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Memorable U.S. Presidential Quotations (by President) U.S. Presidential Libraries and Museums
Memorable U.S. Presidential Quotations (by Topic)
Memorable Presidential Quotes (by President)
  Adams to Eisenhower   Fillmore to Jackson   Jefferson to Polk   Reagan to Wilson  
  1. Adams, John (1797-1801)
  2. Adams, John Q. (1825-1829)
  3. Arthur, Chester A. (1881-1885)
  4. Buchanan, James (1857-1861)
  5. Bush, George H. W. (1989-1993)
  6. Bush, George W. (2001-?)
  7. Carter, Jimmy (1977-1981)
  8. Cleveland, Grover (1885-1889 and 1893-1897)
  9. Clinton, Bill (1993-2001)
  10. Coolidge, Calvin (1923-1929)
  1. Eisenhower, Dwight D. (1953-1961)
  2. Fillmore, Millard (1850-1853)
  3. Ford, Gerald R. (1974-1977)
  4. Garfield, James A. (1881)
  5. Grant, Ulysses S. (1869-1877)
  6. Harding, Warren G. (1921-1923)
  7. Harrison, Benjamin (1889-1893)
  8. Harrison, William H. (1881)
  9. Hayes, Rutherford B. (1877-1881)
  10. Hoover, Herbert C. (1929-1933)
  11. Jackson, Andrew (1829-1837)
  1. Jefferson, Thomas (1801-1809)
  2. Johnson, Andrew (1865-1869)
  3. Johnson, Lyndon B. (1963-1969)
  4. Kennedy, John F. (1961-1963)
  5. Lincoln, Abraham (1861-1865)
  6. Madison, James (1809-1817)
  7. McKinley, William (1897-1901)
  8. Monroe, James (1817-1825)
  9. Nixon, Richard M. (1969-1974)
  10. Pierce, Franklin (1853-1857)
  11. Polk, James K. (1845-1849)
  1. Reagan, Ronald W. (1981-1989)
  2. Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1933-1945)
  3. Roosevelt, Theodore (1901-1909)
  4. Taft, William H. (1909-1913)
  5. Taylor, Zachary (1849-1850)
  6. Truman, Harry S. (1945-1953)
  7. Tyler, John (1841-1845)
  8. Van Buren, Martin (1837-1841)
  9. Washington, George (1789-1797)
  10. Wilson, Woodrow (1913-1921)
Great Speeches
  1. Declaration of Independence (The First Two Sentences), 1776
  2. Gettysburg Address (Entire), 1863
  1. Lincoln's Second Inaugural (Excerpt), 1865
  2. JFK's Inaugural (Excerpts), 1961
  President   Quotations    
  1. "I cannot tell a lie." (year??)
  2. "To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace."  (January 8, 1790)
  3. "Happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, One of my favorite quotes to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving on all occasions their effectual support." (1790)
  4. "The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government."  (September 17, 1796)
  5. "Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world."  (September 17, 1796)
  Adams, J.  
  1. "Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people. (August 1765)
  2. "Facts are stubborn things; One of my favorite quotes and whatever may be our wishes our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." (December 1770)
  3. "A government of laws, and not of men. (1774)
  4. "It is weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power." (1788)
  5. "My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office [the vice presidency] that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived; and as I can do neither good nor evil, I must be borne away by others and meet the common fate." (December 19, 1793)
  1. "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's G-d entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; One of my favorite quotes that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such from, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."  ("Declaration of Independence," July 4, 1776)
  2. "Great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities." (year??)
  3. "He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him.  This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions." (August 19, 1785)
  4. "I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical." (January 30, 1787)
  5. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure." (November 13, 1787)
  6. "Delay is preferable to error." (May 16, 1792)
  7. "An injured friend is the bitterest of foes." (April 28, 1793)
  8. "I have sworn upon the altar of G-d, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." (September 23, 1800)
  9. "History, in general, only informs us what bad government is." (June 14, 1807)
  10. "I can not live without books." (June 10, 1815)
  11. "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." (September 28, 1820)
  1. "A standing army is one of the greatest mischiefs that can possibly happen." (1787)
  2. "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." (June 16, 1788)
  3. "A public debt is a public curse." (April 13, 1790)
  4. "All power in human hands is liable to be abused." (December 18, 1825)
  1. "The right of self-defense never ceases.  It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals." (November 16, 1818)
  2. "The American continents ... are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers." (December 2, 1823)
  Adams, J. Q.  
  1. "Slavery is the great and foul stain upon the North American Union." (January 10, 1820)
  2. "There is nothing so deep and nothing so shallow which political enmity will not turn to account." (August 19, 1822)
  3. "In charity to all mankind, bearing no malice or ill will or any human being, and even compassionating those who hold in bondage their fellow men, not knowing what they do." (July 30, 1838)
  4. "I say women exhibit the most exalted virtue when they depart from the domestic circle and enter on the concerns of their country, of humanity, and of their G-d!" (February 1838)
  1. "One man with courage makes a majority." (1832) One of my favorite quotes
  2. "There are no necessary evils in government." ( July 10, 1832)
  3. "The right of resisting oppression is a natural right." (December 14, 1832)
  4. "If he [the President] speaks to Congress, it must be in the language of truth." (October 27, 1834)
  Van Buren  
  1. "No evil can result from its [slavery's] inhibition more pernicious than its toleration." (January 4, 1820)
  Harrison, W.  
  1. "I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free." (September 27, 1829)
  2. "A decent and manly examination of the acts of government should not only be tolerated, but encouraged." (March 4, 1841)
  1. "Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality." (December 7, 1841)


  1. "There is more selfishness and less principle among members of Congress ... than I had any conception of, before I became President of the U.S." (December 16, 1846)
  1. "It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe." (September 28, 1846)
  2. "Tell him to go to hell."  (1847)  [Reply to Santa Anna's demand for surrender.]
  1. "An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory."  (September 13, 1844)
  1. "The maintenance of large standing armies in our country would be not only dangerous, but unnecessary."  (March 4, 1853)
  1. "The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men."  (December 3, 1860)
  1. "There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law." (January 27, 1838)
  2. "The ballot is stronger than the bullet." (May 19, 1865) One of my favorite quotes
  3. "A house divided against itself cannot stand.  I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free."  (June 16, 1858)
  4. "You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." (year??) One of my favorite quotes
  5. "If [General] McClellan is not using the army, I should like to borrow it for a while." (April 9, 1862)
  6. "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would do that." (August 1862)
  7. "Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history." (December 1, 1862)
  8. "The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation.  We say we are for the Union.  The world will not forget that we say this.  We know how to save it.  We, even we here, hold the power and bear the responsibility.  In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free --- honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.  We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last, best hope of Earth.  Other means may succeed; this could not fail.  The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just --- a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and G-d must forever bless." (December 1, 1862)
  9. One of my favorite speeches Gettysburg Address: (Well worth repeating in full). One of my favorite speeches
    "Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.  We are met on a great battlefield of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.  But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.  The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under G-d, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." (November 19, 1863)
  10. "Common-looking people are the best in the world:  that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them." (December 23, 1863)
  11. "I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks.  I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals." (November 26, 1863)
  12. "Truth is generally the best vindication against slander." (July 18, 1864)
  13. "It is best not to swap horses while crossing the river." (June 9, 1864)
  14. Second Inaugural (Excerpt):  "With malice toward none, with charity for all,   One of my favorite speeches with firmness in the right as G-d gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." (March 4, 1865)
  Johnson, A.  
  1. "Legislation can neither be wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many and varied interests." (February 22, 1869)
  1. "No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted." (February 16, 1862)
  2. "The war is over -- the rebels are our countrymen again." (April 9, 1865)   [Comments to his cheering men after Lee's surrender ending the U.S. Civil War.]
  3. "I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution." (March 4, 1869)
  4. "Keep the church and State forever separate." (1875)
  5. "To maintain peace in the future it is necessary to be prepared for war." (1886)
  1. "Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office seeking." (1878)
  1. "All free governments are managed by the combined wisdom and folly of the people." (April 21, 1880)
In Association with
  1. "Men may die, but the fabrics of free institutions remain unshaken." (September 22, 1881)
  1. "A man is known by the company he keeps, and also by the company from which he is kept out." (year??)
  2. "Your every voter, as surely as your chief magistrate, exercises a public trust." (March 4, 1885)
  3. "Communism is a hateful thing, and a menace to peace and organized government." (December 3, 1888)
  Harrison, B.  
  1. "Where the children of rich and poor mingle together on the play ground and in the school room, there is produced a unity of feeling and a popular love for public institutions that can be brought about in no other way." (May 9, 1891)
  1. "War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed." (March 4, 1897)
  2. "That's all a man can hope for during his lifetime -- to set an example -- and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history." (December 29, 1899)
  Roosevelt, T.  
  1. "Actions speak louder than words." (year??) One of my favorite quotes
  2. "I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life." (April 10, 1899).
  3. "No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency." (1900) One of my favorite quotes
  4. "There is a homely adage which runs, speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.  If the American nation will speak softly and yet build and keep at a pitch of the highest training a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far." (September 2, 1901)
  5. "No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it.  Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor." (December 7, 1903)
  6. "If elected, I shall see to it that every man has a square deal, no less and no more." (November 1904)
  7. "To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed" (December 3, 1907)
  8. "Americanism is a question of principle, of purpose, of idealism, or character; it is not a matter of birthplace or creed or line of descent." (1909)
  9. "No other President ever enjoyed the Presidency as I did." (September 10, 1909)
  10. "I feel as fit as a bull moose." (August 7, 1912)
  11. "Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe." (1913)
  12. "There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism." (October 12, 1915)
  13. "One of our defects as a nation is a tendency to use what have been called "weasel words." (May 31, 1916)
  14. "The White House is a bully pulpit." (year??)
  1. "Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that today is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity." (1913)
  2. "The world is not going to be saved by legislation." (1916)
  3. "We live in a stage of politics, where legislators seem to regard the passage of laws as much more important than the results of their enforcement." (1916)
  4. "Anti-Semitism is a noxious weed that should be cut out.  It has no place in America." (1920)
  1. "Politics is a war of causes; a joust of principles." (March 1880)
  2. "There is no indispensable man." (August 7, 1912)
  3. "There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight." (May 10, 1915)
  4. "America cannot be an ostrich with its head in the sand." (February 2, 1916)
  5. "Every people has a right to choose the sovereignty under which they shall live." (May 27, 1916)
  6. "It must be a peace without victory. . . . Only a peace between equals can last." (January 22, 1917)
  7. "The world must be made safe for democracy." (April 2, 1917)
  8. "Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at." (January 8, 1918)
  9. "America is the only idealistic nation in the world." (September 8, 1919)
  1. "In the great fulfillment we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it and more anxious about what it can do for the nation." (June 7, 1916)
  2. "America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration" (May 14, 1920)
  3. "Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little.  . . .  We must strive for normalcy to reach stability." (March 4, 1921)

  1. "Character is the only secure foundation of the state." (February 12, 1924)
  2. "The business of America is business." (January 17, 1925)
  3. "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business" (March 1, 1929)
  4. "Public debt [is] a burden on all the people." (1929)
  5. "The more I study it [the Constitution], the more I have come to admire it, realizing that no other document devised by the hand of man ever brought so much progress and happiness to humanity." (1929)
  6. "It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion" (1929)
  1. "We have learned that social injustice is the destruction of justice itself." (1922)
  2. "The course of unbalanced budgets is the road to ruin" (May 31, 1932)
  3. "Older men declare war.  But it is youth that must fight and die." (June 27, 1944)
  Roosevelt, F.  
  1. "I pledge you, pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American people.  Let us all here assembled constitute ourselves prophets of a new order of competence and of courage.  This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms.  Give me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America to its own people." (July 2, 1932)
  2. "In the field of world policy; I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor." (March 4, 1933)
  3. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror." (March 4, 1933) One of my favorite quotes
  4. "We can afford all that we need; but we can not afford all [that] we want." (May 22, 1935)
  5. "This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny." (June 27, 1936)
  6. "Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." (October 30, 1940)
  7. "We must be the great arsenal of democracy." (December 29, 1940)
  8. "A good leader can't get too far ahead of his followers." (1940)
  9. "Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly are among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified should freedom of the press ever be successfully challenged." (September 4, 1940)
  10. "Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." (December 8, 1941)
  11. "We have learned that we can not live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations, far away.  We have learned that we must live as men, and not as ostriches, nor as dogs in the manger.  We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community." (January 20, 1945)
  1. "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." (1960) One of my favorite quotes
  2. "The buck stops here."  (Sign on President Truman's desk in the Oval  Office of the White House) One of my favorite quotes
  3. "The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know." (1974)  One of my favorite quotes
  4. "Secrecy and a free, democratic government don't mix." (1974)
  5. "America was not built on fear.  America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." (January 8, 1947)
  6. "International relations have traditionally been compared to a chess game in which each nation tries to outwit and checkmate the other." (March 3, 1947)
  7. "No government is perfect.  One of the chief virtues of a democracy, however, is that its defects are always visible and under democratic processes can be pointed out and corrected." (March 12, 1947)
  8. "You can not stop the spread of an idea by passing a law against it." (June 4, 1948)
  9. "Isolationism is the road to war.  Worse than that, isolationism is the road to defeat in war." (June 10, 1950)
  10. "Being a President is like riding a tiger.  A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed." (1956)
  11. "We need not fear the expression of ideas -- we do need to fear their suppression." (September 22, 1950)
  1. "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, in a final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." (April 16, 1953).
  2. "Mob rule can not be allowed to override the decisions of our courts." (September 24, 1957)
  3. "America is best described by one word, freedom." (January 9, 1958)
  4. "This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience.  . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.  The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." (January 17, 1961)
  1. "New frontier." (July 15, 1960)
  2. One of my favorite speeches Inaugural (Excerpts): One of my favorite speeches
    Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.   Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.  . . . Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate. . . . And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." (January 20, 1961)
  3. "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth." (May 23, 1961)
  4. "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind" (September 25, 1961)
  5. "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" (March 12, 1962).
  6. "There is always inequity in life.  . . . Life is unfair." (March 21, 1962)
  7. "This government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba." (October 1962)
  8. "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin.  And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner." (June 26, 1963)
  9. "If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." (June 10, 1963)
  Johnson, L.  
  1. "Come now. let us reason together." (Saying attributed to him)
  2. "All I have I would have given gladly not to be standing here today." (Speech he gave before Congress five days after the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963)
  3. "Evil acts of the past are never rectified by evil acts of the present." (July 21, 1964)
  4. "War on poverty" (January 8, 1964)
  5. "If government is to serve any purpose it is to do for others what they are unable to do for themselves." (1966)
  6. "I will not seek, and I will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president." (1968)
  1. "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because gentlemen, this is my last press conference." (November 7, 1962)
  2. "You can not win a battle in any arena merely by defending yourself." (1962)
  3. "A man who has never lost himself in a cause bigger than himself has missed one of life's mountaintop experiences.  Only in losing himself does he find himself." (1962)
  4. "Bring us together again." (October 31, 1968)
  5. "The great silent majority." (November 3, 1969)
  6. "People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.  Well, I'm not a crook." (November 11, 1973)
  7. "Always give your best, never get discourage, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you.  Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them.  And then you destroy yourself." (August 9, 1974) One of my favorite quotes
  8. "When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal." (May 19, 1977)
  1. "I am a Ford, not a Lincoln." (December 6, 1973)
  2. "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.  Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a Government of laws and not of men.  Here the people rule." (August 9, 1974) One of my favorite quotes
  3. "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford Administration." (October 6, 1976)
  1. "I will never lie to you." (Campaign promise, 1976?)
  2. "I've looked on a lot of women with lust.  I've committed adultery in my heart many times." (October 1976)
  3. "Two problems of our country - energy and malaise." (July 31, 1979)
  1. "Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them." (Frequent saying)
  2. "Governments don't control things.  A government can't control the economy without controlling people." (October 27, 1964)
  3. "There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us.  We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced mankind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars, and it has been said if we lose that war, and in so doing lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.  . . .  If we lose freedom here [in America], there is no place to escape to.  This is the last stand on Earth." (October 27, 1964)
  4. "Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us that they have a utopian solution of peace without victory.  They call their policy 'accommodation.'  And they say if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he will forget his evil ways and learn to love us.  . . .  We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion human beings now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, 'Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave-masters.'" (October 27, 1964)
  5. "Admittedly, there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face." (October 27, 1964)
  6. "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." (March 2, 1977)
  7. "Are you better off than you were four years ago? One of my favorite quotes  Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores ... Is there more or less unemployment?" (October 28, 1980)
  8. "Ending inflation means freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs.  ...  We have every right to dream heroic dreams.  Those who say that we are in a time when there are no heroes just don't know where to look. ...  Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women." (January 20, 1981)
  9. "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." (January 20, 1981)
  10. The Soviet leaders "reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat" and that "the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause."  (January 27, 1981)
  11. "The West will not contain communism, it will transcend communism.  We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written." (May 1981)
  12. "It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of human history by denying human freedom and human dignity to its citizens." (1982)
  13. "The march of freedom and democracy  . . .  will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people." (1982)
  14. "The Soviet Union is the focus of evil in the modern world." (March 8, 1983)  One of my favorite quotes
  15. "The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past.  For example, the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights, once a source of disunity and civil war, is now a point of pride for all Americans.  We must never go back.  There is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country." (March 8, 1983)
  16. "During my first press conference as president, in answer to a direct question, I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution." (March 8, 1983)
  17. "I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written.  I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual.  And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow men." (March 8, 1983)
  18. "Trust the people --- that is the crucial lesson of history." (September 27, 1983)
  19. "Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process." (September 27, 1983)
  20. "America is too great for small dreams." (January 1, 1984)
  21. "Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man." (June 6, 1984)
  22. "We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty.  For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow.  Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation.  Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue.  Here in Normandy the rescue began.  Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.  . . .  At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs.  Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns.  . . .  Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs.  And before me are the men who put them there.  These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc.  These are the men who took the cliffs.  These are the champions who helped free a continent.  These are the heroes who helped end a war." (June 6, 1984)
  23. "We in America have learned bitter lessons from two world wars:  It is better to be here [in Europe] ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost.  We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent." (June 6, 1984)
  24. "The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives.  We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved good-bye and 'slipped the surly bounds of Earth' to 'touch the face of G-d.'" (January 28, 1986)
  25. "Nations do not mistrust each other because they are armed, they are armed because they mistrust each other." (September 22, 1986)
  26. "Peace is more than just the absence of war.  True peace is justice, true peace is freedom.  And true peace dictates the recognition of human rights." (September 22, 1986)
  27. "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization:  Come here to this gate!  Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!  Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." (June 12, 1987)  One of my favorite quotes
  28. "In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, event want of the most basic kind - too little food.  Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself.  . . .  East and West do not distrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we distrust each other.  And our differences are not about weapons but about liberty.  . . .  The most fundamental distinction of all between East and West (sic.) [is that] the totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship.  The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront." (June 12, 1987)
  29. "Doverey, no proverey - Trust but verify." (Gorbachev-Reagan Summits)  One of my favorite quotes
  Bush, G.H.W.  
  1. "I want a kinder, gentler nation." (August 18, 1988)
  2. "Read my lips, no new taxes." (August 18, 1988)
  3. "Thousand points of light." (August 18, 1988)
  4. "We know what works: freedom works.  We know what's right: freedom is right.  We know how to secure a more and just and prosperous life for man on earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state." (January 20, 1989)
  5. "Appeasement does not work.  As was the case in the 1930's, we see in Saddam Hussein an aggressive dictator threatening his neighbors." (August 8, 1990)
  6. "This is a fact:  strength in the pursuit of peace is no vice; isolation in the pursuit of security is no vice." (January 28, 1992)
  1. "When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and I didn't like it, and I didn't inhale, and I never tried it again." (1992 New York Democratic televised debate)
  2. "I am going to focus like a laser beam on this economy." (November 1992)
  3. "The era of big government is over." (1995 State of the Union Address)
  4. "I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie. Not a single time. Never." (January 26, 1998)
  5. "Depends on what your definition of is is." (August 17, 1998)
  Bush, G.W.  
  1. "compassionate conservative" (1999)
  2. "soft bigotry of low expectations." (1999?)
  3. "I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many of America's leaders have come before me, and so many will follow.  We have a place, all of us, in a long story; a story we continue, but whose end we will not see.  It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, the story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not to conquer.  It is the American story; a story of flawed and fallible people, united across the generations by grand and enduring ideals.  The grandest of these ideals is an unfolding American promise: that everyone belongs, that everyone deserves a chance, that no insignificant person was ever born. One of my favorite quotes . . . What you do is as important as anything government does.  I ask you to seek a common good beyond your comfort; to defend needed reforms against easy attacks; to serve your nation, beginning with your neighbor.  I ask you to be citizens, not spectators.  Responsible citizens, building communities of service and a national character."  (January 20, 2001)
  4. "Iíve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."  (September 12, 2001)
  5. "I can hear you.  I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you.  And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."  (September 14, 2001)
  6. We will rid the world of the evil-doers. We will call together freedom loving people to fight terrorism.  . . . But we need to be alert to the fact that these evil-doers still exist. We haven't seen this kind of barbarism in a long period of time. No one could have conceivably imagined suicide bombers burrowing into our society and then emerging all in the same day to fly their aircraft - fly U.S. aircraft into buildings full of innocent people - and show no remorse. This is a new kind of -- a new kind of evil. And we understand. And the American people are beginning to understand.  This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while.  And the American people must be patient. I'm going to be patient.  But I can assure the American people I am determined, I'm not going to be distracted, I will keep my focus to make sure that not only are these brought to justice, but anybody who's been associated will be brought to justice. Those who harbor terrorists will be brought to justice. It is time for us to win the first war of the 21st century decisively, so that our children and our grandchildren can live peacefully into the 21st century.  (September 16, 2001)
  7.  "First, let me -- anybody who harbors terrorists needs to fear the United States and the rest of the free world.  Anybody who houses a terrorist, encourages terrorism will be held accountable.  And we are gathering all evidence on this particular crime and other crimes against freedom-loving people.  . . . Again I repeat, terrorism knows no borders, it has no capital, but it does have a common ideology, and that is they hate freedom, and they hate freedom-loving people. And they particularly hate America at this moment. But many leaders understand that what happened in New York City and Washington, D.C. could have easily have happened in their capital, as well."  (September 19, 2001)
  8. "We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies." (September 20, 2001)
  9. "Well, my message is, is that if you harbor a terrorist, you're a terrorist.  If you feed a terrorist, you're a terrorist.  If you develop weapons of mass destruction that you want to terrorize the world, you'll be held accountable.  . . . If anybody harbors a terrorist, they're a terrorist.  If they fund a terrorist, they're a terrorist.  If they house terrorists, they're terrorists.   I mean, I can't make it any more clearly to other nations around the world.  If they develop weapons of mass destruction that will be used to terrorize nations, they will be held accountable."  (November 26, 2001)
  10. "States like these [North Korea, Iran and Iraq], and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. One of my favorite quotes By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger.  They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred.  They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States.  In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic. . . . My budget includes the largest increase in defense spending in two decades -- because while the price of freedom and security is high, it is never too high.  Whatever it costs to defend our country, we will pay.  . . . We have no intention of imposing our culture.  But America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity:  the rule of law; limits on the power of the state; respect for women; private property; free speech; equal justice; and religious tolerance. America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these values around the world, including the Islamic world, because we have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing resentment.  We seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on terror. . . . In a single instant, we realized that this will be a decisive decade in the history of liberty, that we've been called to a unique role in human events.  Rarely has the world faced a choice more clear or consequential.  Our enemies send other people's children on missions of suicide and murder.  They embrace tyranny and death as a cause and a creed.  We stand for a different choice, made long ago, on the day of our founding.  We affirm it again today.  We choose freedom and the dignity of every life." (January 29, 2002)
  • Note #1: To those who are curious why "G-d" is used, please see Although it is not one of the 613 obligations in the Torah, it is a practice among some observant Jews.
  • Note #2: and bold font indicates it is one of my favorite quotations.
  • Note #3:  The above quotations are mostly from three books I own, Bartlett's Famous Quotations, Oxford Dictionary of Quotations or The World Almanac of Presidential Quotations.
Comments/Suggestions? Page last updated March 30, 2003