John Calvin Coolidge, Jr.
Burial Location Visited Vice President Grave #
Plymouth Notch, Vermont August 9, 2007 13th Visited

After we toured the President
Calvin Coolidge State Historic
Site, my family and I drove the
short distance to "Silent Cal's"
grave at Plymouth Notch

The withering wreath between the tombstones
of Grace and Calvin Coolidge was placed
there in honor the the president's birthday a
month before our August 2007 visit. Coolidge
was the only president born on July 4th.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* In 1898, Coolidge was elected to Northampton's city council. He later became the city solicitor, then the court clerk. By 1907, he was a member of the Massachusetts state legislature. Returning to Northampton, he was elected its mayor, serving until he became a Massachusetts state senator. He later became the president of the Senate. Coolidge then rose to the position of lieutenant governor before being elected governor in 1918. It was during the following year that Coolidge was thrust into the spotlight, this being during the famous Boston Police Strike. A group of Boston policemen had decided to form a union, a move which displeased Edwin Curtis, the city's police commissioner. After Curtis repeatedly denounced the formation of the union, nearly all of the Boston police force went on strike. The city of Boston then descended into utter chaos. Riots were taking place all over, and some people were actually killed. The mayor then decided to relieve Curtis of duty. Coolidge, frustrated with all that had transpired, reinstated Curtis as police commissioner and called upon the state militia to protect the city. Coolidge then responded to a letter from Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor (who had, of course, sided with the strikers). When Gompers called Police Commissioner Curtis' actions irresponsible, Governor Coolidge rebutted, "Your assertion that the Commissioner was wrong cannot justify the wrong of leaving the city unguarded."

* Coolidge's actions during the Boston Police Strike made him popular with Americans all across the country. Some were so impressed that they wanted the governor to be nominated for the presidency. Sure enough, he was, but was not able to garner as many votes as Senator Warren Harding. Coolidge crushed all opposition vying to be Harding's running mate, though, and became the GOP's candidate for the vice presidency. Now Harding and Coolidge had to take on Governor James Cox of Ohio and his running mate, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Before anyone knew it, it was November, and it was time to vote. This was a very special election, as it was the the first time in history that American women were allowed to vote in a presidential race. Evidently, many of them favored the Harding-Coolidge ticket, as they walked away the victors. Sworn into office early in 1921, Calvin Coolidge would serve under Harding for over two years.

* Calvin Coolidge has the unique distinction of being the only U.S. president to be sworn in by his father. On August 2, 1923, while the vice president was vacationing in Vermont, Warren Harding died in his hotel room in San Francisco. The president had passed away around 10:35 p.m. ET, and because there was no electricity at the Coolidge homestead, the vice president did not receive the news until much later. Thus, Calvin Coolidge was already in bed when word of Harding's demise reached the household, and had to be woken up. In the wee hours of August 3rd, John Coolidge, a notary public, swore in his son as the 30th president of the United States. Afterward, the new commander-in-chief quietly and promptly returned to bed.

* Known by the nickname "Silent Cal", President Coolidge was not a man of many words. Some presidents enjoyed going to public rallies and making long speeches, but Coolidge would be more content with a short nap (even though he was reportedly a good orator). At social events in Washington, instead of engaging himself in some interesting conversation, he would quietly sit in his chair. The most notable tale regarding Coolidge's solemn demeanor involves Dorothy Parker, who was famous for her work as an author, poet, and satirist. Parker, who was seated next to Coolidge at some big to-do, told him that she had placed a bet that she could get him to say more than two words that evening. "You lose," replied Coolidge, who remained silent for the rest of the night. In 1933, upon learning that the former president was dead, Parker remarked, "How could they tell?"

Second Lady: Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge

      - Spouse: Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge (m. 1905-1933)

Political Party:
Republican Party

Served Under:
Warren Gamaliel Harding

Last Words:
"Good morning, Robert."

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