Calvin Coolidge, 30th president of the United States, was a man of noble character noted for his sense of honor, his conservative values and his devotion to public service. Born on Independence Day in an idyllic Vermont hamlet, Coolidge lived a deliberate and devoted life – a man of both faith and family. He was proud of Vermont’s people and the state’s natural beauty, his parents and their simplicity. In his actions, Calvin Coolidge was guided by Providence, common sense and the values of our forefathers.
His inner mettle and stoic character were molded by many influences, beginning with his father, whose professions ranged from farmer to storekeeper to office-holder. Calvin Coolidge’s wife, Grace Anna Goodhue, was as vivacious as her husband was solemn. She shared his love of their home state, and carried its down-to-earth spirit with her throughout their 28 year marriage. Her roles as companion and helpmate were very important to her husband’s success.
Coolidge entered law and politics in Northampton, Massachusetts, and worked his way up the ladder of that state’s politics, eventually becoming governor of the state. His conduct during the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and revealed him as a man of courage and decisive action. Soon after, he was elected as the 29th Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923.
President Coolidge became known as a man who spoke with wise caution. Both his dry Yankee wit and his frugality with words became legendary, earning him the nickname “Silent Cal.” He was frank in what he said but he was careful, too, in his utterances. He didn’t waste time, was a good listener, an insightful adviser and he got things done. He was concerned about all Americans, especially the working class man and woman. He wanted them to be free, independent, and self-reliant. Like Jefferson, he wanted them to be able to rise as far as their abilities permitted.
“The people see in him one of their own. The powerful turn to him because he is an intellectual aristocrat, and the weak because he is also a plain farmer. He is one of them all.” – R.M. Washburn, Calvin Coolidge: His First Biography
President Calvin Coolidge may not have pleased all the people all the time, but he remained true to his convictions. He never sought to make history for himself. In recent decades, his conservative, Constitution-based principles of government, deep-rooted integrity and remarkably forward-thinking achievements in the White House have provoked renewed interest and praise from former presidents and ordinary citizens alike.