy of the United States of America is the head of the Department of the Navy, a component organization of the Department of Defense...

Edwin Denby
Edwin C. Denby
Edwin Denby was an American lawyer and politician who served as Secretary of the Navy in the administrations of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge from 1921 to 1924. He also played a notable role in the infamous Teapot Dome scandal which took place during the Harding presidency. He was the son...

1923–1924
  Curtis D. Wilbur
Curtis D. Wilbur
Curtis Dwight Wilbur was born in Iowa. He was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1884. Shortly after graduation, Curtis Wilbur resigned his commission, a common practice at the time, and moved to Riverside, California. He was admitted to the California bar in 1890 and served as Los...

1924–1929
Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

Hubert Work
Hubert Work
Hubert Work was a U.S. administrator and physician. He served as the Postmaster General between 1922 and 1923 in the presidency of Warren G. Harding. He then served as the Secretary of the Interior from 1923-1928 during the administration of Calvin Coolidge.Work was born in Marion Center,...

1923–1928
  Roy O. West 1928–1929
Secretary of Agriculture
United States Secretary of Agriculture
The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the United States Department of Agriculture. The current secretary is Tom Vilsack, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on 20 January 2009. The position carries similar responsibilities to those of agriculture ministers in other...

Henry C. Wallace
Henry Cantwell Wallace
Henry Cantwell Wallace was a United States farm leader. He served as the Secretary of Agriculture between 1921 and 1924. He was the father of Henry Agard Wallace, who would follow in his footsteps as Secretary of Agriculture under President Franklin D. Roosevelt...

1923–1924
  Howard M. Gore 1924–1925
  William M. Jardine 1925–1929
Secretary of Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

1923–1928
  William F. Whiting
William F. Whiting
William Fairfield Whiting was United States Secretary of Commerce August 22, 1928 to March 4, 1929, during the last months of the administration of Calvin Coolidge....

1928–1929
Secretary of Labor
United States Secretary of Labor
The United States Secretary of Labor is the head of the Department of Labor who exercises control over the department and enforces and suggests laws involving unions, the workplace, and all other issues involving any form of business-person controversies....

James J. Davis
James J. Davis
James John Davis was an American steel worker and Republican Party politician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served as U.S. Secretary of Labor and represented Pennsylvania in the United States Senate...

1923–1929


Judicial appointments

Supreme Court

Coolidge appointed one Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

, Harlan Fiske Stone
Harlan Fiske Stone
Harlan Fiske Stone was an American lawyer and jurist. A native of New Hampshire, he served as the dean of Columbia Law School, his alma mater, in the early 20th century. As a member of the Republican Party, he was appointed as the 52nd Attorney General of the United States before becoming an...

 in 1925. Stone was Coolidge's fellow Amherst alumnus, a Wall Street lawyer and conservative Republican. Stone was serving as dean of Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

 when Coolidge appointed him to be Attorney General in 1924 to restore the reputation tarnished by Harding's Attorney General, Harry M. Daugherty
Harry M. Daugherty
Harry Micajah Daugherty was an American politician. He is best known as a Republican Party boss, and member of the Ohio Gang, the name given to the group of advisors surrounding president Warren G...

. Coolidge named Stone to the Supreme Court in 1925. Stone was later appointed Chief Justice by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

.

Other courts

Along with his Supreme Court appointment, Coolidge successfully nominated 17 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals
The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system...

, and 61 judges to the United States district courts. He appointed judges to various specialty courts as well, including Genevieve R. Cline
Genevieve R. Cline
Genevieve Rose Cline was an American jurist. In 1928, she became the first woman named to the Federal judiciary.-Early years:...

, who became the first woman named to the Federal judiciary when Coolidge placed her on the United States Customs Court in 1928. Coolidge also signed the Judiciary Act of 1925
Judiciary Act of 1925
The Judiciary Act of 1925 , also known as the Certiorari Act, was an act of the United States Congress which sought to reduce the workload of the Supreme Court of the United States....

 into law, allowing the Supreme Court more discretion over its workload.

Retirement and death

After his presidency, Coolidge retired to his beloved Northampton
Northampton, Massachusetts
The city of Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of Northampton's central neighborhoods, was 28,549...

 home, "The Beeches," where he became a local fixture. He kept a Hacker
Hacker-Craft
Hacker-Craft is the name given to boats built by The Hacker Boat Co., the oldest builder of wooden motorboats in the world. It is an American company, founded in Watervliet, New York in the early 1900s by John Ludwig Hacker...

 runabout boat on the Connecticut River and was often observed on the water by local boating enthusiasts. During this period he also served as chairman of the non-partisan Railroad Commission, as honorary president of the American Foundation for the Blind
American Foundation for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind is an American non-profit organization that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and...

, as a director of New York Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company
The New York Life Insurance Company is one of the largest mutual life-insurance companies in the United States, and one of the largest life insurers in the world, with about $287 billion in total assets under management, and more than $15 billion in surplus and AVR...

, as president of the American Antiquarian Society
American Antiquarian Society
The American Antiquarian Society , located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is both a learned society and national research library of pre-twentieth century American History and culture. Its main building, known also as Antiquarian Hall, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark...

, and as a trustee of Amherst College. Coolidge received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Bates College
Bates College
Bates College is a highly selective, private liberal arts college located in Lewiston, Maine, in the United States. and was most recently ranked 21st in the nation in the 2011 US News Best Liberal Arts Colleges rankings. The college was founded in 1855 by abolitionists...

 in Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston is a city in Androscoggin County in Maine, and the second-largest city in the state. The population was 41,592 at the 2010 census. It is one of two principal cities of and included within the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine metropolitan New England city and town area and the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine...

.

Coolidge published his autobiography
Autobiography
An autobiography is a book about the life of a person, written by that person.-Origin of the term:...

 in 1929 and wrote a syndicated newspaper column, "Calvin Coolidge Says," from 1930 to 1931. Faced with looming defeat in 1932, some Republicans spoke of rejecting Herbert Hoover as their party's nominee, and instead drafting Coolidge to run, but the former President made it clear that he was not interested in running again, and that he would publicly repudiate any effort to draft him, should it come about. Hoover was renominated, and Coolidge made several radio addresses in support of him.

He died suddenly of a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 at "The Beeches," at 12:45 pm, January 5, 1933. Shortly before his death, Coolidge confided to an old friend: "I feel I no longer fit in with these times."

Coolidge is buried beneath a simple headstone in Notch Cemetery, Plymouth Notch
Plymouth Notch
Plymouth Notch is a small unincorporated village in the town of Plymouth, Windsor County, Vermont, United States.All or most of the village is included in the Calvin Coolidge Homestead District, a National Historic Landmark...

, Vermont, where the family home is maintained as one of the original buildings on the site, all of which comprise the Calvin Coolidge Homestead District. The State of Vermont dedicated a new visitors' center nearby to mark Coolidge's 100th birthday on July 4, 1972. Calvin Coolidge's "Brave Little State of Vermont speech
Brave Little State of Vermont speech
The Brave Little State of Vermont speech is a name given to remarks delivered by Vermont native and U.S. President Calvin Coolidge at Bennington on September 21, 1928. Coolidge was touring his home state by train to assess progress of recovery following the devastating 1927 flood...

" is memorialized in the Hall of Inscriptions at the Vermont State House
Vermont State House
The Vermont State House, located in Montpelier, is the state capitol of Vermont and the seat of the Vermont General Assembly. The current Greek Revival structure is the third building on the same site to be used as the State House...

 in Montpelier, Vermont.

Radio, film, and commemorations

Despite his reputation as a quiet and even reclusive politician, Coolidge made use of the new medium of radio and made radio history several times while President. He made himself available to reporters, giving 529 press conferences, meeting with reporters more regularly than any President before or since.

Coolidge's inauguration
Inauguration
An inauguration is a formal ceremony to mark the beginning of a leader's term of office. An example is the ceremony in which the President of the United States officially takes the oath of office....

 was the first presidential inauguration broadcast on radio. On December 6, 1923, he was the first President whose address to Congress was broadcast on radio. On February 22, 1924, he became the first President of the United States to deliver a political speech on radio. Coolidge signed the Radio Act of 1927, which assigned regulation of radio to the newly created Federal Radio Commission
Federal Radio Commission
The Federal Radio Commission was a government body that regulated radio use in the United States from its creation in 1926 until its replacement by the Federal Communications Commission in 1934...

.

On August 11, 1924, Lee De Forest
Lee De Forest
Lee De Forest was an American inventor with over 180 patents to his credit. De Forest invented the Audion, a vacuum tube that takes relatively weak electrical signals and amplifies them. De Forest is one of the fathers of the "electronic age", as the Audion helped to usher in the widespread use...

 filmed Coolidge on the White House lawn with DeForest's Phonofilm
Phonofilm
In 1919, Lee De Forest, inventor of the audion tube, filed his first patent on a sound-on-film process, DeForest Phonofilm, which recorded sound directly onto film as parallel lines. These parallel lines photographically recorded electrical waveforms from a microphone, which were translated back...

 sound-on-film
Sound-on-film
Sound-on-film refers to a class of sound film processes where the sound accompanying picture is physically recorded onto photographic film, usually, but not always, the same strip of film carrying the picture. Sound-on-film processes can either record an analog sound track or digital sound track,...

 process, becoming the first President to appear in a sound film. The title of the DeForest film was President Coolidge, Taken on the White House Grounds.

Coolidge was the only president to have his portrait on a coin during his lifetime, the Sesquicentennial of American Independence Half Dollar
Early United States commemorative coins
The Early United States commemorative coins traditionally begins with the 1892 Colombian Half dollar and extends through the 1954 Booker T. Washington issue. The profits from the sale of commemorative coins was often used to fund a specific project...

, minted in 1926. After his death he also appeared on a postage stamp, pictured below.

See also

  • SS President Coolidge
    SS President Coolidge
    The SS President Coolidge was a luxury ocean liner that was originally built, along with her sister ship the SS President Hoover, for Dollar Steamship Lines. They were the largest merchant ships the US had built up to that time. In 1938, when the Dollar Steamship Lines collapsed, she was...

  • Coolidge, Arizona
    Coolidge, Arizona
    Coolidge is a city in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 8,154.Arizona Highway 87 and Arizona Highway 287 pass through the town. Coolidge is 56 miles southeast of Phoenix, and 69 miles northwest of Tucson. It is 21 miles...

  • Coolidge Dam
    Coolidge Dam
    The Coolidge Dam is a reinforced concrete multiple dome and buttress dam southeast of Globe, Arizona on the Gila River. Built between 1924 and 1928, the Coolidge Dam was part of the San Carlos Irrigation Project. Coolidge Dam was named after the 30th US President, Calvin Coolidge and was dedicated...



Scholarly sources

  • Buckley, Kerry W. "'A President for the "Great Silent Majority': Bruce Barton's Construction of Calvin Coolidge." New England Quarterly 2003 76(4): 593-626. Issn: 0028-4866 Fulltext: in Jstor
  • Felzenberg, Alvin S. "Calvin Coolidge and Race: His Record in Dealing with the Racial Tensions of the 1920s." New England Journal of History 1998 55(1): 83-96.
  • Gilbert, Robert E. "Calvin Coolidge's Tragic Presidency: the Political Effects of Bereavement and Depression." Journal of American Studies 2005 39(1): 87-109. Issn: 0021-8758 Fulltext: in Cambridge and Swetswise
  • Gilbert, Robert E. The Tormented President: Calvin Coolidge, Death, and Clinical Depression. Praeger, 2003. 288pp excerpt and text search
  • Haynes, John Earl, ed. Calvin Coolidge and the Coolidge Era: Essays on the History of the 1920s. Library of Congress, 1998. 329 pp. essays by scholars


Other

An academic conference on Coolidge was held July 30–31, 1998, at the John F. Kennedy Library
John F. Kennedy Library
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library and museum of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. It is located on Columbia Point in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, USA, next to the Boston campus of the University of...

 to mark the 75th anniversary of his lantern-light homestead inaugural.

Audio and video


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