Vice President Calvin Coolidge went to bed at 9 p.m. on August 2, 1923, at his father’s home in Plymouth, Vermont, where he was enjoying a short vacation. It took several hours for the news of President Warren G. Harding’s death in California to reach the small town, but by 2 a.m., Coolidge was told that Harding was dead. Traditionally, the president is sworn in by the chief justice of the Supreme Court–but he slept 500 miles away. At 2:30 a.m. on August 3, 1923, Coolidge’s father, a notary public, administered the oath of office to his son by the light of a kerosene lamp.
Image: Library of Congress