After graduation from Amherst College, Coolidge began practicing law but soon was elected to a number of local seats, including Mayor of Northampton. In 1906 he won election to the House of Representatives, narrowly defeating the incumbent Democrat. Known as a Progressive Republican, he voted for women's suffrage and the direct election of Senators. In 1911, won a seat to the State Senate, and became chairman of the committee that arbitrated the "Bread and Roses" strike by the workers of the American Woolen Company in Lawrence. Reelected in 1913 by an increased margin, Coolidge was unanimously chosen President of the Senate. His acceptance speech was entitled Have Faith in Massachusetts. A small office within the Senate President’s suite, used by Coolidge during his term, has been preserved with original furnishings and wall finishes.
As governor, Coolidge supported wages and hours legislation, opposed child labor, favored safety measures in factories, and even worker representation on corporate boards. He gained national attention for settling the Boston police strike in 1919. Coolidge is the only Senate President to rise to the presidency of the United States. Making use of the new medium of radio, he was the first to have his inauguration broadcast, and on February 22, 1924, delivered the first presidential political speech from the White House. An impressive full-length portrait of Coolidge, painted by Edmund Tarbell, hangs in the Senate Reading Room.