Calvin Coolidge

By | Aug 3, 2009

Calvin Coolidge was visiting his family in Vermont in early August of 1923, while the President Warren G. Harding was on a speaking tour in the western United States. When Coolidge went to bed he had no idea that his life was about to have a big change. The family home had neither electric or a telephone and they were awaken in the early hours of August 3rd by a messenger with news that President Harding had died and Coolidge was now the President of the United States.

At 2:47 a.m. he took the oath of office President as delivered to him by his father, who was a notary public. The next morning Coolidge returned to Washington. Whether it was totally legal for a State notary public to administer the presidential oath, it became immaterial when he was sworn in again by Justice Adolph A. Hoehling, Jr. of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

As Vice-President he was known as Silent Cal. He may have been a good public speaker, but in private he rarely spoke unless required. One story told by Dorothy Parker was that at a dinner when they were seated next teach other, she said to him, “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” His reply: “You lose.”

Vice-Presidents, up to his short term, had few official duties, but he was invited to attend cabinet meeting by President Harding., He was the first Vice-President to attend such meetings.

Coolidge would finish Harding term keeping the cabinet appointments by Harding, even though some of them were suspects in Scandals that were developing around the Harding White House. Coolidge would run for election in his own right in 1924 winning by 25.2-points above the nearest opponent.

He was born John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. in Plymouth Notch, Vermont on July 4, 1872, the only President to be born on the date commonly regarded as the birthday of the United States. He died suddenly from a heart attack on January 5, 1933.

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