17 Fun Facts About Calvin Coolidge

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Calvin Coolidge official presidential portrait

Anyone who did their history homework probably knows the basic facts about Calvin Coolidge. 30th President of these great United States from 1923 to 1929, graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in 1895, served as the governor of Massachusetts, looks like the perpetually racist old man on the bus that no one wants to sit next to…

But in my humble bro-pinion, the presidential career of Mr. Coolidge was definitely underrated. Nobody ever talks about him.

Well, no time like the present to pluck a well-deserving soul out of the wretched depths of historical obscurity. Here are some cool fun facts about Calvin Coolidge that the history books left out!

Calvin Coolidge Fun Facts

1) Coolidge was the only U.S president born on the 4th of July.

2) Calvin Coolidge was the last president to actually write his own speeches.

3) He would read classic literature in the original Greek and Latin languages for fun

4) Known for his quiet personality and being a man of few words, “Silent Cal” was once approached by a woman at a White House gala who told him she had a bet that she could get him to say more than three words before the evening was through. His response? “You lose.” 

5) Calvin Coolidge was a prolific sleeper. In addition to napping for two to four hours every day without fail, he slept for 11 straight hours every night. Despite achieving a record-breaking amount of shut-eye, Coolidge was always tired and sluggish. 

6) One day, someone walked up to President Coolidge and said, “I didn’t vote for you.” In typical Coolidge fashion, he replied, “Well, somebody did.”

7) Calvin Coolidge’s 16-year-old son, Calvin Jr., died of sepsis after a blister he received while playing lawn tennis at the White House got infected. Experts believe President Coolidge suffered from major depressive disorder in the aftermath of this incident.

8) Coolidge was made an honorary Sioux chief in 1927 after he signed the Indian Citizenship Act, which stated “all non-citizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby, declared to be citizens of the United States.”

9) Coolidge’s preferred way of exercising was riding a mechanical horse he had installed in the White House- a pastime that even his Secret Service agents also gleefully enjoyed.

10) President Coolidge strongly objected to Herbert Hoover’s appointment to the office of the President once his own term was over. His exact words were, “For six years that man has given me unsolicited advice – all of it bad.”

11) The Coolidge Administration’s tax cuts made it so that 98% of the American population wasn’t paying income taxes by 1927.

12) Calvin Coolidge was a huge animal lover- in fact, when two lion cubs were sent to him as a gift from the mayor of Johannesburg, he named them “Tax Reduction” and “Budget Bureau”. He also owned a collie named Rob Roy.

13) When Charles Lindbergh returned from his 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic, President Coolidge was there to meet him and present the legendary aviator with the Distinguished Flying Cross medal.

14) During a live performance of the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers (which the president was attending), Groucho Marx spotted him in the audience and yelled, “Hey Calvin…isn’t it past your bedtime!?”

15) Every day when Coolidge woke up from his afternoon nap, he asked an aide, “Is the country still there?”

16) Coolidge was so quiet and so antisocial at public gatherings that when he passed away in 1933, poet Dorothy Parker, in her infinite compassion, asked, “How can you be sure?”

17) The “Coolidge Cooler” was a cocktail that was created in memory of the former president. The ingredients: 1.5 ounces of Vermont White vodka, ½ ounce of American whiskey, 2 ounces of orange juice, and club soda. 

Famous Calvin Coolidge Quotes

  1. “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”
  2. “Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.”
  3. “Any man who does not like dogs or wants them about does not deserve to be in the White House.”
  4. “I think the American public wants a solemn ass as president and I think I’ll go along with them.”
  5. “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
  6. “No man ever listened himself out of a job.”
  7. “No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.”
  8. “Industry, thrift, and self-control are not sought because they create wealth, but because they create character.”
  9. “We must eternally smite the rock of public conscience if the waters of patriotism are to pour forth. We must ever be ready to point out the success of our country as justification of our determination to support it.”
  10. “Patriotism can neither be bought nor sold. It is not hire and salary. It is not material, but spiritual. It is one of the highest human virtues. To attempt to pay money for it is to offer it an unworthy indignity which cheapens, debases, and destroys it.”

Enjoy this post? Check out “25 Fun Facts About Theodore Roosevelt”!


Sources

  1. https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/calvin-coolidge-quotes
  2. https://coolidgefoundation.org/resources/speech-at-tremont-temple/ 
  3. https://coolidgefoundation.org/resources/message-to-the-house-of-representatives-returning-without-approval-a-bill-providing-for-adjusted-compensation-for-war-veterans/
  4.  O’Brien, Cormac. “Calvin Coolidge.” Secret Lives of the U.S. Presidents: What Your Teachers Never Told You about the Men of the White House, Hallmark Gift Books, Quirk Books, United States, 2012, pp. 168–172.
  5. Will-Weber, Mark. “The Coolidge Cooler.” Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking, Regnery Publishing, Washington, D.C., 2014, p. 239. 
  6. Hayward, Steven F. “Calvin Coolidge.” The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents, Regnery Publishing, a Division of Salem Media Group, Washington, DC, 2017, pp. 161–166.