Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy President's Day

Damn, I'm a day late, but... Happy President's Day!

Calvin Coolidge liked headdresses

On this President's Day, I'd like to honor my favorite President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. He was the 29th Vice President under Warren G. Harding, and became the 30th President upon Harding's death. Biographers have described his presidency with such mediocre quotes as:
He represented the genius of average.
His active inactivity suited the mood and certain needs of the country admirably.

The Calvin Coolidge I love was stingy with his words and eccentric. Here are some fun historical facts, y'all.
  • One of his favorite pranks as President was to push every button on his desk in the White House and hide while his secretaries, military assistants, Secret Service agents, valets, and Cabinet officers ran frantically into his office and searched for him. Presidential hide and seek!
  • Coolidge slept no less than eleven hours a night and napped daily. Often, upon waking up he would ask his aides, "Is the country still here?"
  • He had a mechanical horse installed in the White House, which he rode regularly while pretending he was a cowboy.
  • Shortly after marrying his wife Grace, he handed her a bag of 104 socks with holes in them and asked her to darn them. She replied, "Did you only marry me to darn your socks." His serious response was, "No, but I find it mighty handy."

Grace and Cal

  • Calvin Coolidge was known for his frugality of expression. Once, at a dinner party, a young woman told him she had a bet with her husband that she could get him to say more than three words. The President smiled and said, "you lose."
  • His 16 year-old son, Calvin Coolidge, Jr., died when a blister on his toe, that he got while playing tennis, got infected.
  • The Coolidges loved animals and received many as gifts, including a black bear, lion cubs, a hippopotamus, a wallaby, a wombat, and a deer, all of which he donated to zoos. His most loved pet was Rebecca the raccoon, who lived in the White House and walked around on a leash.
  • Coolidge was the first president filmed with sound!

Favorite Coolidge quotes:

Four-fifths of all our troubles would disappear if we would only sit down and keep still.
Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.
If you don't say anything, you won't be called upon to repeat it. 
If I'm asleep, I can't mess anything up. 

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