Happy Birthday, Mr. Coolidge!

Coolidge cuts the cake made for his 59th birthday, as Grace beams, at the Stearns' home in Swampscott, Massachusetts, July 1931.

Coolidge cuts the cake made for his 59th birthday, as Grace beams, at the Stearns’ home in Swampscott, Massachusetts, July 1931.

As Calvin Coolidge saw his fifty-second birthday arrive, the Democrat Party was 11 days into what would prove to be one of the longest and most divisive nominating conventions in modern history, a 103-ballot, 16-day ordeal to select a candidate acceptable enough to run against Cal in the November elections. Will Rogers, in characteristic humor, saw the Convention in a different light. It was not a cause for angst over the future of the country, it was the “biggest celebration ever held in honor of a President’s birthday,” he wrote with a wink. Rogers speculated that all this partisan hostility from Democrats says, “A man must be a pretty good President when the opposite party holds a demonstration all day and night in his honor.” He must be, indeed. Happy Birthday, President Coolidge!

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