Handwritten notes on a speech given by Calvin Coolidge on the end of World War I and the "German idea."
Gilder Lehrman Collection, New York Historical Society, New York
Calvin Coolidge’s speech Calvin Coolidge said in part, Our work is drawing to a close - our patriotic efforts. We have had in view but one object - the saving of America. We shall accomplish that object first by winning the war. That means a great deal. It means getting the world forever rid of the German idea. We can see no way to do this but by a complete surrender by Germany to the Allies. We stand by the State and National governments in the prosecution of this object. I have reiterated that we support the Commander in Chief in war work. He says that is so.We want no delay in prosecuting the war the quickest way is the way to save most lives and treasure.We want to care for the soldiers and their dependents. That has been the recognized duty of the government for generations. To save America means to save American institutions, it means to save the manhood and womanhood of our country. To that we are pledged.There will be great questions of reconstruction, social, industrial, economic and governmental questions that must be met and solved. They must be met with a recognition of a new spirit.It is a time to keep faith in our state, our nation, our institutions, and in each other. Doing that the war will be won in the field and won in civil life at homeWe need a word of caution and of warning. I am responsible for what I have said and what I have done. I am not responsible for what my opponents say I have said or say I have done on the stump or in untrue political advertisments and untrue posters. I shall not deal with those either I do not care to touch them, but I do not want any of my fellow citizens to misunderstand my ignoring them as admitting an expressing any attitude other than considering such attempts unworthy of notice when men are fighting for the preservation of our Country.
“Notes on a Calvin Coolidge Speech,” 1918 November 4, WWP15055, Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History Woodrow Wilson Documents, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.