Unmasking Silent Cal: 10 Intriguing Facts About America’s 30th President, Calvin Coolidge

Many of us remember the 30th U.S. President Calvin Coolidge for his reputation as “Silent Cal,” as he was a man of few words. However, there’s more to Coolidge’s story than his quiet demeanor suggests.

This listicle unveils 10 surprising facts about this often-underestimated figure in American history.

Whether you’re a Coolidge fan or merely curious, prepare to view Silent Cal in a new light.

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Get to Know Coolidge

10. The Vermont Native

Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, making him the only U.S. President born on Independence Day. Raised in a family with humble beginnings, he valued hard work, independence, and simplicity. His small-town roots may surprise those who equate political success with city upbringing.

9. The Unusual Oath

Upon President Harding’s sudden death in 1923, Vice President Coolidge was thrust into the presidency. Interestingly, Coolidge’s father, a notary public, administered the oath of office to him at 2:47 AM, in their family home’s parlor by the light of a kerosene lamp.

8. The Lawyer President

Before entering politics, Coolidge was a successful lawyer. He opened his own law office in Northampton, Massachusetts, after graduating from Amherst College. His legal background laid a solid foundation for his political career, equipping him with negotiation and advocacy skills.

7. Silent Cal Wasn’t Always Silent

While known as “Silent Cal” for his quiet, reserved nature, Coolidge was an effective communicator. He was the first president to use radio broadcasting, delivering speeches that reached millions of households.

6. A Champion of Small Government

Coolidge believed in limited government and laissez-faire economics. His administration saw reduced taxes, limited government expenditure, and significant economic growth, which was termed the “Roaring Twenties.”

5. The First to Light the National Christmas Tree

Coolidge started the tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree in 1923. This ceremony continues to this day, serving as a symbol of the holiday spirit.

4. The Pet-Loving President

The Coolidge family had numerous pets in the White House, including a raccoon named Rebecca, who was originally sent as a Thanksgiving dinner from Mississippi. Instead of serving Rebecca as a meal, the family adopted her as a pet!

3. Champion for Civil Rights

Coolidge advocated for civil rights and repeatedly called for laws to make lynching a federal crime. His push for racial equality was quite forward-thinking for his time.

2. A Man of Humor

Despite his reputation for reserve, Coolidge had a sharp wit. When a dinner guest told him she bet she could make him say more than two words, Coolidge famously replied, “You lose”.

1. The President Who Declined a Sure-Fire Third Term

In 1928, despite his popularity and likelihood of winning, Coolidge decided not to run for a second full term. His succinct statement “I do not choose to run” left the nation surprised.

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A Man of Another Age

Calvin Coolidge remains a remarkable figure who greatly influenced American history. From his commitment to civil rights to his pioneering use of radio, Silent Cal wasn’t so silent after all!

The next time you’re pondering presidential trivia, these facts about Coolidge will surely come in handy. Let’s remember him as a man of values, humor, and surprising surprises, quite a contrast from the silent persona often ascribed to him.

What do you think of these facts about Coolidge? Share your thoughts in the comments below and across social media.

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