Date: June 9, 1925
Location: Train en route from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C.
Here is an inquiry about economic and political impressions. I haven’t thought at all about political impressions until I got this inquiry. I don’t know that I received any distinctly political impressions. The impression that struck me more than anything else was rather of a patriotic impression, an apparent general satisfaction with conditions in the country. Of course I didn’t have any opportunity to confer with any one about the economic condition of the northwest. I did learn that crop conditions through Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota are good. I saw one man that had just been through North Dakota and he said that the crop conditions there were very promising. If you can base the economic condition of the people on their appearance, the way they are dressed, the general appearance of prosperity, I should say that it was very good. I don’t know that that has any significance now, but I noticed most of the ladies had on silk dresses and I thought I saw a rather general display of silk stockings.
I met a number of my relatives up there. There were three of my father’s own cousins that came to call on me. They were children of the brothers and sisters of my grandmother. Her name was Brewer. Then I met some other relatives of more distant connections, the Briggses and Putnams.
The reception I thought was very impressive. I never saw anything like it excepting the turn-out at Boston at the time Joffre came over here in June 1917. I doubt very much if any President ever saw an equal number of people in one day. Perhaps I spoke to an equal number last October when the Holy Name Society was in Washington, but aside from that it was the largest audience. I rather think the I audience was larger than that in Washington that October Sunday. I think it was the latter part of September or October. Perhaps some of you will remember?
Answer: October, Mr. President.
And notwithstanding the difficulties that we encountered on account of the wind and threatening rain, I never had closer attention from an audience than that which was given to me yesterday.
Since I have been away from Washington we have had a dispatch from the State Dept. that the Belgium Government has agreed to come over here through its representatives to negotiate some settlement of their debt. I think they have already appointed a commission headed by Theunis. Is he the Prime Minister (addressing Sec. Kellogg).
Mr. Kellogg: He was the Prime Minister just prior to the present Prime Minister.
The President: That is the only dispatch I have had from Washington.
It is customary I suppose for those who are interested in those things to look into the possible inherited background of Presidents. Some one has dug out a tradition that my family, the Coolidges, came from a place in Normandy. The French spelling was Colynge. I have seen on the screen within a short time a picture of a castle in that town – I can’t tell the name of the town. Now I assume that that meant that we had a Norman background, which as I indicated yesterday was a Norse or a Norwegian background. I have got so many backgrounds of one kind or another that I am pretty purely American, having I believe a little tinge of Indian blood in me. I simply speak of the Norman background as of a little interest on account of the Norwegian gathering yesterday. I have got several others that I don’t need to dwell on – Scotch, and Colonel Hennessey says Irish.
Mr. President, is there any objection to using direct quotes on what you said about the reception in Minneapolis and St. Paul yesterday?
The President: I think that is all right. But I will have it set up and look at it.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge: Remarks by the President to Newspaper Correspondents
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