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The Limits of Vice Presidential Power


In 1922 there still was no official residence for the Vice President of the United States. Calvin Coolidge took up residence in the New Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. during his vice presidency.

In April of that year, a small fire broke out in the hotel. All of the guests were evacuated from their rooms until the fire could be brought under control. Coolidge I patiently waited on the street, along with the other guests. When it appeared the danger had passed, he decided to return to his suite.

A fire marshall challenged him. “Who are you?”

“I’m the Vice President,” responded Coolidge.

“All right, go ahead,” he was told.

Before taking more than a few steps upstairs, Coolidge was again challenged by the marshal. “What are you vice president of?”

The answer was, “I am Vice President of the United States.”

“Come right down,” declared the fire official. “I thought you were the vice president of the hotel.”

* * * * * * *

Read more fun facts and stories about Calvin Coolidge.

Read about the time Abraham Lincoln was a fireman at the White House.

Read more fun facts and stories about Vice Presidents.

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