Night of the kerosene lamp

The night from August 2 to August 3 marks the anniversary of Calvin Coolidge’s ascendance to the Presidency, which took place in the still of that night in 1923. Far away on the West Coast, in a San Francisco hotel, Warren G. Harding had succumbed to the somewhat mysterious illness that had bedeviled him. Coolidge, who was visiting with his father Colonel John Coolidge in Plymouth Notch, was awakened in the middle of the night, then took the Oath of Office as administered by his father, a notary public – famously by the light of a kerosene lamp. A humble man, Coolidge nevertheless was confident he could “swing it,” as indeed he did.

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