America’s birthday is also that of Calvin Coolidge, the only president born on the Fourth of July. Though best remembered as “Silent Cal,” Coolidge is one of the most eloquent defenders of America’s principles. And the Declaration of Independence received his highest praise: “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.”
An experienced public servant, Coolidge served as a city councilman, city solicitor, mayor of Northampton, state senator, lieutenant governor, and governor of Massachusetts before joining presidential candidate Warren G. Harding’s quest to return the country to “normalcy.” He took the presidential oath in the early morning on August 3, 1923, following Harding’s death. Under Coolidge, normalcy would not simply mean the absence of a world war; it would mean a return to the principles of America’s Founding.
One thing is for sure. Coolidge understood the Founders and the principles they articulated.