Free Markets, Free People

Presidential Anecdotes

In honor of Presidents Day, The Corner has a couple of posts about an underappreciated president, Calvin Coolidge. I like “Silent Cal” too, and there are a couple of anecdotes (hopefully not apocryphal) that I particularly like.

A lady was seated next to President Coolidge at a dinner party and chattered at him all night. He said nothing. Towards the end of the evening the woman told Coolidge she had a bet with a friend that she would be able to get Coolidge to say more than two words during the dinner party. He looked at her and said “You lose.”

The second one I found in the out-of-print book Presidential Anecdotes. President Coolidge and the First Lady were visiting a large chicken farming operation, and were being taken on separate tours. In the breeding area, the manager mentioned that each rooster was used to service a hen several times a day. The First Lady told the manager to please tell that to President Coolidge.

The manager did so. President Coolidge replied “Same hen every time?” The manager said, “No, different hen every time.” Coolidge then said “Make sure you tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”

***Update*** I just discovered that there’s a new edition of the book Presidential Anecdotes. I have the 1981 edition, and it was updated in 2007 up through Bill Clinton.

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5 Responses to Presidential Anecdotes

  • Everyone has probably heard this one, which illustrates Coolidge’s spare way with words. It’s too good not to be true.

    He attended church one Sunday without Mrs. Coolidge, who was presumbably under the weather.

    When he returned from the service she asked him what the minister’s sermon had been about.

    “Sin,” he said.

    “What did he say about it?” she asked.

    “He was against it.”

  • Can you imagine any president in the modern era being as spare with words as Silent Cal? I can’t.

  • President Calvin Coolidge: “Change We Can Believe In”.