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Grace Coolidge

Grace CoolidgeAKA Grace Anna Goodhue

Born: 3-Jan-1879
Birthplace: Burlington, VT
Died: 8-Jul-1957
Location of death: Northampton, MA
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Plymouth Notch Cemetery, Plymouth, VT

Gender: Female
Religion: Congregationalist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: First Lady

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wife of US President Calvin Coolidge

Grace Goodhue was teaching at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, when she met Calvin Coolidge, who attended the same church as she. They were married mere months after meeting, against the wishes of Grace's mother, who vehemently disapproved of her daughter's suitor.

After marriage, they lived in a modest home, and she remained there while he was away, serving as Lt. Governor and later Governor of Massachusetts. When he was elected Vice President, the Coolidges moved to Washington, DC, and lived in a hotel. They were on vacation visiting Vice President Coolidge's father when they received word that President Warren G. Harding had died in San Francisco. Watching as her father-in-law, a notary public, administered the oath of office to her husband, Mrs Coolidge became America's First Lady at the Coolidge home in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.

In the White House, Calvin Coolidge definitely wore the pants. He had always made it clear that he had no interest in his wife's political opinions, and she had learned to offer none. She was reportedly a charming and perpetually smiling hostess, popular with the press and public, but he made most of the decisions usually made by a First Lady, including who should be invited to what events, and even the arrangement of the furniture in the Executive Mansion. Using her public platform, she called for better education for the deaf, and better child welfare in general. While she was First Lady, the Coolidges' teenaged son, Cal Jr, died without warning from what seemed a minor injury, and the nation grieved with the First Family.

After leaving the White House, the Coolidges retired to Calvin Coolidge's spacious estate in Northampton, called The Beeches. Mrs Coolidge did charity work for Girl Scouts and the Campfire Girls, and served as a trustee at the Clarke School, where she had once taught. After her husband's death, she sold The Beeches and moved into a more modest home.

Father: Andrew Issaclar Goodhue (steamship inspector, b. 19-Jan-1848, d. 23-Apr-1923)
Mother: Lemira Barrett Goodhue (b. 20-Apr-1849, m. 7-Apr-1870, d. 23-Oct-1929)
Husband: Calvin Coolidge (US President, b. 04-Jul-1872, m. 4-Oct-1905, d. 05-Jan-1933)
Son: John Coolidge (CEO of Plymouth Cheese Corp., b. 7-Sep-1906, d. 31-May-2000)
Son: Calvin Coolidge Jr (b. 13-Apr-1908, d. 7-Jul-1924 blood poisoning)

    High School: Burlington High School, Burlington, VT (1898)
    University: BA, University of Vermont (1902)
    Teacher: Clarke School for the Deaf, Northampton, MA (1902-05)

    Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women
    English Ancestry

Author of books:
Mrs. Coolidge's own story (1930, autobiography)

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