At the Republican National Convention in 1920, Coolidge was nominated to run alongside Harding as the candidate for Vice President. While in office, Coolidge was an active Vice President and was the first to attend Cabinet meetings with the President. President Harding died on August 2, 1923 and Coolidge was sworn in mere hours later. For the remainder of Harding's term, Coolidge did little to change the Harding administration or the policies they were backing. He believed that the people had elected Harding, and they wanted Harding's people and policies. Coolidge opted to run for re-election in 1924, and on November 4th, 1924, he won the election with 54% of the popular voted and 382 electoral votes.
"Keep Cool and Keep Coolidge" - 1924 Campaign Slogan
Coolidge also formed the Committee of One Hundred, which was designed to examine and improve American Indian reservations and all related federal programs. The Committee discoved that conditions on reservations and the quality of federal programs wer lacking, and wrote the Meriam Report to inform Coolidge of their findings. Coolidge then began working on steps to improve the situation. When he left office in 1929, he passed the project on to President Hoover, who continued Coolidge's work resulting in improvements to healthcare and education on American Indian reservations.
Coolidge was slow to provide government support or relief. He felt that visiting the flooded regions would be a waste of time and Federal dollars, as he could not do anything to stop the flooding. He did not want the Federal government to be saddled with the cost of flood control, and as a firm supporter of small government, he believed that property owners should carry most of the financial burden. On the other hand, Congress wanted to see legislation that would give the Federal government control of managing floods and the areas impacted by them.
Eventually, Congress drafted the Flood Control Act of 1928, which authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a system of levees to control flooding and construct channels to manage excess water and prevent future flooding. While Coolidge was privately opposed to the bill and refused to take credit for its drafting or effectiveness, he did sign it into law on May 15, 1928.
In 1903, Grace and Coolidge met outside the boarding house where she was staying, and by October of 1905, the two were married. During Coolidge's rise to the White House, Grace attended various political and social events, using her naturally chatty and charming nature to help her husband climb the ranks. After Coolidge was elected, she proved to be quite the hostess, planning many events over the course of her husband's Presidency. Many say that the two were a perfect pair for Washington. Grace was social and outgoing while her husband was quiet and reserved, and they balanced each other quite well. When Calvin passed away in 1933, Grace went back to her work with the deaf, and also did volunteer work for the Red Cross.
Calvin Coolidge, a Republican from Massachusetts, was President from 1923-1919. Coolidge believed in small government and reduced the size of many programs during his Presidency. He was also a supporter of citizenship and increased rights for Native Americans.
Museum Intern, University of Minnesota Undergrad
This panel is part of our 2014 exhibit on U.S. Presidents Between the World Wars. For educational purposes, we have made the document available as a pdf. -->