Today is National Opposite Day. Then again, maybe not. Many sources quote many other sources that claim it occurs on January 25th each year. We would never repeat such a vague assertion.
On August 27, 1927, U.S. president Calvin Coolidge, at his vacation residence in the Black Hills of South Dakota, handed his secretary, Everett Sanders, a slip of paper that read, “I do not choose to run for president in 1928.”
To avoid crashing the East Coast stock market, Coolidge delayed his daily press conference until midday. According to historian David Greenberg’s biography of the 30th president, at 11:30 am, Coolidge cut out strips of paper with his statement on it and handed one to each reporter.
Without providing any further information, Coolidge remarked, “There will be nothing more from this office today.” (We read that book ourselves and didn’t grab the reference from the bibliography of a Wikipedia page.)
Oddly, the journalists in the Black Hills press pool found the president’s choice of words and delivery confusing. In the following months, the media fueled speculation that Coolidge meant the opposite and intended to run.
He didn’t, which some say makes Coolidge the father of National Opposite Day. We don’t believe it. He did the opposite of the opposite. Isn’t that the same?