“Silent Cal”

CALVIN COOLIDGE

JULY 4, 1872

JANUARY 5, 1933

GRACE A. GOODHUE

WIFE OF

CALVIN COOLIDGE

JANUARY 3, 1879

JULY 8, 1957

The plain upright tablet displaying the Presidential Seal in the top in the Plymouth Cemetery at Plymouth, Vermont, marking Calvin Coolidge’s grave may be one of the simplest presidential gravestones.

As the President Calvin Coolidge State Historical Site brochure explains, “The serenity of the village and surrounding mountains is appropriately reflected in the simple granite headstone that marks the President’s grave.  Visitors are sometimes surprised that a president should be buried in such plain surroundings but when Coolidge left the White House he said, “We draw our Presidents from the people…I came from them.  I wish to be one of them again.”  The gravestone is indicative of the simple and frugal New England values that President Coolidge not only held dear but for which he was loved and admired.

His gravestone is also a testament to his reputation as laconic which won him the appellation, “Silent Cal.”  Like the gravestone itself, Coolidge was a man of few words.  The story that is often told of him was that a woman at a White House Party approached him and said that she had a bet with a friend that she could get him to say more than three words.  Coolidge, who also had a sardonic wit, turned to her and wryly said, “You lose.”

The cemetery at Plymouth Notch, Vermont, contains seven generations of the Coolidge family.

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4 Responses to “Silent Cal”

  1. Evie says:

    Love your posts! Just curious, how many presidents were born on July 4?

    • Only one–Calvin. The tour guide at the Coolidge Homestead Museum said that when Calvin was a young boy he thought the fireworks held every year on the Fourth of July were for his birthday. Cute story.

  2. Sarah McKinzie says:

    Simple but elegant. Too bad our current politicians aren’t more like him. Still enjoy reading your blog. Hope your summer is going well. Sarah

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