Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Christmas represents love and mercy. It was ushered in by the star of hope and remains forever consecrated by the sacrifice of the cross. Christmas holds its place in the hearts of men because they know that love is the greatest thing in the world. Christmas is celebrated in its true spirit only by those who make some sacrifice for the benefit of their fellow men.
Newspaper column, December 25, 1930

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The little band of Pilgrims who first established this institution on the shore by Plymouth Rock had no doubts. If their little colony of devoted souls, when exiled to a foreign wilderness by persecution, cut in half by disease, surrounded by hostility and threatened with famine, could give thanks, how much more should this great nation, less deserving than the Pilgrims yet abounding in freedom, peace, security and plenty, now have the faith to return thanks to the author of all good and perfect gifts.
From "Calvin Coolidge Says", November 28, 1930.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

What the veterans gave cannot be measured in money. It was priceless.
From "Calvin Coolidge Says", January 28, 1931

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Silent Cal

A wise old owl lived in an oak.
The more he saw the less he spoke.
The less he spoke the more he heard;
Why can't we be like that old bird?
Over the fireplace in Coolidge's home at Northampton, Massachusetts

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Past and Future

We review the past not in order that we may return to it but that we find in what direction, straight and clear, it points to the future.
Address as vice president, Burlington, Vermont, June 12, 1923

Monday, October 10, 2011

Columbus Day

Measured by its effect on all following history, the voyage of Columbus, ending in the discovery of a new hemisphere, was an achievement of the first magnitude. Possibly others preceded him, but he was the first who made known the existence of America to European civilization.
From "Calvin Coolidge Says", October 11, 1930

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Election Day

Elections are the most serious business in which our citizens engage. On their results depends not only the welfare of the people but the demonstration of their ability to govern themselves with safety and justice to each other. The greatest peace-time test of the moral power of a people is the ability to cast a disinterested, unselfish and patriotic vote. At the present time the country needs the most conscientious thought it can give in choosing officers. Only such decision is worthy of a free people.
from "Calvin Coolidge Says", September 29, 1930

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Frank Ashford

In 1927, President and Mrs. Coolidge had a busy summer in Rapid City, South Dakota, a part of the country unfamiliar to both of these Vermont natives. It was here that he received a Native-American warrior’s headdress now displayed at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum (CCPLM). Coolidge was president in 1924 when citizenship was granted to all of the native population. A local Boy Scout troop presented him

with a cowboy outfit complete with hat and chaps. In early August, the president delivered his famous one line news release that startled the nation by saying, “I do not choose to run for president in 1928.”

Lesser known today is that Frank Clifford Ashford painted two portraits of President Coolidge and two portraits of Grace Coolidge that summer at the State Lodge in Custer State Park where they resided. Two of the artworks hang at the CCPLM, one of the president in the Native-American headdress and the other, a profile of the first lady in a red dress. The other two works remain hanging at the lodge where they were originally painted. In those, the couple is in more formal dress.

Ashford, born in Iowa, worked as a farm hand on his father’s farm in Rondell, Brown County, SD as late as 1900. During the next three decades, he worked as an artist in Paris and New York where he studied, exhibited and is known to have painted landscapes as well as portraits. In New York, he was a student of William Merritt Chase.

After Ashford’s works were exhibited in the Salon of the Societe des Artistes Francais in 1912, and both at the Chicago Art Institute and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 1913, he showed a painting titled "Marjorie" at the National Academy of Design in 1920. The latter may have been a portrait of his wife, Marjorie Rickel, whom he married in South Dakota in 1918 and divorced by the time of the US Census in 1930.

From 1930 until his death in 1960, he resided and worked primarily in South Dakota.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Congratulations to Class of 2011!

Congratulations to the Class of 2011!

"This month will turn out into the world many thousands of young men and young women with college diplomas... They could not have been graduated without subjecting themselves to a great deal of severe mental discipline... One great of a college education is a better appreciation of the real values of life."

From "Calvin Coolidge Says" a syndicated newspaper column June 6, 1931

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum employs work-study students from nearby Smith College. Congratulations to our graduates Veronica Tjioe who worked here 5 semesters and Beans Velocci who worked here 3 semesters! These amazing future historians, along with Sophie Glidden-Lyon '12 (who will return in the Fall for her 7th and final semester here) have been the behind the scenes magic that assist the one paid staff with research, creating exhibits, processing, re-housing, indexing, scanning, adding to the collections database and more!