President Calvin Coolidge's Pets
By: Tippy & Alfred
President Coolidge served as our thirtieth President from
1923 to 1929. He was born July 4th 1872 and was actually a
junior although not commonly known as Junior. Born in
Vermont, he became a lawyer and later worked his way through
the Massachusetts government to become Governor of
Massachusetts. During the Boston Police Strike of 1919 he
became nationally known for his actions. He then became the
twenty-ninth Vice President of the United States in 1920,
and of course automatically became President upon President
Harding's death. He then was elected President after the
term was up.
He was popular and restored people's confidence in
government during his campaign as President. He is known as
being the champion of the Middle Class. As his biographer
later 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."
He was criticized in later years for his policies regarding
the government. Ultimately the opinion on President Calvin
Coolidge's presidency is divided between those that like
that he reduced the government's size and others that
believe this was a bad move and want government to be more
involved in regulating the economy.
President Coolidge and his wife, First Lady Grace, owned
white Collie dogs. One of the white Collies was named Rob
Roy. He was a sheep herding dog from a long line of
shepherds. Rob Roy was not keen about elevators, however,
and it took quite a while to get him to go into one to go to
the family floor of the White House.
White Collies are known for their coloring, in that they are
mostly white with some markings that are usually sable, blue
merle or tri-color. Collies are working dogs and are bred
for sheep herding. Their origins are the Celtic regions of
Scotland and Northern England. Collies are known for their
loving natures and strong desire to work.
A very popular Collie was Pal, known as Lassie in the
"Lassie" TV shows. There have been nine Lassies since Pal.
The current "Lassie" is named Rockie and is the tenth
descendant of Pal to play Lassie.
The Coolidges also had pet raccoons that they named Rebecca
and Rueben. Rebecca was the first raccoon to join the family
and was the favorite. The raccoons were given an outdoor
shed to spend their nights in and could be seen roaming the
White House in the daytime.
President Coolidge left office in 1929 and lived out the
rest of his days with his wife Grace. They had two sons,
John and Calvin the third. Coolidge in retirement served as
Chairman of the Railroad Commission, was hoary president of
the Foundation of the Blind, director of New York Life
Insurance Company and was a trustee of the Amherst College.
His home was in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.
The family homestead is now a museum that is open to the
public. Coolidge suffered a sudden heart attack in his home
in Northampton, "The Beeches," at 12:45 p.m., January 5,
1933. Coolidge confided to an old friend shortly before his
death that: "I feel I am no longer fit in these times."
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