Knowing the Presidents: Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge

Thirtieth President, 1923-1929


In 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge was sworn in after President William G. Harding died in office. Coolidge inherited many of Harding’s scandals, which he was able to handle with considerable ease. In 1924, he successfully ran his campaign on his ability to keep cool under fire.


Calvin Coolidge championed economical and efficient government and was more concerned with cutting federal taxes and the national debt than with financing new programs.

Major Acts:

The Immigration Act of 1924 implemented a national origins quota, providing immigration visas to two percent of the total number of people of each nationality in the United States as of the 1890 national census. Immigrants from Asia were completely banned except for those from Japan and the Philippines.

Calivn Coolidge supported the Dawes Plan of 1924 to alleviate severe financial distress in post-war Germany.

Coolidge vetoed the “Bonus Bill,” blocking additional pay to veterans of WWI, saying “patriotism...bought and paid for is not patriotism.” Congress overrode him.

The Federal Radio Commission in 1927 regulated the emerging radio broadcast industry.


Calvin Coolidge faced few crises, but his economic policies created an imbalance in the American economy, setting up the instability for the Great Depression. Within the U.S., he increased funding for the conciliation of industrial disputes, programs for Native Americans, highway construction, and the development of commerce on inland waterways.   

Coolidge’s foreign policies were ineffective, allowing for the rise of Nazism in Germany and a resurgence of world conflict.