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When Inauguration Day Was in August

Inauguration Day in the United States typically is in January following the November elections. But in 1923, when President Warren G. Harding died, his vice president, Calvin Coolidge, was sworn into office on Aug. 3.

[President Coolidge, full-length portrait, standing on south lawn of White House, facing front], 1925. [Presidential automobile, ca. 1924 Lincoln, parked in front of stores, with the chauffeur seated behind the steering wheel], ca. 1924.

The new president inherited an administration plagued and discredited by government corruption. Coolidge worked to restore integrity to government and maintained a stance of noninterference toward American business and industry. He went on to easily win the 1924 election and led the country for a total of six years.

"Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929" assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy and government's role in this transition. The presidency of Calvin Coolidge spanned years of economic well-being between the brief depression following World War I and the decade-long Great Depression of the 1930s. By the end of the 1920s, nearly half of the American population owned automobiles, radios and durable consumer goods such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines.

A Special Presentation, "Introduction to 'Prosperity and Thrift,'" provides a brief history of the 1920s in sections such as "The Coolidge Administration," ""Merchandising and Advertising" and "African Americans and Consumerism." By the end of this decade, the nation had plunged into an economic depression, as noted in "Poverty in the 1920s."

There are many photographs of Coolidge and his wife, Grace Goodhue Coolidge, in "By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies."

If you want to explore Coolidge further, go to the American Memory collections search page of Coolidge and his then boss, Herbert Hoover.

 

A. [President Coolidge, full-length portrait, standing on south lawn of White House, facing front], 1925. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-32699 DLC (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: Item in PRES FILE - Coolidge--Photo--Full <P&P>

B. [Presidential automobile, ca. 1924 Lincoln, parked in front of stores, with the chauffeur seated behind the steering wheel], ca. 1924. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-37395 DLC (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: Item in PRES FILE - Coolidge, Calvin, 1872-1933--Miscellaneous <P&P>


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