Date: December 20, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge writes in praise of the Pilgrims to mark the anniversary of their arrival at Plymouth Rock. He tells of how, even though America changes, it will always find inspiration in the Pilgrims’ story and ideals.
For many years December 21 or 22 has been celebrated as Forefathers’ Day by the New England societies which exist in many parts of the Union, in memory of the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The universal appeal which those immortals forever make to mankind lies in the revelation of what a little band of people bent on following the truth according to their own consciences can do. They are the eternal representatives of our country. We or our ancestors all came here on some kind of Mayflower. We are children who have made new homes in some kind of a foreign wilderness. The Pilgrims are the spiritual ancestors of us all, whatever is our race or creed. We cannot escape the feeling at times that we are sojourners in a strange land which would be intolerable if we did not receive guidance and consolation from a power not ourselves.
Yet the difference between 1620 and 1930 is immeasurable. The weakest of us have the protection of an irresistible government and the support of a boundless charity. Our circumstances compel us to have faith. Our humility now requires cultivation.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of John Sullivan III who prepared this document for digital publication.