The Day by Day History of the
Calvin Coolidge Became President
August 3, 1923
President Harding died unexpectedly while in
office, so the vice president, Calvin Coolidge, stepped up.
Coolidge succeeded to the presidency on August 3, 1923. He went
on to win the next election and therefore served as president of
the U.S. for six years. In this photo Coolidge wears a black
armband in mourning for Harding. While he mourned the man, he
set out to rebuild his government. These were years of
prosperity for the United States. On what did Coolidge focus his
Coolidge focused on business. During the
Coolidge years, people in the U.S. invented all kinds of new
products and industries. His policies allowed businesses to
mass-produce and distribute these new innovations to the public.
New production meant new jobs and more Americans with money to
spend. And spend they did, more than ever before. Americans
became consumers. Vacuum cleaners, washing machines, cars,
radios and clothing practically flew out of stores. Does this
sound familiar? The advertising industry took off as a result of
all this buying. This theater commercial makes fun of all the
new products and ads like this one trying to sell a metal corset
(a girdle) that won't rust. Ouch!
Those who purchased
vast amounts of goods (what one critic called an "empire of
things") were getting out of hand. Some Americans were getting
into debt with new credit plans. In reaction to all this buying
and debt, the Thrift Movement tried to educate Americans about
the importance of saving and spending wisely. President Coolidge
became a symbol of New England simplicity and thrift and
appeared in widely seen photos like this one.
Are you a
consumer? Ask your parents about the consumer economy today.