A landmark in Vermont has a unique connection to the Fourth of July, which may just be a coincidence—but many consider it quite special all the same.
Calvin Coolidge, who was born and buried in Plymouth Notch, is the only U.S. President to share a birthday with the country he led.
“I’m sure that didn’t hurt his political aspirations,” William Jenney, the administrator of the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, said of the former president’s July 4 birthdate.
At the Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch, which is popular with travelers and locals alike, visitors can check out exhibits and learn how the thirtieth president took the oath of office in Vermont.
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Coolidge was vice president and was visiting family in Vermont when his predecessor, Warren Harding, died in office.
Jenney said Coolidge, a Republican, was likely too modest to make a big deal about his special birthdate.
“But of course, everyone knew it and so there were celebrations on those days when he went to various places, with birthday cakes and so on that he would be cutting,” Jenney said. “The public was very much aware of this. I would say it worked in his advantage.”
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The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation’s historic speech recitation and debate competition for high schoolers—which is timed to the holiday—returned to Vermont in 2021, after COVID-19 had it going virtual last year.
The event is being held over the holiday weekend at the Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch.
The nonpartisan nonprofit’s executive director, Dean Ball, said the foundation loves that the fiscal conservative was born on the most American of dates.
“We think it’s incredibly meaningful that he was, and for us, it’s just yet another reason to celebrate on the Fourth,” Ball told NECN Friday.
In 2012, NECN covered the annual holiday gathering in Plymouth Notch that sees a crowd honor the small village’s most famous son.
That year, a Coolidge descendent told us how much having the thirtieth president born on July 4 means to his family.
“I think it wasn't a coincidence,” Calvin Jacob Harville, the president’s great-great-grandson, said on July 4, 2012. “It was pretty much fate.”
While Coolidge is the only president born on the Fourth of July, several have died on that date, Jenney noted: James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams.