Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008

Calvin Coolidge

When Calvin Coolidge learned he was nominated to be Warren Harding's Vice Presidential candidate, his wife asked if he would accept. His even response: "I suppose I'll have to." Quiet to the verge of sullen, Coolidge was a perfect foil to Harding, a garrulous playboy of a president. He accomplished little during his Vice Presidency, though he did thoroughly enjoy his role overseeing the Senate, betraying a penchant for process and order by declaring the sessions "entertaining". When Harding fell ill and died in the summer of 1923, Coolidge was sworn into office by lamplight just before 3 a.m. on August 3 while visiting his family's home in Vermont. True to form, he later spoke — noncommittally — of his reaction to the prospect of becoming President. "I thought I could swing it," he said.

By Tiffany Sharples