US Presidents
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U.S. Presidents
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James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William H. Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama


Key Dates

1895 Calvin Coolidge graduated from Amherst College.

1907 Calvin Coolidge enters the Massachusetts state legislature.

1913 Coolidge is elected governor of Massachusetts.

1920 Calvin Coolidge is elected Vice President.

1923 Coolidge becomes President after Harding's sudden death.

1924 Calvin Coolidge is elected for a second term.

1928 Coolidge declines to run for another term.

1928 Hoover is elected President.

1933 Calvin Coolidge dies.

 



Calvin Coolidge
1923 - 1929
30th President

Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont. Calvin Coolidge was one of two Presidents born in Vermont. He was born John Calvin Coolidge, but dropped John from his name since that was the first name of his father.

Calvin grew to be 5' 9" tall.

During the Garfield-Hancock campaign of 1880, he asked his father for a penny to buy candy. John Coolidge refused, explaining that if the Democrats should be elected, hard times could be expected. After Garfield won, Calvin reminded his father that the Republicans had stayed in power. He got the penny.

Coolidge married Grace Goodue on October 4, 1905.

On January1,1919, Calvin Coolidge became Governor Massachusetts.

Calvin Coolidge was Vice President under Warren Harding and became President when Harding died.

When Vice President Coolidge went to Washington, they could not afford to buy a house in Washington DC. They rented a two bedroom apartment for $8.00 a day.

Coolidge earned $12,00.00 a year as vice president.

On August 2, 1923, Coolidge was vacationing at his father's home in Plymouth, Vermont. It took several hours for the news of President Harding's death in California to reach the small town. Traditionally, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court swears in the president, but he was 500 miles away. So at 2:37 a.m., Coolidge's father, a notary republic, administered the oath of office to his son by the light of a kerosene lamp. He is the only president to be sworn in by his father.

The political conventions of 1924 were the first conventions to be broadcast on the radio. The radio dramatically change how politicians campaigned.

During the rest of that term President Coolidge did not have a Vice President (1923-1925). During Coolidge's second term his Vice President was Charles Dawes (1925-1929).

Calvin Coolidge enjoy eating pancakes.

Calvin Coolidge was the last president to never fly in plane. He also never owned a car.

Called "Silent Cal," Coolidge was once challenged by a reporter, saying, "I bet someone that I could get more than two words out of you." Coolidge responded, "You lose."

President Coolidge was the first president to have his inauguration heard on the radio and the first president to make a radio broadcast. The first presidential political speech on the radio originated from New York City and was broadcast on 5 radio stations. An audience estimated to be about 5 million people listened in to hear Coolidge speak.

Calvin Coolidge loved having his head rubbed with Vaseline while he ate breakfast in bed.

He played the harmonica.

The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice William Howard Taft. This was the first time that a former President gave the oath of office to a President.




Calvin Coolidge, 1923.
Library of Congress
(
Click for a larger image.)

President Coolidge's was the first inaugural ceremony to be broadcast on the radio. His 41 minute speech was broadcast by twenty-five radio stations and heard by over 22 million people.

Coolidge was the last president to spend hours greeting and shaking hands of people touring the White House.

Calvin Coolidge like horseback riding but went from real horses to a mechanical horse.

Calvin Coolidge was a Republican.

Calvin Coolidge was President for some time without a Vice President. He had been Warren Harding's VP, and the position was not filled until Coolidge was elected for his own term in 1924.

His presidential salary was $75,000.00

In the 1924 presidential election, Coolidge beat his opponents by the largest vote for Republican in history. He had 54% of the vote. Compared to Davis's 28% and La Follette's 16.5%

Also, the 1924 election was the first time the phrase "Keep cool with Coolidge" was used.

Calvin Coolidge slept 10 hours a day. He refused to use the telephone for presidential business while in office.

The Calvin family had two pet raccoons. They were named Rebecca and Reuben. They stayed in an outdoor shed at night. Sometimes they would roam the White House during the day.

They also had several dogs:

  • Bird Dog named Palo Alto
  • Bull Dog named King Cole
  • Chows named Blackberry, Rough and Ruby
  • Collies named Boston Beans, Rob Roy, Prudence, Prim and Bessie.
  • Sheep Dogs named Calamity Jane and Eaglehurst Gilette.
  • Terroer named Peter Pan.

He raised chickens at the White House, but not as pets.

During the Coolidge administration, new forms of communication spread as radios became a part of American homes. Motion pictures were projected with sound, and telephones connected America and Europe. The first two commercial air routes were established, from coast-to-coast and from Chicago to Dallas.

Coolidge had a very good voice for the radio. It was Coolidge not Roosevelt that was the first president of the radio age.

Coolidge held 520 press conferences while he was president. That was the most ever held by any president before his term.

He was the last president to write almost all of his own speeches.

He was the first president to see talking movies in the White House.

Cal eased the burdens of his office by confining himself to 4 hours of work a day and by taking a nap every afternoon.

Coolidge spoke out against the poor treatment of African Americans in the United States. However he didn't take any action to solve the problem.

Calvin Coolidge's Vice President, Charles Dawes won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Calvin had a direct telephone line installed between the White House and his father's home in Plymouth. He talked to his father everyday.

He lit the first national Christmas tree on the White House lawn in 1923.

In 1924, Calvin Coolies son Calvin Jr. died of blood poisoning. He got a blister on his toe while playing tennis and it got infected.

In 1926, John Coolidge, his father, died. It was the first time the father of a president died while the president was in office.

Coolidge was the only president to have his image on a coin while living. He was featured on the 1926 sesquicentennial half dollar. Washington to Coolidge.

Coolidge Half Dollar

Calvin Coolidge was expected to attend a fair. A reporter asked if he would say anything at the fair. He replied, "No. I am just going as an exhibit."

Several time President Coolidge had his clerk read his State of the Union address to the Congress.

The only time Coolidge ever left the United States was in 1928, when he attended the Sixth International Conference of the American States.

Coolidge was very popular and could have run for another term. He decided not to run again. He never told his wife he wasn't going to run. She found out from Senator Capper.

President Hoover was president following Coolidge. On Friday, March 1, three days before Hoover took office Coolidge shook the had of 553 visitors to the White House. After the inaugural speech, on March 4th, the Coolidge's slipped away on the train to Northampton.

The only election he ever lost was to the Northamton School Board. Some people voted against him because he didn't have children in school. He won every other election he ran in for office.

He wrote a column called "Calvin Coolidge Says." It was syndicated to newspapers across the country. The first year he earned $203,045.00 for his column.

Calvin Coolidge died in Northampton, Mass. on January 5, 1935. Calvin was getting ready to shave his face when he keeled over and fell to the floor. He was 60 years and 185 days old. His grave is 100 miles north in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. He was buried along side his parents and son.

After his death people discovered that he wrote poetry.

When Coolidge died, columnist Dorothy Parker asked, "How can they tell?"

Quotes from Calvin Coolidge:

"I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm."

"Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is over whelming to bestow it on somebody.

"War is the rule of force. Peace is the reign of law."

"We have lost our reverence for the profession teaching and bestowed it on the profession of acquiring."

 

Topics


NEW Facts about the Inaugurations

Nicknames for the Presidents

First Ladies

Presidents who died in office

Assassinations and Assassination Attempts

Vice Presidents who became Presidents

Presidential Salaries

Oldest living Presidents

Presidents' Military Service

Preidential Timeline of Key Dates

Books about U.S. President

Pets of the Presidents

Chronlogical (by Year) Order
Of the Presidents.

 



Sources:

The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/

Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004

James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002

Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.

McCullough, Noah, The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia. Random House, USA, 2006

Pine, Joslyn, Presidential Wit and Wisdom: Memorable Quotes from George Washington to Barack Obama . Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, 2009

Huffington Post web site.

Lang, Stephen, The Complete Book of Presidential Trivia, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, 2011

O'Reilly, Bill, and Dugard, Martin, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2011

St. George, Judith In the Line of Fire: Presidents' Lives at Stake , Scholastic Inc. New York, 2001

In addition to these books, I have also read and have used information from those listed on my Books About President page.

 

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This page was last updated on Monday, January 14, 2013

For comments or corrections email jim@anewadventure.org.