Calvin Coolidge's Childhood and Education:
Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872 in Plymouth, Vermont. His father was a storekeeper and local public official. Coolidge attended a local school before enrolling nin 1886 at the Black River Academy in Ludlow, Vermont. He studied at Amherst College from 1891-95. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1897.
Father: John Calvin Coolidge - farmer and storekeeper. He was also a justice of the peace and was able to deliver the oath of office to his son.
Mother: Victoria Josephine Moor - She died when Calvin was 12.
Siblings: One sister - Abigail Gratia Coolidge - She died at age 15.
Wife: Grace Anna Goodhue.
Children: Two sons - John Coolidge and Calvin Coolidge, Jr.
Calvin Coolidge's Career Before the Presidency:
Coolidge practiced law and became an active Republican in Massachusetts. He began his political career on the Northampton City Council (1899-1900). From 1907-08, he was a member of the Massachusetts General Court. He then became Mayor of Northampton in 1910. In 1912, he was elected to be a Massachusetts State Senator. From 1916-18, he was the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. In 1919, he won the Governor's seat. He then ran with Warren Harding to become Vice President in 1921.
Becoming the President:
Coolidge succeeded to the presidency on August 3, 1923 when Harding died from a heart attack. In 1924, Coolidge was nominated to run for president by the Republicans. Charles Dawes was his running mate. Coolidge ran against Democrat John Davis and Progressive Robert M. LaFollette. In the end, Coolidge won with 54% of the popular vote and 382 out of 531 electoral votes.
Coolidge chose not to run for another term in office. He retired to Northampton, Massachusetts and wrote his autobiography. He died on January 5, 1933 of a coronary thrombosis.
Coolidge was president during the interim between the two world wars. During this time, the economic situation in America seemed to be one of prosperity. However, the foundation was being laid for what would become the Great Depression. The era was also one of increased isolationism after the close of World War I.
Events and Accomplishments of Calvin Coolidge’s Presidency:
The Immigration Act of 1924 at cut the amount of immigrants allowed into the U.S. so that only 150,000 total individuals were allowed in each year. The law favored immigrants from Northern Europe over Southern Europeans and Jews. Japanese immigrants were not allowed in at all.
In 1924 and 1926, taxes were cut that had been imposed during World War I. The money that individuals were able to keep and spend helped contribute to the speculation that eventually would lead to the fall of the stock market and contribute to the Great Depression.
In 1924, the Veteran's Bonus passed through Congress despite Coolidge's veto. It provided veterans insurance redeemable in twenty years.
In 1927-28, Congress tried to pass farm relief bills where the government would buy crops to support farm prices. Coolidge vetoed this bill two times believing that government had no place in setting price floors and ceilings.
In 1928, the Kellogg-Briand Pact was created between fifteen countries who agreed that war was not a viable method for settling international disputes. It was created between Secretary of State Frank Kellogg and French Foreign Minister Aristide Briand.