The Famous Announcement

President Coolidge in Rapid City“I do not choose to run for President in 1928.”

Many people are aware that Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, loved the Black Hills and spent the summer of 1927 here. However, it is not as well known that his announcement to retire occurred in the heart of Rapid City.

On August 2, 1927, President Coolidge made the announcement that surprised the world. He had easily won the 1924 election, and would have been a strong contender in the 1928.


Calvin Coolidge Announcement

The building on the far left is now the east wing of Dakota Middle School. The two buildings on the right were torn down in the 1970’s after a fire. The large building in the front is the High School where the announcement was made.  The building behind it was the grade school. (600 Block of Columbus Street)

On a scrap of white, blue-lined paper, he wrote ten words that changed American History. He gave the note to his secretary Everett Sanders to type to the newspaper correspondents. The announcements were then distributed at a press conference in a classroom in the high school.

Calvin Coolidge in Rapid City

The two pictures below were provided to me by Wes Storm of Rapid City. In 1927, Wes’ father John Storm took a break from his job as an undertaker at Behren’s Funeral home to take these pictures. The picture on the left shows President Coolidge leaving the High School. In the picture on the right, you can see the only building on the 1927 campus that is still standing. This building is now the east wing of Dakota Middle School.

City committee endorses Coolidge historical marker project (12/14/2010)

Read the Resolution and see the design for the Historical Marker.