On the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 30th President of the United States John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) was born on this day on a farm in Plymouth, Vermont and graduated cum laude from Amherst in 1895.
"The most common commodity in this country is unrealized potential," said Coolidge, a man of integrity, wisdom, and humor. The staunch Republican believed in democracy and self-reliance.
"Our doctrine of equality and liberty and humanity comes from our belief in the brotherhood of man, through the fatherhood of God," he once said. "The chief business of America is business."
Coolidge served as a senator (1912-1915), then governor (1919-1920) of Massachusetts before becoming Warren G. Harding's Vice-President (1921-1923). Coolidge's father was a notary public who administered his son's presidential oath of office at his home in 1923 following Harding's death.
"Four-fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear, if we would only sit down and keep still," the popular President believed. The country's industry and big business flourished during "Coolidge Prosperity."
Hard-working and practical, he was a man of few words. He said, "You don't have to explain something you never said."
Nicknamed "Silent Cal," while in office, the taciturn leader composed all his own speeches and said, "I always knew there was water in my well, but that I had to pump to get it. It is not a gushing fountain."
After leaving the presidency, he wrote a five-day-a-week newspaper column which advocated individualism. "Civilization and profits go hand-in-hand," he said.
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