Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference

November 30, 1926

I don't use the radio in the White House very much. My wife uses it a great deal. I am most usually in the evening engaged in some kind of work that keeps me in the library. My wife likes to knit or something of that kind and while she is knitting she turns on the radio. She uses it a great deal. I haven't heard any complaint about interference. That may be due to the peculiarities of Washington. We are almost always getting our radio from the local radio station, which of course is sufficiently powerful so that outside interference wouldn't come in except in a slight degree.

Then we turn to a somewhat lighter subject, one that interests me a little. We have received a present of a tame racoon.

PRESS: Edible, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT: That depends on your taste. I haven't much of a taste for racoon meat. Some people like it very much. But I have established him here in the south lot in suitable housing and he seems to be enjoying himself very much. There is another development in the south lot that I do not think has been suitably reported in the press. While we were away at camp this summer a swarm of bees moved into one of the hollow trees in the south lot and has been engaged during the summertime in making honey that is edible. Again, I don't have very much of a taste for honey. It never seemed to agree with me very well. When I was a small boy about three years old my grandfather's hired man visited his people and brought back quite a supply of honey. I ate so much of it that it disagreed with me violently and I have never enjoyed the flavor or even the smell of it. But I am interested in its production. I am quite interested to have what is known as a swarm of wild bees take possession of one of the hollow trees in the south lot.

PRESS: IS this racoon very young?

PRESIDENT: I think he is. I don't think he is quite grown yet. He is very playful, very interesting, and seems to be very well trained and well behaved.

PRESS: Have you a name for him, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT: Perhaps you can advertise for one.

Source: "The Talkative President: The Off-the-Record Press Conferences of Calvin Coolidge". eds. Howard H. Quint & Robert H. Ferrell. The University Massachusetts Press. 1964.

Calvin Coolidge, Excerpts of the President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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