Calvin Coolidge photo

Excerpts of the President's News Conference on a Train from Minneapolis to Washington

June 09, 1925

Here is an inquiry about economic and political impressions. I haven't thought at all about political impressions until I got this inquiry. I don't know that I received any distinctly political impressions. The impression that struck me more than anything else was rather of a patriotic impression, an apparent general satisfaction with conditions in the country. Of course I didn't have any opportunity to confer with anyone about the economic condition of the northwest. I did learn that crop conditions through Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota are good. I saw one man that had just been through North Dakota and he said that the crop conditions there were very promising. If you can base the economic condition of the people on their appearance, the way they are dressed, the general appearance of prosperity, I should say that it was very good. I don't know that that has any significance now, but I noticed most of the ladies had on silk dresses and I thought I saw a rather general display of silk stockings.

* * * * * * *

It is customary I suppose for those who are interested in those things to look into the possible inherited background of Presidents. Some one has dug out a tradition that my family, the Coolidges, came from a place in Normandy. The French spelling was Colynge. I have seen on the screen within a short time a picture of a castle in that town— I can't tell the name of the town. Now I assume that that meant that we had a Norman background, which as I indicated yesterday was a Norse or a Norwegian background. I have got so many backgrounds of one kind or another that I am pretty purely American, having I believe a little tinge of Indian blood in me. I simply speak of the Norman background as of a little interest on account of the Norwegian gathering yesterday. I have got several others that I don't need to dwell on—Scotch, and, Colonel Hennessey says, Irish.

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 on a Train from Minneapolis to Washington Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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