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    Calvin Coolidge Superb Autograph Manuscript Signed: As directed by the U.S. Congress, the President reminds the American people why we celebrate George Washington's birthday.

    Signed: "Calvin Coolidge" as President, one page, 6" x 9". The White House, Washington, February 22, 1927. On gilt embossed stationery. In full: "Washington was the directing spirit without which there would have been no independence, no Union, no Constitution and no Republic. His ways were the ways of truth. His influence grows. In wisdom of action, in purity of character he stands alone. We cannot yet estimate him. We can only indicate our reverence for him and thank the Divine Providence which sent him to serve and inspire his fellow men."

    President Calvin Coolidge said these words in the conclusion of his address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives before a Joint Session of Congress on February 22, 1927. He began, "On the 22d day of February, 1932, America will celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Wherever there are those who love ordered liberty, they may well join in the observance of that event. Although he belongs to us, yet by being a great American he became a great world figure. It is but natural that here under the shadow of the stately monument using to his memory, in the Capital City bearing his name, the country made independent by his military genius, and the Republic established by his statesmanship, should already begin preparations to proclaim the immortal honor in which we hold the Father of our Country. In recognition of the importance of this coming anniversary, more than two years ago the Congress passed a joint resolution establishing a commission, which was directed to have this address made to the American people reminding them of the reason and purpose for holding the coming celebration."

    In May and June, 1926, to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, half dollars were struck at the Philadelphia Mint featuring overlapping right-facing busts of George Washington, the nation's first President, and Calvin Coolidge, the President at the time of the sesquicentennial on July 4, 1926. It is the only time a living U.S. President has been depicted on U.S. currency. Included is a book photograph of the half dollar.

    On January 12, 1792, "An act establishing a mint, and regulating the coins, of the United States" was introduced in the U.S. Senate providing that "Upon one side of each of the said coins there shall be an impression or representation of the head of the President of the United States." President Washington rejected the idea of having his image on U.S. coinage as "monarchical" and an amended coinage bill was passed on April 2, 1792. Future presidents followed Washington's direction until Calvin Coolidge. Legislation now prohibits living persons from being honored on U.S. coins (or postage stamps).

    This tribute to Washington is in extra fine condition, with light toning at the lower edge; it has never been folded. Coolidge is extremely rare in handwritten letters, especially those penned as President. This would be a magnificent addition to a presidential collection. From the Gary Grossman Collection.

    View all of [Gary Grossman Collection ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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