On Mother’s Day

Writing in his daily column on May 8, 1931, the former President remembers,

“There is always danger that we shall not look at values in their proper proportions. What is common and obvious is often none the less precious. Among all the earthly blessings which have been bestowed upon us, it is difficult to find one that compares with motherhood. It is hard to imagine a great ambition than to be what our mothers would wish us to be.

“These sentiments which we all entertain are of little value unless they are translated into action. The day can be well observed by making some contribution for maternity centers, or for the general relief of mothers, to some of the various associations engaged in these charities. None of us can give as much as our mothers gave us.”

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Top: Coolidge’s mother, Victoria Josephine Moor Coolidge, about whom he said, “Whatever was grand and beautiful in form and color attracted her. It seemed as though the rich green tints of the foliage and the blossoms of the flowers came for her in the springtime, and in the autumn it was for her that the mountain sides were struck with crimson and with gold” (‘Autobiography,’ p.13). Bottom: Coolidge’s stepmother, Carrie Althelia Brown Coolidge, a teacher at the Plymouth schoolhouse and the first lady postmaster for the town, married Colonel Coolidge in 1891, who had been a widower for seven years. Of her, President Coolidge wrote, “Loving books and music she was not only a mother to me but a teacher. For thirty years she watched over me and loved me, welcoming me when I went home, writing me often when I was away, and encouraging me in all my efforts” (‘Autobiography,’ p.54). Photos from the Leslie Jones Collection.

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