The Coolidges watch a scene from “The Gay Nineties” starring Marion Davies, spring 1930. It would be released that May as “The Floradora Girl.” The former President sits at center with Mary Pickford to his right, Louis B. Mayer, Grace, Cecil B. DeMille and Will Hays to his left.
It was during that same visit to the MGM studios that Mr. Coolidge stopped by a Ramon Navarro movie set featuring a trained bear. The bear proceeded to ignore his trainer and “went on a rampage.” The Secret Service detail tried to get Coolidge off the set but he would not go. Leab writes, “he stayed, becoming increasingly amused at the chaos caused by the bear, and ‘finally…nearly doubled up with laughter.’ ”