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This Day in History: Coolidge on Labor Day

On this day in 1924, Calvin Coolidge discusses Labor Day, which he thought a “peculiarly American holiday,” recognizing the “worth and dignity of the men and women who toil.”


He spoke proudly of the character of the American people: “We are proud of work and ashamed of idleness,” he said.

Hmm. What would he think of the past few years?


“To my mind America has but one main problem,” he told his audience on this day so long ago, “the character of the men and women it shall produce. . . . The door of opportunity swings wide open in our country. Through it, in constant flow, go those who toil. America recognizes no aristocracy save those who work. The badge of service is the sole requirement for admission to the ranks of our nobility.”


Good character and hard work. He saw them working in tandem, each supporting the other. “The foundation for a new era is being steadily and surely laid,” he concluded. “Whether we shall enter upon it, depends upon the attitude of our fellow countrymen. I have an abiding faith in the American people.”


Do you think his concluding thoughts still ring true?


Coolidge's speech can be found HERE .

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