Oct. 4 is the wedding date of Calvin Coolidge and Grace Goodhue; this year marks the 105th anniversary of that 1905 event.
The couple was married in Burlington, Vermont, in a modest ceremony that Grace Coolidge’s biographer Ishbel Ross contrasts with the Vermont society wedding of that same day between Ralph Pulitzer and socialite Fredericka Webb. It was a rainy day, but Calvin is quoted as having said, “I don’t care anything about the rain so long as I get the girl.” Local interest in the wedding was concentrated on the bride; no one suspected that the reticent, somewhat tense red-haired man beside her was destined to be president.
After the ceremony, the couple left the house, which had been beautifully decorated in autumnal leaves and seasonal flowers, behind them as they “motored” to their honeymoon destination, Montreal. Famously, the honeymoon, scheduled for two weeks, was cut to one week at the request of the groom. His wife agreed, when she could see that he was anxious to get home, not least because he was getting low in funds after the expenses of the wedding. Later, Grace related that “he made the amusing explanation that he was in a hurry to get back to Northampton in order to show off his prize” when it more truthfully was “his first political campaign which drew him.”
Incidentally, in running for the School Board, Coolidge suffered one of only two defeats he experienced in his political career. When a friend remarked to him that he had voted for his opponent because he felt the school committeemen should have children in the public schools, Coolidge replied: “Might give me time.”