Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957

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Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge served as First Lady of as the wife of the 30th President, Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929). An exceptionally popular White House hostess, she was voted one of America’s 12 greatest living women in 1931.

For her “fine personal influence exerted as First Lady of the Land,” Grace Coolidge received a gold medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences. In 1931 she was voted one of America’s twelve greatest living women.

She had grown up in the Green Mountain city of Burlington, Vermont, only child of Andrew and Lemira B. Goodhue, born in 1879. While still a girl she heard of a school for deaf children in Northampton, Massachusetts, and eventually decided to share its challenging work. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 1902 and went to teach at the Clarke School for the Deaf that autumn.

In Northampton she met Calvin Coolidge; they belonged to the same boating, picnicking, whist-club set, composed largely of members of the local Congregational Church. In October 1905 they were married at her parents’ home. They lived modestly; they moved into half of a duplex two weeks before their first son was born, and she budgeted expenses well within the income of a struggling small-town lawyer.

To Grace Coolidge may be credited a full share in her husband’s rise in politics. She worked hard, kept up appearances, took her part in town activities, attended her church, and offset his shyness with a gay friendliness. She bore a second son in 1908, and it was she who played backyard baseball with the boys. As Coolidge was rising to the rank of governor, the family kept the duplex; he rented a dollar-and-a-half room in Boston and came home on weekends.

In 1921, as wife of the Vice President, Grace Coolidge went from her housewife’s routine into Washington society and quickly became the most popular woman in the capital. Her zest for life and her innate simplicity charmed even the most critical. Stylish clothes–a frugal husband’s one indulgence–set off her good looks.

After Harding’s death, she planned the new administration’s social life as her husband wanted it: unpretentious but dignified. Her time and her friendliness now belonged to the nation, and she was generous with both. As she wrote later, she was “I, and yet, not I–this was the wife of the President of the United States and she took precedence over me….” Under the sorrow of her younger son’s sudden death at 16, she never let grief interfere with her duties as First Lady. Tact and gaiety made her one of the most popular hostesses of the White House, and she left Washington in 1929 with the country’s respect and love.

For greater privacy in Northampton, the Coolidges bought “The Beeches,” a large house with spacious grounds. Calvin Coolidge died there in 1933. He had summed up their marriage in his Autobiography: “For almost a quarter of a century she was borne with my infirmities, and I have rejoiced in her graces.” After his death she sold The Beeches, bought a smaller house, and in time undertook new ventures she had longed to try: her first airplane ride, her first trip to Europe. She kept her aversion to publicity and her sense of fun until her death in 1957. Her chief activity as she grew older was serving as a trustee of the Clarke School; her great pleasure was the family of her surviving son, John.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957. Program 1927. Denver Public Library, Central Library
referencedIn Edith Bolling Galt Wilson Papers, 1833-1961, (bulk 1925-1961) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Peabody, Marian Lawrence. 1875-1974. Letters and family papers, 1783-1957 Houghton Library
referencedIn Records of the White House Office. 1814 - 1977. Motion Picture Films. 1925 - 1932. PRESIDENT COOLIDGE RELAXES
referencedIn Rogers, Edith Nourse, 1881-1960. Papers, 1854-1961 (inclusive), 1881-1961 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. COOLIDGE NOMINATED
referencedIn Schmid, Edward S., 1856-1939. Edward S. Schmid papers, 1868-1939. Historical Society of Washington, Dc
creatorOf Wolcott, Edith Prescott, b. 1853. Edith Prescott Wolcott autograph collection, 1868-1933 (bulk: 1898-1933) Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Harrell, Costen Jordan, 1885-1971. Costen Jordan Harrell papers, 1828-1970. Emory University Library, Special Collect Department
referencedIn Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886-1960. Papers, 1894-1960 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Papers, 1854, 1881-1961 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. PRESIDENT COOLIDGE ATTENDS NORSE - AMERICAN CENTENNIAL [ETC.]
referencedIn The Autobiography of Mary M. Barr-Koon, 1984 Indiana University, Bloomington. Center for the Study of History and Memory
referencedIn Peattie, Elia Wilkinson, 1862-1935. Typed letter signed Elia W. Peattie to: Dear Mr. Fullerton August 14, 1925. Wellesley College
referencedIn Benjamin, Nelson, 1900-1988. Nelson Benjamin photographs of the Coolidge family, 1920s-1930s. Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center
creatorOf Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957. Recipe, 1934 April 13, Columbus, NC, sent to Perry Walton, Boston. Boston Athenaeum
referencedIn [Newspaper clippings concerning Calvin and Grace Coolidge]. State Library of Massachusetts
referencedIn Charles Moore Papers, 1848-1944, (bulk 1900-1937) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers: Series II, 1894-1948 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt, 1861-1933. Papers, 1847-1933 Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Children's Aid and Family Service of Hampshire County (Hampshire County, Mass.). Children's Aid and Family Service records, 1910-1981. University of Massachusetts Amherst, W.E.B. Du Bois Library
creatorOf Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957. Autograph, 1925 Oct. 29. Buffalo History Museum, Research Library
referencedIn Records of the Extension Service. 1888 - 2000. Motion Picture Films. 1915 - 1959. GIRLS' FIELD HOCKEY CONTEST, ETC
creatorOf Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957. Letters 1920-1925. Rochester Museum & Science Center
creatorOf Grant, Elihu, 1873-1942. Elihu Grant papers, 1880-1942. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Edward Tracy Clark Correspondence and Reports, 1923-1935, (bulk 1929-1935) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Cox, Channing H. (Channing Harris), 1879-1968. Personal papers, 1904-1960. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Fuchs, Emil, 1866-1929. Emil Fuchs Papers 1880-1931, 1897-1927 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Hart, Albert Bushnell, 1854-1943. Papers, 1922-1937. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Historical Films. 1914 - 1936. Lighter Than Air
referencedIn Paramount Pictures, Inc., Collection. 1951 - 1951. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 10/1941 - 3/1957. PARAMOUNT NEWS [NOV. 10]
referencedIn Canepa, Andrew M.,. Andrew M. Canepa collection, 1923-1971. Stanford University, Hoover Institution Library
referencedIn Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881-1964. Correspondence and compositions, 1870-1963 Houghton Library
referencedIn Halsey, Rena I., 1860-1932. Typed letter signed Rena I. Halsey to: "Mr. Hugh Fullerton" August 21, 1925. Wellesley College
referencedIn Bowen, Louise de Koven, 1859-1953. Louise Hadduck DeKoven Bowen collection, 1864-1953. Chicago History Museum
referencedIn Kline, William J., 1848-1930. Typed letter signed William J. Kline to: "My Dear Mr. Fullerton" August 11, 1925. Wellesley College
referencedIn Fox Movietone News Collection. 1957 - 1963. Motion Picture Newsreel Films. 1957 - 1963. MOVIETONE NEWS National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. Letters of tribute to Carl Sandburg [manuscript], 1951-1952. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Baldishol Committee (Minneapolis, Minn.). Baldishol Committee records, 1925-1926. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf Coolidge family. Coolidge family papers, 1802-1932. Vermont Historical Society
referencedIn Andrew M. Canepa collection, 1923-1971 Hoover Institution Archives
referencedIn Ford, Harriet Bliss, 1876-1964. Papers, 1899-1953. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Tillinghast, Anna Churchill Moulton, 1874-1951. Papers, 1911-1945 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. EXCLUSIVE PICTURES OF CALVIN COOLIDGE
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. REPUBLICAN PARTY NOMINATES TICKET . . . [ETC.] National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Putnam, William Lowell, Mrs., 1892-1935. Papers, 1887-1935 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Flagg, Mildred Buchanan, 1886-1980. Papers, 1876-1955 (inclusive), 1900-1955 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Historical Films. 1914 - 1936. PRESIDENT CALVIN COOLIDGE National Archives at College Park
creatorOf SIGNATURES OF PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA from George Washington to Dwight David Eisenhower; 1776-aft. 1952. British Library
referencedIn Children's Aid and Family Service Records MS 8., 1910-1981 Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries
creatorOf Bacheller, Irving, 1859-1950. Papers of Irving Bacheller [manuscript] 1900-1947. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Peabody, Marian Lawrence. 1875-1974. Letters and family papers, 1783-1957 Houghton Library
referencedIn Cornelison papers, 1796-1929, 1887-1895 William L. Clements Library
creatorOf Coolidge, Grace Goodhue, 1879-1957. TLS, 1937 January 25 : Northampton, Mass. to Mrs. Joseph Thomas, Philadelphia. Haverford College Library
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. IT'S VACATION TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT, TOO
referencedIn Arthur J. Lacy Papers, 1891-1975 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. THE LIFE OF CALVIN COOLIDGE
referencedIn Sophia Smith Collection. Biography collection, 1771-1995 (bulk 1920s-70s). Smith College, Neilson Library
creatorOf Kellogg, Clara Cook, 1861-1942. Clara Cook Kellogg and family papers, 1923-1929, 1938-1940. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. INAUGURATION RECOLLECTIONS FROM MCKINLEY TO COOLIDGE
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers, 1874-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Henry Adams autograph album, 1833-1939. Houghton Library
creatorOf Hampshire Bookshop. Hampshire Bookshop records, 1916-1971. NASA, Dryden Flight Res Center
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. VISITIN' ROUND AT COOLIDGE CORNERS National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Biography Collection MS 393., 1771-1995, 1920-1970 Sophia Smith Collection
referencedIn American Antiquarian Society Collection. 1923 - 1926. Motion Picture Films. 1923 - 1926. CALVIN COOLIDGE--FIRST CABINET MEETING,[ETC.]
referencedIn Putnam, Elizabeth Lowell, 1862-1935. Papers, 1887-1935 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Hersey, Heloise E. (Heloise Edwina), 1855-1933. Autograph note signed Heloise E. Hersey to: [Hugh Fullerton] August 11, 1925. Wellesley College
creatorOf Angle family. Angell family papers, 1897-1975 (bulk 1928-1975). University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Clark, Edward Tracy, 1878-1935. Papers of Edward Tracy Clark, 1923-1935 (bulk 1929-1935). Library of Congress
referencedIn Harriet Bliss Ford Papers MS 59., 1899-1953 Sophia Smith Collection
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Henry, 1838-1918 person
associatedWith American Red Cross corporateBody
associatedWith Angle family. family
associatedWith Bacheller, Irving, 1859-1950. person
associatedWith Baldishol Committee (Minneapolis, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Benjamin, Nelson, 1900-1988. person
associatedWith Bowen, Louise de Koven, 1859-1953. person
associatedWith Canepa, Andrew M., person
associatedWith Canepa, Andrew M., collector. person
associatedWith Children's Aid and Family Service corporateBody
associatedWith Children's Aid and Family Service of Hampshire County (Hampshire County, Mass.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Clark, Edward Tracy, 1878-1935. person
employeeOf Clarke School for the Deaf corporateBody
spouseOf Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933 person
memberOf Coolidge family. family
associatedWith Cornelison, Caroline King, 1852-1935 person
associatedWith Cox, Channing H. (Channing Harris), 1879-1968. person
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. person
associatedWith EDITH NOURSE ROGERS, 1881-1960 person
associatedWith ELIZABETH (LOWELL) PUTNAM, 1862-1935 person
associatedWith Flagg, Mildred Buchanan, 1886-1980. person
correspondedWith Ford, Harriet Bliss, 1876-1964 person
associatedWith Fuchs, Emil, 1866-1929. person
associatedWith Goodhue, Emma L. person
associatedWith Grant, Elihu, 1873-1942. person
associatedWith Halsey, Rena I., 1860-1932. person
associatedWith Hampshire Bookshop. corporateBody
associatedWith Harrell, Costen Jordan, 1885-1971. person
associatedWith Hart, Albert Bushnell, 1854-1943. person
associatedWith Hersey, Heloise E. (Heloise Edwina), 1855-1933. person
associatedWith Hudson, Manley Ottmer, 1886- person
associatedWith Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory corporateBody
associatedWith Kellogg, Clara Cook, 1861-1942. person
associatedWith Kline, William J., 1848-1930. person
associatedWith Lacy, Arthur J. (Arthur Jay), 1876-1975 person
associatedWith Loug, Henry. person
associatedWith MARY (WARE) DENNETT person
associatedWith Mercersburg Academy corporateBody
correspondedWith Moore, Charles, 1855-1942 person
correspondedWith Peabody, Marian Lawrence, 1875- person
correspondedWith Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881- person
associatedWith Peattie, Elia Wilkinson, 1862-1935. person
associatedWith Putnam, William Lowell, Mrs., 1892-1935. person
associatedWith Raudolph, Neary. person
correspondedWith Robinson, Corinne Roosevelt, 1861-1933 person
associatedWith Rogers, Edith Nourse, 1881-1960. person
associatedWith Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967. person
associatedWith Schmid, Edward S., 1856-1939. person
associatedWith Thomas, Joseph, Mrs. person
associatedWith Tillinghast, Anna Churchill Moulton, 1874-1951. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf University of Vermont corporateBody
associatedWith Walton, Perry, 1865-1941. person
correspondedWith Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt, 1872-1961 person
associatedWith Wolcott, Edith Prescott, b. 1853. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
District of Columbia DC US
Northampton MA US
Burlington VT US
Subject
Presidents' spouses--Archives
Formulas, recipes, etc
Manners and customs--19th century
President's spouses
Occupation
Teachers
Presidents' spouses--United States
Function

Person

Birth 1879-01-03

Death 1957-07-08

Female

Americans

English

Information

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