Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge inspect militia as governor

Calvin Coolidge inspect militia as governor

Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States. He served from 1923-1929. He was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont. He was the son of a village storekeeper. He attended Amherst College, graduating cum laude in 1895.

He then entered law and politics in Northampton, Massachusetts. He worked his way through various political positions. He went from councilman in Northampton in 1899, to member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1907/8. He was Mayor of Northampton in 1910-11, a member of the State Senate from 1912-1915. He was elected Lieutenant governor in 1916 then Governor of Massachusetts from 1919-20. He was a Republican and became more and more conservative as the years went by. He was selected to be the Vice-President nominee with Warren Harding in 1920. Harding was elected in 1920.

Coolidge married Grace Goodhue who lived down the street from him in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1905. It was reported that the first time she ever saw Coolidge she saw him through a window. He was in his underwear shaving and wearing a hat. She started to laugh and he saw her looking at him. He explained to her that he often wore a hat to keep his hair out of the way why he shaved.

Grace Coolidge was a great counterpoint for Coolidge as she seemed to be a sort of buffer between her husband and the American public. Grace was really outgoing and truly enjoyed people.

Coolidge became Vice-President in 1921. He became President in 1923 with the death of Harding. In his first address to the Congress he called for isolation in foreign policy and called for tax cuts and wanted limited aid to farmers. He was popularly known as “Coolidge prosperity”as he had won more than 54 percent of the vote.

Coolidge became President at 2:30 am on August 3, 1923. He was visiting in Vermont. His father, who was a notary public gave the oath of office as Coolidge swore the oath with his hand on the family Bible. Coolidge then went back to bed and woke up three hours later and headed to Washington.

The view of the Presidency that Coolidge inherited was one of extravagance, waste and corruption.. Coolidge’s aim was to restore the dignity of the office.

Coolidge believed in less government in daily life. He subscribed to “he-who-governs-best-governs-least” school of thought. In fact Walter Lippmann noted that the political genius of Coolidge was “his talent for effectively doing nothing”.

The stock market speculation needed to be controlled. However, the President failed to reel it in. The result was the Stock Market Crash of October, 1929.. His biggest luck was leaving the Presidency when he did.

Coolidge decided not to run in 1928. While on vacation in South Dakota in the Black Hills, Coolidge delivered one of his laconic phrases, “I do not choose to run for President in 1928”.

Coolidge was a President who, although a publicly sour man, had an unusual habit of allowing himself to be photographed in many comical and outrageous costumes. He had been photographed in a Sioux chief’s outfit in 1927.

On leaving the Presidency in 1929, he returned to his two-family house located in Northampton that he had rented since he got married in 1905. He got sick of the large number of people driving by the house, so he bought a larger more secluded house.

Many historians have not been kind to Coolidge. It was said that it was hard to identity any piece of legislation that stemmed from him. Some have said that Coolidge had slept his way through his five and half years as President.

Coolidge was known as a man of little words, literally. There was one story that Grace Coolidge told of a young woman who sat next to Coolidge at a dinner party and challenged him. She had bet she could get Coolidge to say more than three words. Without even looking at her, he said “You lose”.

He wrote an autobiography, which is important. He had destroyed all of his private papers when he left office and the autobiography is one of the few things reflecting his thought on his Presidency. He died on January 5, 1933 of a heart attack at the age of sixty.

Calvin Coolidge Facts

  • President No.: 30th
  • When did Calvin Coolidge serve? 1923-1929
  • What was Calvin Coolidge’s party? Republican
  • Where was Calvin Coolidge from? Massachusetts
  • Who was Calvin Coolidge’s wife? Grace Coolidge
  • When was Calvin Coolidge born? July 4, 1872
  • When did Calvin Coolidge die? January 5, 1933
  • Which college did Calvin Coolidge attend? Amherst College
  • What was Calvin Coolidge’s Jobs Before President? Lawyer, Mayor of North Hampton, Massachusetts, Governor of Massachusetts
  • What was Calvin Coolidge’s height? 5 feet, 10 inches
  • What was the population when Calvin Coolidge was president? 106,021,537
  • What hobbies did Calvin Coolidge have? Fishing, golf, mechanical horse, pitching hay, trapshooting
  • What pets did Calvin Coolidge have? Dog named Rob Roy
  • What transportation did Calvin Coolidge use? Car, train
  • How did Calvin Coolidge communicate? Telephone, letters


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