Law and Order

Title: Law and Order

Date: January 23, 1921

Location: New York City, NY

Context: As Vice President-elect, in accepting the gold medal awarded by the National Institute of Social Sciences for his action in connection with the police strike in Boston, Massachusetts 

(Original document available here)

It is a very great honor that you have bestowed upon me by awarding me this medal. I shall hold it in part as a trustee. If it had not been for the clear insight and the determination of Edwin U. Curtis, a former mayor and then police commissioner of the city of Boston, the question that came to me would never have come. It was because he decided that question right in the first instance that I had the opportunity of supporting him in the second instance. And it was due not only to Commissioner Curtis, but it was due to the united efforts of the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It was due to her public press, to her patriotic citizens, who at once raised a half million dollars, and to her citizenship all up and down the Commonwealth that united, without party distinction, in making that victory supreme at the polls.

It is no accident that the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts believe in law and order. It is their heritage. When the Pilgrim Fathers landed there in 1620 they brought ashore with them the Mayflower compact which they had drawn up in the cabin of that little bark under the witness of the Almighty, in which they pledged themselves, one to another, to make just and equitable laws, and not only to make them, but, when they were made, to abide by them.

So that, for three hundred years, that has been the policy and the principle of that Commonwealth. And I shall hold this medal as a testimony to the service that was begun three hundred years ago and has continued through these generations; and in the hope that its example may still continue as a beacon light to all civilization.

Calvin Coolidge, The Price of Freedom, Charles Scribner’s Sons, NY, 1924

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Frank Harder, who prepared this document for digital publication.

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