Tuesday, January 5, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1819


Northampton, Massachusetts (JFK+50) Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, passed away here in Northampton at the age 0f sixty, eighty-three years ago today, January 5, 1933.

Former First Lady Grace Coolidge had returned from a morning shopping trip and had gone upstairs in their home, "The Beeches."

Amity Shlaes describes what happened next...

"Grace...found him in his dressing room, he was already gone.  He had been shaving, just as he had been the first time she saw him.  He had removed his jacket.  She could see from where Coolidge lay on the floor that it had all come over him suddenly.  The heart attack he had always feared had come."

At the time of his death, Mr. Coolidge had been the only living former POTUS. Although it was not known that he had heart disease, he had complained of recent attacks of indigestion.

Mrs. Coolidge, wishing to maintain the simplicity for which her husband was known, declined having her husband's body lie in state in Washington, D.C.
The funeral service, held at Edward's Congregational Church  here in Northampton, was attended by President Herbert Hoover. 

The gravesite service was held at Plymouth where the following passage written by Australian poet Robert Richardson was read,,,

"Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here;
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good-night, dear heart,
Good-night, good-night."


"Coolidge," by Amity Shlaes, Harper, New York,  2013.

"Calvin Coolidge's Obituary," from The New York Times, January 6, 1933,

Grace and Calvin Coolidge, 1918


New York City (JFK+50) Fifty-four years ago today, January 5, 1962, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was named "Man of the Year" for 1961 by Time Magazine.  Mr. Kennedy became the fourth President of the United States to earn the honor since 1927.

The cover of Time displayed a "watercolor on paper" of the President with a serious expression.  The JFK portrait was the work of Italian painter Pietro Annigoni* who was influenced by the Italian Renaissance.  

Annigoni became world famous after painting Queen Elizabeth II in 1956.
Annigoni's "JFK" has been described as "one of his worst portraits" because the President would not sit still for the painting.The cover article in the Time "Man of the Year" edition includes this statement by JFK:

"This job is interesting...but the possibilities for trouble are unlimited.  It represents a chance to exercise your judgment on matters of importance.  It takes a lot of thought and effort.  It's been a tough first year but then they're all going to be tough."

The article goes on to say that President Kennedy had done his job well in his first year.  Time said...

"In his first year as President, John F. Kennedy showed qualities that have made him a promising leader. Those same qualities, if developed further, may make him a great President."

*Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988) was born in Milan and lived in Florence, Italy.
He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and died of complications from emergency ulcer surgery.
Original Time Magazine Cover
 January 5, 1962
JFK Library Image*