Wide World of Quotes > Calvin Coolidge Quotes

Calvin Coolidge
30th president of the United States
(1872-1933)



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"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
-- Calvin Coolidge, 1927 (attributed in the memorial service given to Coolidge in 1933)

"There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."
-- Telegram sent on September 14, 1919 to labor union leader, Samuel Gompers concerning the 1919 Boston Police strike

"The chief business of the American people is business."
-- Calvin Coolidge, 1925

"I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form."
-- Inaugural address, 1924

"About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary."
-- Speech on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (July 5, 1926)

We live in an age of science and abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create the Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all of our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage bequeathed to us, we must be like minded as the Founders who created. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had and for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshipped.
-- Speech on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (July 5, 1926)


Silent Cal's AlmanackSilent Cal's Almanack

"Calvin Coolidge has been relegated to the dustbins of history by folks who don't much like his ideas. Given what a mess those folks have made of things since Coolidge left the White House, maybe it would be worth our while to be brave, and go back to take a look at Coolidge for ourselves.

This compulsively browseable book makes it clear that, when Coolidge said that "The business of America is business" (certainly true enough) he was in the middle of a pattern of thoughts which included not just the business of America, but also the ideals of America. Calvin Coolidge was a man who admired character, and thought the government should stay out of business affairs. Economically, he was a stunning success as President, and he was one of Reagan's favorites." (Geoff Puterbaugh)

Click here for more details about Silent Cal's Almanack



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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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