1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Coolidge, Calvin

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COOLIDGE, CALVIN (1873-), American statesman, was born at Plymouth, Vt., July 4 1873. After graduating from Amherst in 1895 he studied law in an office at Northampton, Mass. Here he began to practise in 1897 and soon became prominent in local affairs. After serving as city clerk, city councillor, and city solicitor successively, he was elected in 1907 a member of the General Court, or House of Representatives, of Mass. He was mayor of Northampton, 1910-11, and sat in the state Senate from 1912 to 1915, being its president during his last year. He became lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts in 1916 and was reëlected in 1917 and 1918. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1919 and in 1920 was reëlected under circumstances that attracted nation-wide attention. He had dealt summarily with the striking policemen in Boston Sept. 1919, refusing to reinstate them. In the following gubernatorial campaign this was made an issue by his Democratic opponent, who appealed to those in sympathy with the strikers. The results vindicated the governor's action; he obtained a majority of 114,000 votes (out of a total of 510,000). Already in April 1919, during a strike of telephone operators in Boston, he had proposed that the state take over the lines, but the trouble was soon settled. That he was not opposed to labour was shown by his earlier support of the bill limiting the scope of injunctions against striking employees. In June 1919 he vetoed the bill for increasing the pay of members of the Mass. House, arguing that their service was optional and not a means of livelihood; it was public service and should not be made a job. As governor he recommended that Massachusetts ratify the woman-suffrage amendment to the Federal Constitution. In 1920 he vetoed a bill calling for censorship of moving pictures and likewise a bill to permit the sale of “2.75 per cent” beer. The latter he declared would be “hypocritical legislation” because, with a Federal law on the statute book forbidding beer with an alcoholic content of over one-half of 1%, it would still not be possible to sell 2.75% beer in Massachusetts. At the Republican National Convention in 1920 he received a few votes on all ten ballots for president. When the voting for vice-president began his victory was at once apparent and he was nominated by acclamation. He was elected in Nov. on the ticket with Warren G. Harding by an overwhelming vote.

Some of his speeches were published under the title Have Faith in Massachusetts (1919).