Calvin Coolidge Says, October 16, 1930

Date: October 16, 1930

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

We would save ourselves from a great deal of discouragement and impatience if we had a better historical perspective. As a part of the celebration of the tercentenary in Massachusetts, much has been published in word and picture to show how people lived in the early days of our country. At Salem a small village has been constructed reproducing the ancient habitations and handwork industries of about three hundred years ago. They show that the bare necessities of existence were about all that the most unremitting toil, hardship and exposure could produce. All that the rich then could afford would be scorned by the wage earners of the present day.

The conditions there exhibited were the usual course of life on this continent until well into the nineteenth century. Now all is changed. Comparatively, we have affluence and luxury on every hand. Free of charge our people have schools, roads, libraries and sanitation; and for a small charge water, lights, transportation and amusements.

More important still, our progress seems cumulative. The last twenty-five years greatly surpasses every other like period. It would be wholesome to think more on these things. It would reduce complaint and increase contentment.

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 Craig Eyermann who prepared this document for digital publication.

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