NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A man from Queens, New York today took over the oval office that once belonged to a man from Northampton. You’ve crossed the bridge named for him, and maybe visited his Presidential library in Northampton – the man known as “Silent Cal.”
President Calvin Coolidge served as Northampton’s mayor in 1910 for one year before becoming Massachusetts governor, vice president, and finally the nation’s 30th president in 1923. An Amherst College graduate, “Silent Cal,” like Trump, was pro-business and favored tax cuts.
The Calvin Coolidge bridge opened in 1939, and was named after the president himself. It crosses the Connecticut River connecting Hadley and Northampton.
Today, you can see President Coolidge’s inauguration photos, furniture, and other presidential memorabilia at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum at the Forbes Library in Northampton. “Simplicity was the word for him, I think,” describes Elise Bernier-Feeley, local historian and genealogy librarian of Forbes Library. “A man of the people. He would walk down the street in Northampton.”
Bernier-Feeley told 22News he is the only president who chose to have his items housed in a “public” library. “He was humble, he was a humble man. He was a card carrying member of Forbes library,” she says, which is why Coolidge wanted his legacy to be found and left behind where he lived and first served as mayor.
After World War One, president Coolidge passed a law granting full U.S. citizenship to nearly 300,000 indigenous people; about one-third of all native Americans at the time.
Calvin Coolidge was also the only president born on the 4th of July.