Saturday, April 11, 2009

Photographs: The Coolidge's Easter Monday Egg Roll; April 13, 1925

Calvin Coolidge remains the only U. S. President (1923-1929) to have achieved the high honor and distinction of serving as Mayor of the City of Northampton, Massachusetts. That he was able to leave that fine city for Boston politics, and ultimately, Washington, D. C., only demonstrates the deep level of sacrifice he was willing to endure for his ideals.

"Silent Cal" Coolidge had an economy with words that would surely sink him in today's verbose political quicksand. Once, at a dinner party, having been told by the woman seated next to him that she had wagered with a friend that she could get three words out of him, Coolidge replied - without even a glance in her direction - "You lose."

The taciturn Coolidge must have had plenty to say in the company of his wife Grace, though. Who could remain silent around a woman who had a raccoon named Rebecca as a White House pet?

Here are a couple of photographs snapped on April 13, 1925, of Mrs. Coolidge and her pets surrounded by lucky children at the traditional Easter Monday egg roll on the South Lawn of the White House. Had these photographs been taken four years later, in the Spring of 1929, they may have captured the likeness of a little seven-year old girl named Anne Frances Robbins, who had been invited to attend the last egg roll hosted by the Coolidge's. That little girl ended up going on to host eight of her own Easter Monday egg rolls, as Nancy Reagan, wife of President Ronald Reagan (1981-1989).

The images and captions are from the Library of Congress's American Memory Collection.

"Mrs. Coolidge with two dogs, policemen, and children at Easter egg roll."

"Mrs. Coolidge exhibits her pet raccoon (Rebecca) to children gathered in the White House grounds for Easter egg rolling."

For some photographs of Northampton taken around the time of the Coolidge-era, check out the EWM post Of Icemen and Presidents: Photos of Northampton at the Dawn of the 20th Century; December 8, 2007

Here is a link to the official web site of the City of Northampton:

As always, thanks for stopping by and take care.

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1 comment:

Beth Niquette said...

I had NO idea that a first lady once had a Coon for a pet in the White House! I would have loved to have met the lady!

Thank you for sharing all these interesting tidbits. Wonderful blog!