Calvin Coolidge Calvin Coolidge was the only son of a Vermont storekeeper. He was born in the house at the rear of his father's combined general store and post office in Plymouth Notch. In 1891 he enrolled in Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. His favorite subjects at college were philosophy and speech. Following his graduation from Amherst in 1895, Coolidge studied law in Northampton, Massachusetts.
The following year he opened his own law office in Northampton, and maintained a practice there until 1919. Coolidge devoted as much time as his law practice would permit to Republican Party politics. In 1898 he was elected city councilman of Northampton. He won many votes by his popular saying, "I want your vote.
I need it. I shall appreciate it. Between 1900 and 1911 he served as city solicitor, clerk of courts, representative in the Massachusetts legislature, and mayor of Northampton. He then served as senator in the state legislature from 1912 to 1915 and as lieutenant governor from 1916 to 1918. In 1918 Coolidge was nominated as the Republican candidate for governor of Massachusetts.
Many people began to think of him for the presidency, and his Massachusetts supporters tried to have him nominated at the Republican National Convention in 1920. He did not receive too many votes and was beat out by Warren G. Harding. Coolidge was inaugurated vice president on March 4, 1921. While Coolidge was vice president, it was rumored that major scandals involving Harding's friends were about to break out into the public. All this proved true and Harding and Coolidge were in the middle of the Tea Pot Dome Scandal.
Harding died suddenly in San Francisco, California, on August 2, 1923. Coolidge took the presidential oath in the farmhouse parlor by the ligh of kerosene lamps. Calvin Coolidge temporarily took over Harding's Cabinet, his group of presidential advisors and department heads. Harding's problems went to Coolidge to clean up the scandals of his predecessor's administration. When the national election of 1924 approached, Coolidge had no difficulty in being nominated for president. The main issue was the economic condition of the country, which had greatly improved under Coolidge.
When the votes were counted, Coolidge had easily defeated Davis, collecting 382 electoral votes to 136 for the Democrat. Coolidge received 15,725,016 popular votes to Davis's 8,385,586. Coolidge's conservative policies underwent no change after he assumed the presidency for a four-year term on March 4, 1925. During his administration, Coolidge's respect for private enterprise, especially big businesses, reflected itself in the operation of certain government agencies. Since a large volume of foreign exports aided business, Coolidge permitted private loans of billions of dollars to other nations to make such trade possible. The steadily rising stock market, particularly near the end of Coolidge's second term, met with his approval and he foresaw no sign of the coming stock market crash and depression that began in 1929.
In August 1927, as Coolidge vacationed in the Black Hills of South Dakota, he released a statement to the newspapers that upset the plans of his supporters. The statement said, I do not choose to run for president in 1928. Coolidge refused to add any explanation to this statement, but it is thought that the death of his son, the strain on his grieving wife, and his own exhaustion were the reasons for his withdrawal from public life. Coolidge passed his remaining years quietly after turning the presidential office over to Hoover on March 4, 1929. He wrote his Autobiography, published in magazine in 1929 and later in book form.
He also published articles encouraging individualism and a laissez-faire economic policy. The Great Depression began soon after Coolidge left the office. Meanwhile, Coolidge's health was failing. In January 1933, two months before Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated, Coolidge died at his Northampton home.