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U.S. Presidential Quotes



Note: (Out of respect for the office of the President we have included at least one quote from each President regardless of political party, conduct or our own personal preferences.)

“The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.”  George Washington (1732–1799)


“It is better to be alone than in bad company.”  George Washington (1732–1799)


“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” George Washington (1732-1799)


“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”   John Adams (1735–1826)


“The longer I live, the more I read, the more patiently I think, and the more anxiously I inquire, the less I seem to know...Do justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. This is enough.”  John Adams (1735-1826)


“Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.”  Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)


“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.”  Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)


“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”   Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)


“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”   James Madison (1751–1836)


“If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”   James Madison (1751–1836)


“A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue”  James Monroe (1758–1831)


“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”  John Quincy Adams (1767–1848)


“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”   John Quincy Adams (1767–1848)


“One man with courage makes a majority.”  Andrew Jackson (1767–1845)


"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."  Andrew Jackson (1767–1845)


“It’s easier to do a job right, than to explain why you didn’t.”   Martin Van Buren (1782–1862)


"There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power."  William Henry Harrison (1773–1841)


“Our form of government can no longer be considered an experiment in politics. Crowned with success, it stands forth an example to the world and exhibits the proudest triumph of reason and philosophy.” John Tyler (1790-1862)


“One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights.”  James K. Polk (1795-1849)


“It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe.”  Zachary Taylor (1784-1850)


“It is not strange… to mistake change for progress”  Millard Fillmore (1800–1874)


“You don’t know what you can miss before you try.”  Franklin Pierce (1804–1869)


“Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.”  Franklin Pierce (1804–1869)


“The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.”  James Buchanan (1791-1868)


“I like the noise of democracy.”  James Buchanan (1791-1868)


"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it."  Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)


“I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards”  Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)


 “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”  Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)


”Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.”   Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)


“Whatever you are, be a good one.”   Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)


“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”  Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)


“The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people.”  Andrew Johnson (1800-1875)


"Labor disgraces no man, but occasionally men disgrace labor."  Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885)


“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten. Then he who continues the attack wins.”  Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885)


"One of the tests of the civilization of people is the treatment of its criminals."  Rutherford B. Hayes (1822–1893)


“There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It really matters very little whether they are behind the wheel of a truck or running a business or bringing up a family. They teach the truth by living it.”  James Garfield (1831–1881)


“If wrinkles must be written on our brow, let them not be written on our heart. The spirit should never grow old.”   James Garfield (1831–1881)


“Men may die, but the fabrics of free institutions remains unshaken.”  Chester A. Arthur (1828-1886)


“A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil.” Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)


"Have you not learned that not stocks or bonds or stately houses, or products of the mill or field are our country? It is a spiritual thought that is in our minds."  Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901)


“Great lives never go out; they go on.”  Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901)


"The mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation."  William McKinley (1843–1901)


“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)


"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life, we get nothing save by effort." Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)


"Don't write so that you can be understood; write so that you can't be misunderstood." William H. Taft (1857–1930)


"No nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation."  Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924)


“Inherent rights are from God, and the tragedies of the world originate in their attempted denial.” Warren G. Harding (1865–1923)


"Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery."  Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933)


"America—a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching in purpose." Herbert Hoover (1874–1964)


“Be patient and calm; no one can catch a fish with anger.”   Herbert Hoover (1874–1964)


“Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.”   Herbert Hoover (1874–1964)


"The only thing we have to fear is...fear itself."  Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945)


“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”   Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945)


“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”  Harry S. Truman (1884–1972)


“Tact is the ability to step on a man's toes without messing up the shine on his shoes.” Harry S. Truman (1884–1972)


“Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.”  Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969)


"When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were—to the very last minute—a chance to lose it."  Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969)


"Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions."  John F. Kennedy (1917–1963)


“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”  John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)


“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”   John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)


"For this is what America is all about: It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest that is sleeping in the unplowed ground."  Lyndon B. Johnson (1908–1973)


"A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits."  Richard Nixon (1913–1994)


“I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln.”  Gerald R. Ford (1913–2006)


“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”  Jimmy Carter (born 1924)


“Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.”  Ronald Reagan (1911–2004)


“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”  Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”  Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)


“A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens – citizens in the fullest sense: partners in civilization.”  George H.W. Bush (1924–2018)


“We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.”  Bill Clinton (born 1946)


‘Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.”  George W. Bush (born 1946)

"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."  George W. Bush (born 1946)

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress”  Barack Obama  (born 1961)


“There's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America.”  Barack Obama (born 1961)

“Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.”  Donald Trump (born 1946)

“I’m competitive, and I love to create challenges for myself. Maybe that’s not always a good thing. It can make life complicated.”  Donald Trump (born 1946)

“But all our differences hardly measure up to the values we all hold in common... ”  Joe Biden (born 1942)

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