Date: July 1, 1927
Location: Rapid City, SD
I don’t think I have many appointments with people that are coming that have not already been given out. Representative Timberlake of Colorado and the Commander of the State Legion Post are coming in this afternoon. I expect they will be up at the House to dinner, and of course there will be various people that will come here all through the summer to see me.
Question: When you speak of dinner, do you mean the noon or night meal?
President: I meant the night — supper.
Question: They were just passing through?
President: No, they were coming over to call on me, I imagine to present some invitation.
I of course feel the honor that has been conferred upon me and Mrs. Coolidge in naming a peak in the Black Hills with my name and a stream that runs near the White House in her name. Though it is so reported here, I haven’t any official information about either the naming of the mountain or the stream. I assume this is correct. I feel a little diffident about making any further comment about it.
I don’t know when Ambassador Sheffield is to come. I have indicated to him that I would be glad to have him come any time that was agreeable and I think he suggested some time after the 30th of June.
Mr. Sanders: No definite time has been set Mr. President. He indicated that he might come the 6th or 7th of July, but would let me know later.
President: I haven’t any information in relation to that that hasn’t already been given out.
I had an invitation extended by the Representative from Minneapolis, Mr. Walter H. Newton, to attend the Twin-City celebration in connection with the opening of navigation on the upper Mississippi by the barge line which the United States Government under the War Department is participating in, but I have advised him that it doesn’t seem possible for me to accept the invitation, I was in the Twin Cities in 1925. While I should like to return there, quite naturally there are other places that would feel they have the first call on me in case I thought of making visits to any other points. Nor have I any plan to go into Minnesota or North Dakota.
I hadn’t any thought about inviting successful trans-Atlantic flyers, or trans-oceanic, that would.include I suppose the Army officers who flew to Hawaii, but they did not fly across the Pacific, to make me any visit here. When it was reported that Lindbergh did not contemplate returning to this country until considerably later, after the time I was leaving Washington, I naturally thought that he would visit me here, but when I found he was willing to return before I left Washington of course I had him visit me at Washington. I don’t know of any suggestions at this time relative to legislation which might aid in developing trans-oceanic flights.
I haven’t any expectation of any visit by Cabinet members in the immediate future. I think quite likely Secretary Wilbur will come here. His home is in California and I think he is planning to visit out there some time during the summer. It was mentioned before I left Washington and I told him that I would be very much pleased to have him stop off here and make us a visit.
I don’t see any way that I can attend the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bennington in Vermont. A celebration is to be held at Bennington, and I think also some celebration on the battlefield, which is located mostly in the State of New York.
Question: Do you happen to know the date of that?
President: It is the 16th of August I think. If I had been in the East I should have been desirous of attending that. I have celebrated several 150th anniversaries relative to the events of the American Revolution. The country can’t celebrate any too many of them. It is a fine thing for each locality that has opportunity for the celebration of events of that kind to have a celebration, but being so far away I do not see how I can go to Vermont.
Here is an interesting suggestion about the accomplishments of American aviators in the last two years. Perhaps that would not quite include the flight around the world by the Army aviators. It is my recollection that the flight was completed a little more than two years ago, I think in 1924. It was a notable achievement of its kind. Then of course there was the flight of Commander Byrd to the North Pole, the flight of Commander Rogers of which I spoke the other day attempting to reach Hawaii and having flown far enough to reach there but getting out of his course and being obliged to come down because he ran out of gasoline. Then we have recently had the successful flight accomplished yesterday to Hawaii by the Army aviators and the three flights across the Atlantic. Commander Byrd would evidently have been entirely successful had it not been that he encountered fog in France.
Question: Do you think these flights are going to lead to any further development commercially?
President: As I said the other day, they are experimental and a development of the science of aerial navigation. I have no doubt that they will contribute a good deal to the science of flying across the Atlantic and also to the Hawaiian Islands.
The business of the country is in a very satisfactory condition. Nobody’s business is as good as he would like to have it, I suppose, but reports from the Department of Labor indicate to me that employment is plentiful, the Post Office Department has reported monthly an increase in the sale of stamps, there is a large movement of freight on the railways, varying a little from time to time with the amount that was moved last year, sometimes a little over and sometimes a little under. Some of the net earnings of the railroads are not quite as large as last year, due I think to a considerable extent to the increase in wages that some of the railroads are paying above what they paid a year ago. That means that a larger amount of money is being put into circulation through railroad employees, increasing their purchasing power and their power to save money for investment. Prices of farm products have been going up considerably. Cotton has increased in price to a very considerable extent and also corn and wheat. Hogs are not quite so high as they have been. The price is fairly satisfactory. Cattle, I don’t know the range for the last week or two, but the general price of cattle is quite a good deal higher than it was a year and two years ago.
I do not know of any developments in the conference at Geneva on naval limitations that have not already been given to the press.
I am having a little party at the Lodge on the afternoon of the 4th of July, partly so far as I am concerned in the celebration of that national birthday and personally in celebration of my own birthday. I should like to have the newspaper men and the photographers come out. The band from Terry, Montana, is going to visit me on that afternoon, and also the mounted Boy Scouts of Custer. I think that is the only troop of Boy Scouts that are mounted anywhere in the United States. I expect now that it will begin about 1:30 in the afternoon. I think that hereafter if it is agreeable to the press we will call this conference at 11:30 instead of quarter to twelve, and that will give me a little more opportunity to get home for lunch.
Question: Has this Government ever had any propositions made to it for resting places in the Atlantic for this country and other countries for carrying mail?
President: Lindbergh told me something of that kind and in his opinion to undertake any regular trips across the Atlantic it would be necessary to have landing places and some lights and so on for giving directions. There is a good deal of development already. Radio directions can be used even in a dense fog and lights of course are nearly useless in a fog because of the difficulty of seeing them.
Question: Is the Government making any study of that?
President: I don’t know that it is making any special study about that. It may be something that might be taken up internationally, I should judge.
Question: How do you propose to spend the morning of your birthday?
President: Very likely I will come down to the office.
Question: Jack Sheehan said he thought you might see him at the mountain top?
President: Well, that will have to be his suggestion.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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