Calvin Coolidge

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

Coolidge, Calvin

Coolidge, Calvin, 1872–1933, 30th President of the United States (1923–29), b. Plymouth, Vt. John Calvin Coolidge was a graduate of Amherst College and was admitted to the bar in 1897. He practiced (1897–1919) law in Northampton, Mass., entered state politics as a Republican, and rose steadily in the party. He served (1910–11) as mayor of Northampton, was a member of the Massachusetts state senate from 1912 to 1915 (its president after 1914), and was (1916–19) lieutenant governor before serving (1919–21) as governor. Coolidge rose to national prominence when he used the militia to end the Boston police strike in 1919. In 1920 he was nominated as Republican candidate for the vice presidency and was elected with Warren G. Harding. After Harding died, Coolidge took (Aug. 3, 1923) the oath of office as President. Untouched by the scandals of the Harding administration, he was easily elected to a full term in 1924. His personal honesty and New England simplicity appealed to the American people, and his unquestioning faith in the conservative business values of laissez faire reflected the national mood. Coolidge's policies were aggressively pro-business. Through his appointees he transformed the Federal Trade Commission from an agency intended to regulate corporations into one dominated by big business. He twice vetoed (1927, 1928) the McNary-Haugen bill to aid agriculture and pocket-vetoed (1928) a bill for government operation of the Muscle Shoals hydroelectric plant. The presence in his cabinet of Herbert C. Hoover and Andrew W. Mellon added to the business tone of his administration, and Coolidge supported Mellon's program of tax cuts and economy in government. Through his public statements he encouraged the reckless stock market speculation of the late 1920s and left the nation unprepared for the economic collapse that followed. Coolidge chose not to seek renomination in 1928. After leaving office he retired to Northampton to write newspaper and magazine articles and his autobiography (1929, repr. 1989). As first lady, his wife, Grace A. Goodhue Coolidge, was much admired for her poise and charm. A selection of his press conferences was edited by H. H. Quint and R. H. Ferrell (1964).


See biographies by C. M. Fuess (1940), D. R. McCoy (1967, repr. 1988), J. Abels (1969), W. A. White (1938, repr. 1973), R. Sobel (1998), and A. Shlaes (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Coolidge, Calvin


Born July 4, 1872, in Plymouth, Vt; died Jan. 5, 1933, in Northampton, Mass. American political figure; lawyer by profession.

In 1918–19, Coolidge, a member of the Republican Party, served as governor of Massachusetts. From 1921 to 1923 he was vice-president and from 1923 to 1929, the 30th president of the USA. (He became president after the death of President W. Harding.) In the interests of the monopolies the Coolidge government raised tariffs, hindered the implementation of legislation designed to aid farmers, and waged a struggle against the workers’ movement. It opposed US participation in the League of Nations, conducted an expansionist policy in Latin America and the Far East, and facilitated the restoration of the military potential of German imperialism (for example, through the Dawes Plan). Coolidge adopted a hostile position toward the USSR and refused to grant it diplomatic recognition.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Coolidge, Calvin

(1872–1933) 30th U.S. president; nicknamed “Silent Cal.” [Am. Hist.: Frank, 99]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Coolidge, (John) Calvin

(1872–1933) thirtieth U.S. president; born in Plymouth, Vt. After graduating from Amherst College (1895), he became a lawyer in Northampton, Mass. As a Republican, he held a series of local and state offices until becoming governor of Massachusetts (1919–20); he gained national attention for using the state militia to suppress a police strike. Elected vice-president in 1920, he succeeded to the presidency on Warren Harding's death in 1923. He was reelected the next year. A popular and deliberately hands-off president in prosperous times, he was noted more for what he did not do and say than for what he did (although among his oft-quoted phrases is his 1925 remark, "the business of America is business."). In his private life he was equally noted for his taciturn, thrifty ways. After leaving the White House, he retired to Northampton and wrote various articles promoting his conservative views as well as his autobiography (1929).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
THE TOPIC: Calvin Coolidge, a scion of New England, was famously taciturn, earning the nickname "Silent Cal." (When satirist Dorothy Parker received news of Coolidge's death in 1933, she coolly replied, "How could they tell?") After rising through the ranks of Massachusetts politics (while governor, he broke a policeman's strike in Boston, winning praise from constituents in the throes of the Red Scare), Coolidge took office in 1923 upon the death of Warren G.
Calvin Coolidge's reputation for silence and his often tightfisted ways (which obscured acts of generosity) have become the stuff of legend, but Grace soon learned that her husband's silence masked a moody, even dark nature.
But then, so wooden an actor is he that, as Dorothy Parker said when told the nearcatatonic US president Calvin Coolidge had died, "how could they tell?"
Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.
FORMER US President Calvin Coolidge slept so much that, when he died, the writer Dorothy Parker remarked "How can they tell?" It's a fitting metaphor for Forward Wales, the political party which last week announced it was winding itself up, several years after everybody thought it already had.
"The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten", said President Calvin Coolidge, and with a potential 40,000 cases of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome diagnosed since 2003, PTSD is an issue that will be concerning both returning veterans and their families for years to come.
Michelle Obama, left, holds up a drawing of the Obama family as she and Presidentelect Barack Obama visit Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington
Naden and Rose Blue's JAMES MONROE (9780761428381), Steven Otfinoski's CALVIN COOLIDGE (9781761428367) each provide 96 pages of history and biography perfect for reports.
-- After Calvin Coolidge announced he did not choose to run for a second term, reporters pressed him for a more detailed statement.
(Some mothers have the same first names; these names appear twice.) Presidents' Moms * Presidents Martha * Theodore Roosevelt Louisa * William Howard Taft Jessie * Woodrow Wilson Phoebe * Warren Harding Victoria * Calvin Coolidge Hulda * Herbert Hoover Sara * Franklin Roosevelt Martha * Harry Truman Ida * Dwight Eisenhower Rose * John Kennedy Rebekah * Lyndon Johnson Hannah * Richard Nixon Dorothy * Gerald Ford Lillian * Jimmy Carter Nelle * Ronald Reagan Barbara * George Bush Virginia * Bill Clinton
AMERICAN FORESTS donated the initial tree, a Norway spruce, during President Calvin Coolidge's administration.