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Silent Cal

One evening Calvin Coolidge was sitting at dinner when a fellow guest -- well aware of his reputation for taciturnity -- attempted to lure him into conversation. "I have made a bet, Mr. Coolidge," she began, "that I can get more than two words out of you." Calvin's reply? "You lose."

["Calvin Coolidge's perpetual expression," Sherwin L. Cook once recalled, "was of smelling something burning on the stove."]

[Coolidge and his family often spoke in sign language when they did not want to be overheard.]

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