Calvin Coolidge (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Practicing the virtues most Americans seemed to honor in absentia, Calvin Coolidge served as president of the United States during the central years of that extraordinary decade, the 1920’s.
John Calvin Coolidge was born in Plymouth, Vermont, on July 4, 1872. His father, Colonel John Calvin Coolidge (the rank was an honorary one bestowed for service on the governor’s staff), was a prominent local figure who had served several terms in the state legislature. His mother, the former Victoria Josephine Moor, died when young Calvin was twelve. It was a painful loss to the boy, and his memories of his mother were very precious to him. It was from her family that he inherited the dash of Indian blood which so charmed political pundits during his presidential years. His only sister, Abigail, who was three years younger than Calvin, died in her teens. Her death was another blow to the sensitive youth.
After a brief period spent teaching school, Coolidge entered Amherst College in 1891. There he joined the College Republican Club and, in his senior year, a social fraternity. He was one of three persons in his class chosen to speak at graduation. His was the task of presenting a humorous speech, which he completed with considerable wit and the approval of his class. In 1895, he moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, and began the study of law. At the age of twenty-five, he was admitted to...
(The entire section is 2472 words.)
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