COOLIDGE SWORN IN FOLLOWING HARDING'S DEATH 90 YEARS AGO TODAY
Plymouth Notch, Vermont (JFK+50) 90 years ago today, August 3, 2013, Vice President Calvin Coolidge, visiting his family home here at Plymouth Notch, was awakened by a knock on his bedroom door.
The Vice President's father, John Coolidge*, had some bad news, President Warren G. Harding had died.
From that point on, things happened quickly. A special telephone line had to be set up so that the new president could speak with Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes**.
Hughes told Coolidge that his swearing-in ceremony must be witnessed by a notary^.
Calvin's father, a notary public, would do the job.
^A Notary serves the public in matters of estate, deed, power-of-attorney and foreign and international business. Most in the U.S. are lay people who are required to have brief training.
Amity Shlaes writes...
"By kerosene lamplight, before a small group that included his wife and Porter Dale***, a congressman...a new United States president was sworn in by his father."
"Coolidge," by Amity Shlaes, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2013.
Sworn-in by John Coolidge
Portrait by Arthur I. Keller
President Calvin Coolidge appeared on the front porch of his house at 7:20 a.m. prepared for travel. He first paid a visit to his mother's (Victoria Josephine Moor Coolidge, 1846-1885) grave, and then took the regularly scheduled 9:35 train out of town.
*John Calvin Coolidge, Sr. (1845-1926) was born in Windsor County, VT. He was a farmer, teacher, and store owner who served in the Vermont House of Representatives (1872-78) and State Senate in 1910.
John Calvin Coolidge, Sr.
**Charles Evans Hughes (1862-1948) was born in Glens Falls, NY. He graduated from Brown University and Columbia Law School. He served as Governor of NY, Associate Supreme Court Judge, Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
Hughes was defeated by Woodrow Wilson in the Election of 1916.
***Porter H. Dale (1867-1933) was born in Island Pond, VT. He served in the Vermont State Senate in 1910, was elected to the US Congress and then served as the US Senate from 1923 to 1933.
Dale traveled to Plymouth Notch in 1923 to offer assistance to Calvin Coolidge and advised that the oath of office be taken immediately to ensure continuity.
Congressman Porter Dale
National Photo Company
Library of Congress Image (1921)
JFK AND CREW OF PT109 WAITED FOR RESCUE 70 YEARS AGO TODAY
Solomon Islands (JFK+50) The survivors of the PT 109 waited for rescue 70 years ago today, August 3, 1943, after having been struck by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri in the early morning hours of August 2nd.
Although Australian coast watcher Reginald Evans reported sighting the sinking of PT109, there was little hope that any of the crew were still alive.
Having failed in an attempt to flag down a rescue ship, the 109's commander, Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy, swam back to the island where his surviving crew waited.
When JFK arrived...
"he looked skinny, bedraggled and exhausted. He had a beard. His hair was matted over his forehead. His circled eyes were bloodshot."
"PT109, JFK in WWII," by Robert J. Donovan, McGraw-Hill, 1961.
PT Officers 1943
Jim Reed, JFK, Barney Ross, Red Fay
JFK Library Photo
"On the coast of Kolombangara,
looking through his telescope
Australia's Evans saw the battle
For the crew had little hope
Two were dead and some were wounded
All were clinging to the bow
Fighting fire and fighting water,
trying to save their lives somehow."
recorded by Jimmy Dean (1961)
lyrics by Fred Burch & Marijohn Wilkin
ALGER HISS ACCUSED OF SPYING 65 YEARS AGO TODAY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Self-confessed communist and FBI informant Whittaker Chambers accused Alger Hiss of being a communist spy 65 years ago today, August 3, 1948.
The accusation came during a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee at the Capitol.
Hiss was ultimately convicted of perjury and would serve 44 months in jail.
Richard M. Nixon, a Republican congressman from California, was a member of the HUAC,
Whittaker Chambers Testifies
Alger Hill (circled) listens
photo by Fred Palumbo
Library of Congress Photo