Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience

November 15, 2016

On Friday, November 11th Foundation program associate interviewed Melanie Kirkpatrick, author of the new book Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience. In the interview Kirkpatrick touched upon the themes of her fascinating book, and offers all opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the Thanksgiving Holiday and its place in American society and culture.

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How Coolidge Heals Our Political Divide

November 14, 2016

The wild ride of the 2016 presidential election has concluded, and, in January 2017, for the third time this century, the transition of power between America’s two major parties will take place. After such a difficult and rancorous campaign it is important to pause and reflect on the unique and singular blessing we share of living in the greatest democracy in the history of the world. In America, we settle our scores at the ballot box, and the smooth operation of that system has been reaffirmed.

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Hoover v. Smith: Presidential Race of a Lifetime

November 14, 2016

As you all know, we are in the midst of a contentious presidential election, among the most contentious in American history.Yet last night the two major party candidates met for an evening of mostly well-mannered frivolity at the Al Smith Dinner in New York, for the benefit of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation. This occasion brings to mind the race to succeed our own President Calvin Coolidge in 1928, when Republican candidate Herbert Hoover faced off against Democratic candidate Al Smith.

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Election Day Wisdom from Silent Cal

November 14, 2016

Recently our Foundation Chairman, Amity Shlaes, unearthed a Library of Congress audio recording of President Coolidge speaking about the institutions of our government. In the recording, the President says “the first duty of a government is to be true to itself. This does not mean perfection, it means a plan to strive for perfection. It means loyalty to ideals. The ideals of America were set out in the Declaration of Independence, and adopted in the Constitution. They did not represent perfection attained, but perfection found. The fundamental principle of freedom. The fathers knew that this was not yet apprehended. They formed a government firm in the faith that it was ever to press toward this high mark.”

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1924 Election Conflicting Minority Endorsements

November 11, 2016

As the 1924 presidential election approached, two lead­ing African American Republican Party leaders, longtime as­sociates of President Calvin Coolidge, were divided on their endorsements. William Clarence Matthews (1877 – 1928) endorsed Calvin Coolidge and William Henry Lewis (1868-1949) endorsed the Democratic Party nominee John W. Davis of West Virginia.

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