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70 Thoughtful Quotes from 30 Presidents

30 Presidents Quotes

HERE are 70 quotes from 30 U.S. presidents to think about. Whether you liked their administration or not, each thought will help to broaden our perspective.

George Washington, 1789-1797

“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

“A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master.”

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence; true friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

“When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly.”

John Adams, 1797-1801

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.”

“Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

Thomas Jefferson, 1801-1809

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

“The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes, should be one of the principal studies and endeavours of our lives.”

“There is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive.”

James Monroe, 1817-1825

“In a representative republic, the education of our children must be of the utmost importance!”

“It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty.”

Andrew Jackson, 1829-1837

“One man with courage makes a majority.”

“When you get in debt, you become a slave.”

“Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.”

Martin Van Buren, 1837-1841

“It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn’t.”

“The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity.”

“Most men are not scolded out of their opinion.”

Millard Fillmore, 1850-1853

“May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not.”

“The man who can look upon a crisis without being willing to offer himself upon the altar of his country is not for public trust.”

Franklin Pierce, 1853-1857

“If your past is limited, your future is boundless.”

“Frequently, the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.”

Abraham Lincoln, 1861-1865

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“A day spent helping no one but yourself is a day wasted.”

“The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it.”

Ulysses S. Grant, 1869-1877

“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.”

“The most confident critics are generally those who know the least about the matter criticized.”

Rutherford Hayes, 1877-1881

“Every expert was once a beginner.”

“The President of the United States should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves his country best.”

“The bold enterprises are the successful ones. Take counsel of hopes rather than of fears to win in this business.”

James Abram Garfield, 1881

“A brave man is a man who dares to look the Devil in the face and tell him he is a Devil.”

“The truth will set you free, but first, it will make you miserable.”

William McKinley, 1897-1901

“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.”

Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1909

“I put myself in the way of things happening, and they happened.”

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

William Howard Taft, 1909-1913

“No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people.”

Woodrow Wilson, 1913-1921

“I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.”

“The object of love is to serve, not to win.”

Warren Harding, 1921-1923

“I am not fit for this office and should never have been here.”

“Treat your friend as if he will one day be your enemy, and your enemy as if he will one day be your friend.”

Calvin Coolidge, 1923-1929

“I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can’t be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.”

“One of the first lessons a president has to learn is that every word he says weighs a ton.”

Herbert Clark Hoover, 1929-1933

“It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power, each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own.”

“Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933-1945

“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”

“Go for the moon. If you don’t get it, you’ll still be heading for a star. Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of the creative effort.”

Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953

“The buck stops here.”

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

Dwight David Eisenhower, 1953-1961

“Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”

“There are three stages of life: youth, maturity, and ‘My, you’re looking good!’”

“Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1961-1963

“No matter how big the lie, repeat it often enough, and the masses will regard it as the truth.”

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1963-1969

“You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is right.”

“There are no problems we cannot solve together and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”

Richard Milhous Nixon, 1969-1974

“Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

“Defeat doesn’t finish a man. Quit does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.”

“Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”

“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic.”

“What kind of nation we will be, what kind of world we will live in, whether we shape the future in the image of our hopes, is ours to determine by our actions and our choices.’

“The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. This honor now beckons America — the chance to help lead the world at last out of the valley of turmoil, and onto that high ground of peace that man has dreamed of since the dawn of civilization.”

Gerald Rudolph Ford, 1974-1977

“If compassion and mercy are not compatible with politics, then something is the matter with politics.”

Ronald Wilson Reagan, 1981-1989

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.”

George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989-1993

“The American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. And then I’d add to that, giving something back. No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.”

William Jefferson Clinton, 1993-2001

“If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”

George Walker Bush, 2001-2009

“Leadership to me means duty, honor, country. It means character, and it means listening from time to time.”

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:01 AM
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