A Republican, Coolidge entered politics as a city councilman in Northampton, Massachusetts, in He was elected mayor of Northampton in and then served in the Massachusetts state government as senator —15 and lieutenant governor — Elected governor in , Coolidge captured national attention the following year when he called out the state guard to quell violence and disorder resulting from a strike by the Boston police, who had formed a labour union to press their demands for better pay and working conditions.
When labour leaders called on him to support their demands for reinstatement of police officers who had been fired for striking, Coolidge refused, summing up his reasoning in a single sentence that reverberated throughout the country: The personality of the taciturn Coolidge could not have provided a greater contrast to that of the gregarious Harding.
In terms of policy, however, Harding and Coolidge were nearly identical. Both were members of the Old Guard Republicans, that conservative segment of the party that had remained with Pres. The electoral vote was equally one-sided: He inherited an administration mired in scandal. Cautiously, quietly, and skillfully, Coolidge rooted out the perpetrators and restored integrity to the executive branch.
A model of personal rectitude himself, Coolidge convinced the American people that the presidency was once again in the hands of someone they could trust. At the Republican convention in Coolidge was nominated virtually without opposition. Coolidge was famous for being a man of few but well-chosen words. His wit was displayed in a characteristic exchange with a Washington, D. I made a bet today that I could get more than two words out of you. Government regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission , now were staffed by people who sought to assist business expansion rather than to police business practices.
Most Americans, identifying their own prosperity with the growth of corporate profits, welcomed this reversal of progressive reforms. They generally agreed with the assessment of Oliver Wendell Holmes , associate justice of the Supreme Court: Key to the conservative, pro-business focus of the Coolidge administration was Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon. He held that, as the rich invested funds that otherwise would have been taken away in taxes, new businesses would form and older enterprises would expand and that the result would be more jobs and greater national production.
Under the leadership of Coolidge and Mellon, Congress sharply reduced income taxes and estate taxes. One form of business enterprise , however, received almost no help from the Coolidge administration: Twice Congress passed the McNary-Haugen bill , calling for the federal government to purchase surplus crops. Twice and Coolidge vetoed it, and the economic woes of American farmers persisted well into the following decade.
Coolidge also vetoed a bill offering a bonus to veterans of World War I; Congress overrode that veto in While Coolidge had lost some friends among organized labor, conservatives across the nation had seen a rising star. Coolidge and Cox were renominated for their respective offices in 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 also signed a bill reducing the work week for women and children from fifty-four hours to forty-eight, saying, "We must humanize the industry, or the system will break down. Coolidge also wielded the veto pen as governor. At the Republican National Convention , most of the delegates were selected by state party conventions, not primaries. As such, the field was divided among many local favorites. Senators, never considered him seriously.
Harding of Ohio as their nominee for president. Irvine Lenroot of Wisconsin — and then prematurely departed after his name was put forth, relying on the rank and file to confirm their decision. The suggestion caught on quickly with the masses starving for an act of independence from the absent bosses, and Coolidge was unexpectedly nominated. The Democrats nominated another Ohioan, James M.
Roosevelt , for vice president. The question of the United States joining the League of Nations was a major issue in the campaign, as was the unfinished legacy of Progressivism. 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 commonly referred to as "Silent Cal".
A possibly apocryphal story has it that a matron, seated next to him at a dinner, said to him, "I made a bet today that I could get more than two words out of you. He looked then precisely as though he had been weaned on a pickle. As president, Coolidge's reputation as a quiet man continued.
Vice President Coolidge was in Vermont visiting his family home , which had neither electricity nor a telephone, when he received word by messenger of Harding's death. Coolidge returned to Washington the next day, and was sworn in again by Justice Adolph A. Daugherty in , and confirmed by Hoehling. The nation initially did not know what to make of Coolidge, who had maintained a low profile in the Harding administration; many had even expected him to be replaced on the ballot in He personally intervened in demanding the resignation of Attorney General Harry M.
Daugherty after he refused to cooperate with the congressional probe. He then set about to confirm that no loose ends remained in the administration, arranging for a full briefing on the wrongdoing. Slattery reviewed the facts with him, Harlan F. Stone analyzed the legal aspects for him and Senator William E. Borah assessed and presented the political factors.
Coolidge addressed Congress when it reconvened on December 6, , giving a speech that supported many of Harding's policies, including Harding's formal budgeting process, the enforcement of immigration restrictions and arbitration of coal strikes ongoing in Pennsylvania. By that time, two-thirds of the people were already citizens, having gained it through marriage, military service veterans of World War I were granted citizenship in , or the land allotments that had earlier taken place.
The Republican Convention was held on June 10—12, , in Cleveland, Ohio ; Coolidge was nominated on the first ballot. Dawes was nominated on the third ballot and accepted. The Democrats held their convention the next month in New York City. The convention soon deadlocked, and after ballots, the delegates finally agreed on a compromise candidate, John W. Davis , with Charles W. Bryan nominated for vice president. The Democrats' hopes were buoyed when Robert M.
Many believed that the split in the Republican party, like the one in , would allow a Democrat to win the presidency. After the conventions and the death of his younger son Calvin, Coolidge became withdrawn; he later said that "when he [the son] died, the power and glory of the Presidency went with him. Coolidge won the election with electoral votes and the popular vote by 2.
During Coolidge's presidency, the United States experienced a period of rapid economic growth known as the " Roaring Twenties. Historian Robert Sobel offers some context of Coolidge's laissez-faire ideology, based on the prevailing understanding of federalism during his presidency: Did he support these measures while president?
No, because in the s, such matters were considered the responsibilities of state and local governments. Coolidge adopted the taxation policies of his Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Mellon , who advocated "scientific taxation" — the notion that lowering taxes will increase, rather than decrease, government receipts. State and local governments saw considerable growth, however, surpassing the federal budget in Perhaps the most contentious issue of Coolidge's presidency was 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 lower prices. Wallace and other administration officials favored the bill when it was introduced in , but rising prices convinced many in Congress that the bill was unnecessary, and it was defeated just before the elections that year. McNary and Representative Gilbert N. 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.
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. Coolidge has often been criticized for his actions during the Great Mississippi Flood of , the worst natural disaster to hit the Gulf Coast until Hurricane Katrina in 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.
According to one biographer, Coolidge was "devoid of racial prejudice," but rarely took the lead on civil rights. Coolidge disliked the Ku Klux Klan and no Klansman is known to have received an appointment from him. In the presidential election his opponents Robert La Follette and John Davis , and his running mate Charles Dawes, often attacked the Klan but Coolidge avoided the subject.
Coolidge spoke in favor of the civil rights of African-Americans , saying in his first State of the Union address that their rights were "just as sacred as those of any other citizen" under the U. Constitution and that it was a "public and a private duty to protect those rights. Coolidge repeatedly called for laws to make lynching a federal crime it was already a state crime, though not always enforced.
Congress refused to pass any such legislation. In a speech in October , Coolidge stressed tolerance of differences as an American value and thanked immigrants for their contributions to U. Coolidge further stated the United States should assist and help immigrants who come to the country, and urged immigrants to reject "race hatreds" and "prejudices".
Although not an isolationist, Coolidge was reluctant to enter into foreign alliances. Kellogg , and French foreign minister Aristide Briand. The treaty, ratified in , committed signatories—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan—to "renounce war, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another. Coolidge continued the previous administration's policy of withholding recognition of the Soviet Union. The United States' occupation of Nicaragua and Haiti continued under his administration, but Coolidge withdrew American troops from the Dominican Republic in This was the only international trip Coolidge made during his presidency.
In the summer of , Coolidge vacationed in the Black Hills of South Dakota , where he engaged in horseback riding and fly fishing and attended rodeos. 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. Coolidge had been reluctant to endorse Hoover as his successor; on one occasion he remarked that "for six years that man has given me unsolicited advice—all of it bad.
Although a few of Harding's cabinet appointees were scandal-tarred, Coolidge initially retained all of them, out of an ardent conviction that as successor to a deceased elected president he was obligated to retain Harding's counselors and policies until the next election.
He kept Harding's able speechwriter Judson T. Welliver ; Stuart Crawford replaced Welliver in November Bascom Slemp , a Virginia 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.
Perhaps the most powerful person in Coolidge's Cabinet was Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon , who controlled the administration's financial policies and was regarded by many, including House Minority Leader John Nance Garner , as more powerful than Coolidge himself. He was replaced by Frank B. Kellogg , who had previously served as a Senator and as the ambassador to Great Britain.
Coolidge made two other appointments following his re-election, with William M. Jardine taking the position of Secretary of Agriculture and John G. Sargent becoming Attorney General. Stone was serving as dean of Columbia Law School when Coolidge appointed him to be attorney general in to restore the reputation tarnished by Harding's Attorney General, Harry M.
Roosevelt later appointed Stone to be chief justice. Coolidge nominated 17 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals , and 61 judges to the United States district courts. He appointed judges to various specialty courts as well, including Genevieve R. Cline , who became the first woman named to the federal judiciary when Coolidge placed her on the United States Customs Court in After his presidency, Coolidge retired to the modest rented house on residential Massasoit Street in Northampton before moving to a more spacious home, "The Beeches.
During this period, he also served as chairman of the Non-Partisan Railroad Commission, an entity created by several banks and corporations to survey the country's long-term transportation needs and make recommendations for improvements. Coolidge published his autobiography in and wrote a syndicated newspaper column, "Calvin Coolidge Says," from to Hoover then lost the general election to Coolidge's vice presidential Democratic opponent Franklin D.
Roosevelt in a landslide. Coolidge died suddenly from coronary thrombosis at "The Beeches," at The nearby family home is maintained as one of the original buildings on the Calvin Coolidge Homestead District site. The State of Vermont dedicated a new visitors' center nearby to mark Coolidge's th birthday on July 4, 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 press conferences, meeting with reporters more regularly than any president before or since. On December 6, , he was the first president whose address to Congress was broadcast on radio. On August 11, , Theodore W. Case , using the Phonofilm sound-on-film process he developed for Lee DeForest , filmed Coolidge on the White House lawn, making Coolidge the first president to appear in a sound film.
Navy ship after his celebrated trans-Atlantic flight, President Coolidge welcomed him back to the U. Coolidge was the only president to have his portrait on a coin during his lifetime, the Sesquicentennial of American Independence Half Dollar , minted in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For his grandfather, see Calvin Galusha Coolidge. John Calvin Coolidge Sr. United States presidential election, Presidency of Calvin Coolidge. List of federal judges appointed by Calvin Coolidge. About Coolidge and his era [ edit ] Associated Press February 2, He is the only president to be sworn in by his father. The political conventions of 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 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. 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 22 million people listened in to hear Coolidge speak. This was the first time that a former President gave the oath of office to a President. Coolidge was the last president to spend hours greeting and shaking hands of people touring the White House.
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 In the presidential election, Coolidge beat his opponents by the largest vote for Republican in history. Also, the 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. 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 press conferences while he was president. That was the most ever held by any president before his term. 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 had a direct telephone line installed between the White House and his father's home in Plymouth.
John Calvin Coolidge Jr. (/ ˈ k uː l ɪ dʒ /; July 4, – January 5, ) was an American politician and the 30th President of the United States (–). A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, .
John Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, , in the small village of Plymouth Notch, Vermont. His father, also named John Calvin Coolidge (), was a hardworking and frugal businessman who ran a general store and post office.
At on the morning of August 3, , while visiting in Vermont, Calvin Coolidge received word that he was President. By the light of a kerosene lamp, his father, who was a notary public, administered the oath of office as Coolidge placed his hand on the family Bible. Calvin Coolidge was born in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, on July 4, Coolidge rose through the ranks of Massachusetts government as a Progressive Republican. Elected U.S. vice president in , he became president following the death of Warren G. Harding in Born: Jul 04,
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