Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Silent Cal

Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge Jr.
  Calvin Coolidge was vice-president to Warren G. Harding and he would become president on August 2, 1923 upon the death of Harding after he suffered an apparent heart attack in his sleep. Many people believed that Harding's wife poisoned him but that could never be proven. Harding, like Grant, was not a very good judge of character. Although Harding himself was not personally corrupt many of his government appointees were. This led to many scandals. The largest of which was the Teapot-Dome scandal. After Harding's death a woman named Nan Britton claimed to have had an affair with Harding beginning in 1916 which also resulted in a baby. She claimed that she and Harding once had sex in a closet at the White House. Many doubt this story because it is thought that Harding was sterile. Also there was no physical evidence of the affair. Like a stained blue dress for example. Harding is considered by many historians to be the worst president in American history. Coolidge on the other hand was a very honest, decent and competent president. He was a breath of fresh air compared to Harding. However his nickname was "Silent Cal". He was a man of very few words. His most famous saying was "the business of America is business". On one occasion the president invited the press corps to the White House for a social event. One particular female reporter told Coolidge that she had made a bet with another reporter that she could engage him in a conversation that would consist of more than his usual yes and no responses. She told him that she had bet that she could get a sentence out of him that consisted of at least three words. Coolidge leaned over and replied "you lose". In a radio address to the nation he announced "The American people seem to want a solemn ass as a president, and I think I'll go along with them". Sadly the loss of his son Calvin Jr. on July 7, 1924 would silence President Coolidge even more because he never recovered from it. On June 30, 1924 Calvin Jr. played tennis with his brother John on the White House tennis court. He was wearing tennis shoes without socks and he rubbed a blister on his big toe. This was only a few years before the discovery of penicillin. He developed an infection that would turn to blood poisoning and he died one week later.  

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