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Wikipedia Summary for Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge (born John Calvin Coolidge Jr.; ; July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) was an American lawyer and politician who served as the 30th president of the United States from 1923 to 1929. A Republican lawyer from New England, born in Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of Massachusetts. His response to the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight and gave him a reputation as a man of decisive action. The next year, he was elected the 29th vice president of the United States, and he succeeded to the presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small-government conservative and also as a man who said very little and had a rather dry sense of humor.

Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity. As a Coolidge biographer wrote: "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength."Scholars have ranked Coolidge in the lower half of those presidents that they have assessed. He is praised by advocates of smaller government and laissez-faire economics, while supporters of an active central government generally view him less favorably, although most praise his stalwart support of racial equality.

There is no escaping the fact that when the taxation of large incomes is excessive, they tend to disappear.

--Calvin Coolidge

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.

--Calvin Coolidge

Patriotism is easy to understand in America -- it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.

--Calvin Coolidge

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward what he gave.

--Calvin Coolidge

Press on nothing can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.

--Calvin Coolidge

Few people are lacking in capacity, but they fail because they are lacking in application.

--Calvin Coolidge

The reason a man has so much trouble with the Senate is that there isn't a man in the Senate who doesn't think he is better suited to be President than the President, and thinks he might have been President except for luck.

--Calvin Coolidge

Well, farmers never have made money. I don't believe we can do much about it. But of course we will have to seem to be doing something; do the best we can and without much hope. The life of the farmer has its compensations but it has always been one of hardship.

--Calvin Coolidge

Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.

--Calvin Coolidge

Wherever despotism abounds, the sources of public information are the first to be brought under its control.

--Calvin Coolidge

Nature is inexorable. If men do not follow the truth they cannot live.

--Calvin Coolidge

Inflation is repudiation.

--Calvin Coolidge

The things I never say never get me into trouble.

--Calvin Coolidge

History reveals no civilized people among whom there was not a highly educated class and large aggregations of wealth. Large profits mean large payrolls.

--Calvin Coolidge

The right of the police of Boston to affiliate has always been questioned, never granted, is now prohibited.... There is no rightto strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.

--Calvin Coolidge

There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.

--Calvin Coolidge

You don't have to explain something you haven't said.

--Calvin Coolidge

In a republic the first rule for the guidance of the citizen is obedience of the law.

--Calvin Coolidge

Despotism has forever had a powerful hold upon the world. Autocratic government, not self-government, has been the prevailing state of mankind. The record of past history is the record, not of the success of republics, but of their failure.

--Calvin Coolidge

I am for economy. After that I am for more economy. At this time and under present conditions that is my conception of serving all the people.

--Calvin Coolidge

Character is the only secure foundation of the state.

--Calvin Coolidge

There is no escaping the fact that when the taxation of large incomes is excessive, they tend to disappear.

--Calvin Coolidge

No matter what anyone may say about making the rich and the corporations pay taxes, in the end they come out of the people who toil.

--Calvin Coolidge

Longer Version:

No matter what anyone may say about making the rich and the corporations pay the taxes, in the end they come out of the people who toil. It is your fellow workers who are ordered to work for the Government, every time an appropriation bill is passed. The people pay the expense of government, often many times over, in the increased cost of living. I want taxes to be less, that the people may have more.


Advertising ministers to the spiritual side of trade.

--Calvin Coolidge

Longer Version:

Advertising ministers to the spiritual side of trade. It is great power that has been entrusted to your keeping which charges you with the high responsibility of inspiring and ennobling the commercial world. It is all part of the greater work of the regeneration and redemption of mankind.



It would be folly to argue that the people cannot make political mistakes. They can and do make grave mistakes. They know it, they pay the penalty, but compared with the mistakes which have been made by every kind of autocracy they are unimportant.

--Calvin Coolidge

What the end of the carnage of World War II meant to those who remember it, can never be forgotten, but to all those who don't, its meaning can never be fully understood!

--Calvin Coolidge

Economy is idealism in its most practical form.

--Calvin Coolidge

I appeal to Amherst men to reiterate the Amherst doctrine that the man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due not scorn and blame but reverence and praise.

--Calvin Coolidge

There is no dignity
quite so impressive,
and no independence
quite so important,
as living within your means.

--Calvin Coolidge

Eat it up, make it do, wear it out.

--Calvin Coolidge

After order and liberty, economy is one of the highest essentials of a free government.

--Calvin Coolidge

The welfare of the weakest and the welfare of the most powerful are inseparably bound together. ... The general welfare cannot be provided for in any one act, but it is well to remember that the benefit of one is the benefit of all, and the neglect of one is the neglect of all.

--Calvin Coolidge

The benefit of one is the benefit of all, and the neglect of one is the neglect of all.

--Calvin Coolidge

The country is not in good condition.

--Calvin Coolidge

We live an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create the Declaration. Our Declaration created them. ... If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it.

--Calvin Coolidge

Of course, the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence.

--Calvin Coolidge

Human nature provides sufficient distrust of all that is alien, so that there is no need of any artificial supply.

--Calvin Coolidge

If American democracy is to remain the greatest hope of humanity, it must continue abundantly in the faith of the Bible.

--Calvin Coolidge

It is hard to see how a great man can be an atheist... We need to feel that behind us is intelligence and love.

--Calvin Coolidge

It is only when people can feel that their lives and the property which their industry has produced today will continue to be safe...that there can be...stability of value and...economic progress.

--Calvin Coolidge

To place your name by gift or bequest in the keeping of an active educational institution is to...make a permanent contribution to the welfare of humanity.

--Calvin Coolidge

If the people lose control of the arteries of trade and the natural sources of mechanical power, the nationalization of all industry should soon be expected. Our forefathers were alert to resist all encroachments upon their rights. If we wish to maintain our rights, we can do no less.

--Calvin Coolidge

Unless we lay our course in accordance with this principle, the great power for good in the world with which we have been intrusted by a Divine Providence will be turned to a power for evil.

--Calvin Coolidge

Education should be the handmaid of citizenship.

--Calvin Coolidge

This country would not be a land of opportunity, America could not be America, if the people were shackled with government monopolies.

--Calvin Coolidge

It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.

--Calvin Coolidge

Whether one traces his Americanism back three centuries to the Mayflower, or three years to the steerage, is not half so important as whether his Americanism of today is real and genuine. No matter by what various crafts we came here, we are all now in the same boat.

--Calvin Coolidge

We do not need more knowledge, we need more character!

--Calvin Coolidge

I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done.

--Calvin Coolidge

Longer Version:

I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.


Men do not make laws. They do but discover them.

--Calvin Coolidge

We demand entire freedom of action and then expect the government in some miraculous way to save us from the consequences of our own acts.... Self-government means self-reliance.

--Calvin Coolidge

Self-government means self support.

--Calvin Coolidge

Teaching is one of the noblest of professions. It requires an adequate preparation and training, patience, devotion, and a deep sense of responsibility. Those who mold the human mind have wrought not for time, but for eternity.

--Calvin Coolidge

That man has offered me unsolicited advice for six years, most of it bad.

--Calvin Coolidge

To expect to increase prices and then to maintain them at a higher level by means of a plan which must of necessity increase production while decreasing consumption is to fly in the face of an economic law as well established as any law of nature.

--Calvin Coolidge

We have found that when men and women are left free to find the places for which they are best fitted, some few of them will indeed attain less exalted stations than under a regime of privilege; but the vast multitude will rise to a higher level, to wider horizons, to worthier attainments.

--Calvin Coolidge

What we need is not more Federal government, but better local government.

--Calvin Coolidge

I shouldn't want you to be surprised, or to draw any particular inference from my making speeches, or not making speeches, out there. I don't recall any candidate for President that ever injured himself very much by not talking.

--Calvin Coolidge


We do not need to import any foreign economic ideas or any foreign government. We had better stick to the American brand of government, the American brand of equality, and the American brand of wages. America had better stay American.

--Calvin Coolidge

One of the greatest perils to an extensive republic is the disregard of individual rights.

--Calvin Coolidge

Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.

--Calvin Coolidge

I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis on the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.

--Calvin Coolidge

There is no substitute for a militant freedom.

--Calvin Coolidge

Don't hesitate to be as revolutionary as science. Don't hesitate to be as reactionary as the multiplication table.

--Calvin Coolidge

Everyone has an influence on public affairs if he will take the trouble to exert it.

--Calvin Coolidge

We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic either of an undeveloped people, or of a decadent civilization. America is neither.

--Calvin Coolidge

Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.

--Calvin Coolidge

The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. Under this Republic the rewards of industry belong to those who earn them.

--Calvin Coolidge

Work is not a curse; it is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means to manhood, and the measure of civilization.

--Calvin Coolidge

There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes.

--Calvin Coolidge

A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.

--Calvin Coolidge

It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion.

--Calvin Coolidge

Longer Version:

It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshipers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness.


I always figured the American public wanted a solemn ass for president, so I went along with them.

--Calvin Coolidge

It is characteristic of the unlearned that they are forever proposing something which is old, and because it has recently come to their own attention, supposing it to be new.

--Calvin Coolidge

Wealth comes from industry and from the hard experience of human toil. To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity.

--Calvin Coolidge

The door of opportunity swings wide open in our country. Through it, in constant flow, go those who toil. America recognizes no aristocracy save those who work. The badge of service is the sole requirement for admission to the ranks of our nobility.

--Calvin Coolidge

Theodore Roosevelt was always getting himself in hot water by talking before he had to commit himself upon issues not well-defined.

--Calvin Coolidge

Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important and that his work well done is a part of an unending plan.

--Calvin Coolidge

Workmen's compensation, hours and conditions of labor are cold consolations, if there be no employment.

--Calvin Coolidge

Honorable Senators: My sincerest thanks I offer you. Conserve the firm foundations of our institutions. Do your work with the spirit of a soldier in the public service. Be loyal to the Commonwealth and to yourselves and be brief; above all be brief.

--Calvin Coolidge

School is not the end but only the beginning of an education.

--Calvin Coolidge

No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or ensure it of victory in time of war.

--Calvin Coolidge

Governments are necessarily continuing concerns. They have to keep going in good times and in bad. They therefore need a wide margin of safety. If taxes and debt are made all the people can bear when times are good, there will be certain disaster when times are bad.

--Calvin Coolidge

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