When Will Rogers was being taken to the White House to meet President Calvin Coolidge, he was cautioned not to try to be funny because the President had no sense of humor. The undaunted Rogers bet that he could have Coolidge laughing within 20 seconds. When the formal introduction was made, "Mr. President, may I introduce my friend, Mr. Will Rogers," Rogers held out his hand with a questioning look and said, "Pardon me, I didn't quite get the name."Coolidge roared with laughter, and Rogers won the wager.
Government Printer Defrees, when one of the President's messages was being printed, was a good deal disturbed by the use of the term "sugar- coated," and finally went to Mr. Lincoln about it.
Their relations to each other being of the most intimate character, he told the President frankly that he ought to remember that a message to Congress was a different affair from a speech at a mass meeting in Illinois; that the messages became a part of history, and should be written accordingly.
"What is the matter now?" inquired the President.
"Why," said Defrees, "you have used an undignified expression in the message"; and, reading the paragraph aloud, he added, "I would alter the structure of that, if I were you."
"Defrees," replied the President, "that word expresses exactly my idea, and I am not going to change it. The time will never come in this country when people won't know exactly what 'sugar-coated' means."