Posts tagged ‘presidents’

2013

no turning back

We are provincials no longer. The tragic events of the thirty months of vital turmoil through which we have just passed have made us citizens of the world. There can be no turning back.

Woodrow Wilson, Second Inaugural Address (1917)

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2013

seek for the lessons

All our people loved their dead President. His kindly nature and lovable traits of character, and his amiable consideration for all about him will long live in the minds and hearts of his countrymen. He loved them in return with such patriotism and unselfishness that in this hour of their grief and humiliation he would say to them: ‘It is God’s will; I am content. If there is a lesson in my life of death, let it be taught to those who still live, and leave the destiny of their country in their keeping.’ Let us, then, as our dead is buried out of our sight, seek for the lessons and the admonitions that may be suggested by the life and death which constitutes our theme.

Grover Cleveland, address to the students of Princeton University, The Authentic Life of President McKinley (1901)

Note: McKinley was elected to two terms, but he was assassinated shortly into his second term. These remarks are in response to his untimely death. McKinley, though obscure now, seems to have been widely-popular in his day.

2013

hawaii

We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California.

William McKinley, remark to personal secretary George Cortelyou (1898)

Note: Today is the 170th anniversary of President William McKinley’s birthday. I’d guess that he is slightly better-known than Millard Fillmore, if not only because of Glee. And I have no idea if this comment was intended to be as funny as I find it. Especially given that I live in California these days 🙂 #occasionalpersonalcomment

2013

some lucky chance

I agree with you that it is in vain to ruminate upon, or even reflect upon the authors of our present misfortune. We should rather exert ourselves, and look forward with hopes, that some lucky chance may yet turn up in our favor.

George Washington, in a letter to Robert Morris just before the Delaware crossing (1776)

2013

liberty & law

Liberty unregulated by law degenerates into anarchy, which soon becomes the most horrid of all despotisms.

Millard Fillmore, State of the Union (1852)

Note: Today is the 213th anniversary of Millard Fillmore’s birthday. I’ve never really researched this, but if I had to guess, I would bet that Fillmore would make the short-list for the “President Most Americans Never Heard Of” Award. If such an award existed. I know almost nothing about Fillmore’s life. Except that he said this quote. And the one I’m posting later today 🙂

2012

we give thanks

As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives.  Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.

Barack Obama, “Thanksgiving Proclamation” (2011)

2012

much

Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. We have become a great nation, forced by the fact of its greatness into relations with other nations of the earth, and we must behave as beseems a people with such responsibilities…While ever careful to refrain from wrongdoing others, we must be no less insistent that we are not wronged ourselves. We wish peace, but we wish the peace of justice, the peace of righteousness.

Theodore Roosevelt, first inaugural address (1901)

2012

we go forward

In the face of great perils never before encountered, our strong purpose is to protect and to perpetuate the integrity of democracy. For this we muster the spirit of America, and the faith of America. We do not retreat. We are not content to stand still. As Americans, we go forward, in the service of our country, by the will of God.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, third inaugural address (1941)

2012

essential to victory

This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, first inaugural address (1933)

2012

strive on

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God 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 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.

Abraham Lincoln, second inaugural address (1865)

2012

harmony and affection

Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.

Thomas Jefferson, first inaugural address (1801)

2012

the chorus of the Union

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stre[t]ching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Abraham Lincoln, first inaugural address (1861)

2012

fraternal affection

One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection.

George Washington, “Farewell Address” (1796)

2012

brethren

Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.

Thomas Jefferson, first inaugural address (1801)

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