The Pilgrim’s Faith: Coolidge and Religion

April 11, 2017

If one crosses New England’s valleys and hills one will inevitably encounter ubiquitous clapboard Congregational meetinghouses. These places of worship crown the town greens of villages throughout the region. Their faith, the faith of the Puritan pilgrims, is a foundational element of the American ethos. Theirs is the faith of the first Thanksgiving, of Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” of the Salem witch trials, and of the heart and soul of the First Amendment: the freedom of religion (though most of the early Puritans came to the shores British North America seeking religious freedom for themselves, not for others). Puritan Congregationalism has shaped the contours of American civic and religious life for hundreds of years.

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Coolidge and Women’s History Month

March 31, 2017

On this last day of Women’s History Month we would like to explore President Coolidge’s views on women’s suffrage. President Coolidge’s thirty-year political career began at the height of the women’s suffrage movement. Many states had already given women the franchise in the years leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, but nonetheless the issue was deeply fraught at the time. President Coolidge considered suffrage very closely, and concluded that women possess all the faculties necessary to be equal participants in our nation’s democracy. Thus, he was an early and enthusiastic supporter of women’s right to vote.

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Coolidge Wants You to Become a Docent

March 31, 2017

Each year the Coolidge Foundation and the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site welcome hundreds of students to Coolidge’s birthplace to learn about our 30th President and experience the village that shaped his life. We could not do this work without the support of enthusiastic volunteer docents. If you are interested in helping us share President Coolidge and Plymouth Notch with young people, we encourage you to become a docent. There is no fixed schedule or obligation. Our education director, Diane Kemble, puts out a call for the dates when we have student groups coming, and you are welcome to assist whenever you are available.

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How One Coolidge Speech Inspired a New School

March 7, 2017

Justin Rule is an American educator, and like countless other educators, he works diligently every day to develop the minds of our nation’s young people. Yet in a recent interview with News from the Notch, Mr. Rule explained he hasn’t just worked in ordinary public or private school settings. He has worked with difficult cases, teen students struggling with serious disciplinary and/or criminal issues. His valiant efforts with these challenging young people frequently got his students to graduation day, but that often did not mean those students were set on a trajectory of future success. Mr. Rule expressed regret, saying he has attended far too many funerals of former students trapped in a cycle of poverty, violence, drugs, or alcohol.

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Black History Month with President Coolidge

February 9, 2017

On September 24, 2016, America’s first African American president, Barack Obama, presided over the ceremony to inaugurate the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This living monument to America’s black heritage was many decades in the making, and in some respects the effort can be traced back to President Calvin Coolidge. On his final day in office, March 4, 1929, President Coolidge signed Public Resolution 107 which initiated a commission to design and construct a national monument to the Negro that would stand as a “tribute to the Negro’s contributions to the achievements of America.”

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