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John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. (July 4, 1872 – January 5, 1933) was the 30th President of the United States (1923–1929). A Republican lawyer from Vermont, Coolidge worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state. His actions during the Boston Police Strike of 1919 thrust him into the national spotlight. Soon after, he was elected as the 29th Vice President in 1920 and succeeded to the Presidency upon the sudden death of Warren G. Harding in 1923. Elected in his own right in 1924, he gained a reputation as a small-government conservative, and also as a man who said very little.
Coolidge restored public confidence in the White House after the scandals of his predecessor's administration, and left office with considerable popularity. As a Coolidge biographer put it, "He embodied the spirit and hopes of the middle class, could interpret their longings and express their opinions. That he did represent the genius of the average is the most convincing proof of his strength." Some later criticized Coolidge as part of a general criticism of laissez-faire government. His reputation underwent a renaissance during the Ronald Reagan Administration, but the ultimate assessment of his presidency is still divided between those who approve of his reduction of the size of government programs and those who believe the federal government should be more involved in regulating and controlling the economy.
John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., was born in Plymouth Notch, Windsor County, Vermont, on July 4, 1872, the only U.S. President to be born on Independence Day. He was the elder of the two children of John Calvin Coolidge, Sr. (1845–1926) and Victoria Josephine Moor (1846–1885). Coolidge's chronically ill mother died, perhaps from tuberculosis, when he was twelve years old. His sister, Abigail Grace Coolidge (1875–1890), died at the age of fifteen, when Coolidge was eighteen. Coolidge's father remarried in 1891, to a schoolteacher, and lived to the age of eighty. Coolidge senior engaged in many occupations, and ultimately enjoyed a statewide reputation as a prosperous farmer, storekeeper and public servant; he farmed, taught school, ran a local store, served in the Vermont House of Representatives and the Vermont Senate, and held various local offices including justice of the peace and tax collector. Coolidge's mother was the daughter of a Plymouth Notch farmer.