Coolidge Blog

The Great 1928 Budget Debate

We tend to project our own assumptions about party positions onto events long past. For example, we assume that Democrats always advocated for increased government spending, at least more so […]

The Coolidges Move West

Are you a Coolidge? Coolidge family members and friends will be gathering at Plymouth Notch, Vt to mark the 99th anniversary of Coolidge’s historic homestead inauguration. Below, attendee Christine Coolidge […]

Tige, the Presidential Cat, Goes Missing in A Snowstorm: Radio Comes to The Rescue.

By Jerry Wallace The Coolidges were both pet lovers. The President was particularly fond of cats, while the First Lady was partial to dogs. A pair of kittens arrived at […]

The President’s Son and the Railroad

By John Ferrell If historians were asked to list similarities between Robert Todd Lincoln and John Coolidge, they would quickly answer that both were sons of presidents from humble beginnings. […]

Hoover v. Smith: Presidential Race of a Lifetime

November 14, 2016

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Herbert Hoover, whom President Coolidge referred to as “Wonderboy,” was the rip-roaring Commerce Secretary, a former mining engineer who spent many years in exotic places like China, Australia, and Russia finding ways to get things out of the ground (and becoming fabulously wealthy in the process). Running as the heir to the Coolidge Prosperity, he was a strong favorite to win the race from the beginning.

The Democratic candidate, Al Smith, was dubbed the “Happy Warrior” at the 1924 Democratic Convention by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hailing from New York, Smith had a long political career in the Empire State, and went into the 1928 election as the state’s governor. The first Catholic to win the nomination of a major party for the presidency of the United States, Smith was the tribune of the ethnic Catholic immigrant population, particularly in the big industrialized cities of the North.

In the end, Hoover won a rollicking victory, 58 percent of the popular vote and 444 electoral votes. Hoover won in every region of the country, and even penetrated the Solid Democratic South, winning Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia.

A few years ago Foundation Chairman Amity Shlaes and National Advisory Board member George Nash participated in a tremendous PBS documentary about Hoover entitled “Landslide: A Portrait of President Herbert Hoover.” The documentary can be purchased on Amazon.

The United States faced one of its most trying hours during Herbert Hoover’s presidency, yet the nation endured. Our story was not over. It won’t be over after November 9, 2016, either. No matter the election result, we will continue united as one nation.

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