President Calvin Coolidge
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States.
Calvin Coolidge by Notman Studio
Calvin Coolidge by Notman Studio
Served as President: 1923-1929
Vice President: Charles Gates Dawes
Age at inauguration: 51
Born: July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont
Died: January 5, 1933 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Married: Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge
Children: Calvin, John
Nickname: Silent Cal
What is Calvin Coolidge most known for?
Calvin Coolidge is known for cleaning up the mess left behind by his predecessor President Harding. He is also famous for being a man of few words earning him the nickname Silent Cal.
Calvin grew up in the small town of Plymouth, Vermont. His father was a storekeeper who taught Calvin the puritan values of frugality, hard work, and honesty. Calvin was known as a quiet, but hardworking boy.
Calvin attended Amherst College and then moved to Massachusetts to study law. In 1897 he passed the bar and became a lawyer opening his own law firm a year later. Calvin also worked in various city offices over the next several years and then met and married his wife, schoolteacher Grace Goodhue, in 1905.
Calvin Coolidge from the National Photo Company
Before He Became President
Coolidge held many elected positions before he became president. He worked in the local city as city councilman and solicitor. Then he became a state legislator and mayor of the city of Northampton. He then was elected as lieutenant governor of Massachusetts and, in 1918, won the election to become governor of Massachusetts.
As governor of Massachusetts, Coolidge gained national recognition during the 1919 Boston Police Strike. This was when the Boston police formed a union and then decided to strike, or not go to work. The streets of Boston became dangerous with no police around. Coolidge went on the offensive, the strikers were fired and a new police force was recruited.
In 1920 Coolidge was unexpectedly chosen as the vice presidential running mate for Warren Harding. They won the election and Coolidge became vice president.
President Harding Dies
In 1923 President Harding died while on a trip to Alaska. Harding's administration had been full of corruption and scandal. Fortunately, Coolidge had not been a part of the corruption and immediately cleaned house. He fired corrupt and inept officials and hired new reliable staffers.
Calvin Coolidge's Presidency
Calvin Coolidge's quiet, but honest personality seemed to be just what the country needed at the time. By cleaning up the scandals and showing support for businesses, the economy thrived. This period of prosperity became known as the "Roaring Twenties".
After finishing Harding's term, Coolidge was elected to another term of president. He ran under the slogan "Keep Cool with Coolidge". As president, Coolidge was for small government. He also wanted to keep the country somewhat isolated and did not want to join the League of Nations that formed after World War I. He was for tax cuts, lower government spending, and less aid to struggling farmers.
Coolidge opted not to run for president again in 1928. Although he likely would have won, he felt he had been president long enough.
How did he die?
Calvin died of a sudden heart attack four years after leaving the presidency. He had retired to Massachusetts and spent his time writing his autobiography and going out on his boat.
Fun Facts About Calvin Coolidge
by Charles Sydney Hopkinson
- He is the only president to be born on Independence Day.
- Coolidge was at his family home when he learned that President Harding died. Coolidge's father, a notary public, administered the oath of office to Coolidge in the middle of the night by the light of a kerosene lamp.
- A woman at a party once told Calvin that she bet a friend she could get Calvin to say three words. He replied "You lose."
- He also had the nickname "Red" for his red hair.
- Coolidge was not a fan of his successor Herbert Hoover. He said of Hoover that "for six years that man has given me advice. All of it bad."
- A man of few words until the end, his last will and testament was only 23 words long.
- He was the first president to appear in a talkie, a movie with sound.
- His real first name is John, which he dropped in college.
- He signed the Indian Citizenship Act, which gave full U.S. citizen rights to all Native Americans.
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