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Portraits: Calvin Coolidge   8 comments

Calvin Coolidge (John Calvin Coolidge, Jr, 1872 – 1933)

The 30th President of the United States, 1923 – 1929

AKA: Cautious Cal, Cool Cal, Silent Cal

From: Vermont, Massachusetts

College: Amherst College

Married to: Grace Anna Goodhue

Children: John and Calvin, Jr

Party: Republican

Previous Jobs: Lawyer, city councilman, city solicitor, clerk of courts, state representative, mayor, state senator, lieutenant governor, governor, vice president

In His Words:  “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.”

“There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.”

“The chief business of the American people is business.”

“What we need is not more Federal government, but better local government.”

“I have noticed that nothing I never said ever did me any harm.”

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

“If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it.”

Not true: “Silent Cal” gave 529 press conferences, more than any other President before or since. (from Greenberg, David (2006). Calvin Coolidge. The American Presidents Series.)

True: Coolidge’s first Presidential speech to congress, on December 6, 1923, was the first speech by a President broadcast on the radio.  He was the first President to appear in a motion picture with sound, in 1924.

After completing Harding’s term, and then running successfully for re-election, he declined to run again in 1930, saying that 10 years in Washington is more than anyone should be President.

The Official Portrait:

Charles Hopkinson painted the official White House portrait of Calvin Coolidge in 1932.  Many of his paintings were commissioned by U. S. East Coast institutions, especially Harvard University, where he acted as house portraitist. Among his sitters were Oliver Wendell Holmes and E. E. Cummings.