Theodore Roosevelt was a very effective writer and speaker, and he is eminently quotable.
For each of the quotes below, the Theodore Roosevelt Center has provided a brief explanation
of the setting or the context in which TR made the statement.
The TR Quote of the Day App, available in the
Mac App Store or
Android Market for your iOS and Android devices, also includes a TR Quiz to test your
knowledge about our 26th president.
Featured Quote for May 27, 2018:
…I fail to see...how any American can come [to Chattanooga] and see evidences of the mighty deeds done by the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray, and not go away a better American, prouder of the country, prouder because of the valor displayed on both sides in the contest—the valor, the self-devotion, the loyalty to the right as each side saw the right.
May 26, 2018
I speak French, I am sorry to say, as if it were a non-Aryan tongue, without tense or gender although with agglutinative vividness and fluency.
May 25, 2018
[The Boy Scout movement] has already done much good, and it will do far more, for it is in its essence a practical scheme through which to impart a proper standard of ethical conduct, proper standards of fair play and consideration for others, and courage and decency….
May 24, 2018
There is no need of your feeling that you intruded upon me. I am here to be intruded upon in just such ways.
May 23, 2018
Daniel Boone will always occupy a unique place in our history as the archetype of the hunter and wilderness wanderer. He was a true pioneer, and stood at the head of that class of Indian fighters, game-hunters, forest-fellers, and backwoods farmers who, generation after generation, pushed westward the border of civilization from the Alleghenies to the Pacific.
May 22, 2018
It seems rather odd that it should be necessary to insist upon the fact that the essence of a book is to be readable; but most certainly the average scientific or historical writer needs to have this elementary proposition drilled into his brain. Perhaps if this drilling were once accomplished, we Americans would stand a greater chance of producing an occasional Darwin or Gibbon.
May 21, 2018
The Audubon societies and all similar organizations are doing a great work for the future of our country. Birds should be saved because of utilitarian reasons; and, moreover, they should be saved because of reasons unconnected with any return in dollars and cents. . . And to lose the chance to see frigate-birds soaring in circles above the storm, or a file of pelicans winging their way homeward across the crimson afterglow of the sunset, or a myriad of terns flashing in the bright light of midday as they hover in a shifting maze above the beach—why, the loss is like the loss of a gallery of the masterpieces of the artists of old time.
May 20, 2018
How entirely I sympathize with your feelings in the attic! I know just what it is to get up into such a place and find the delightful, winding passages where one lay hidden with thrills of criminal delight, when the grown-ups were vainly demanding one’s appearance at some legitimate and abhorred function; and then the once-beloved and half-forgotten treasures, and the emotions of peace and war, with reference to former companions, which they recall.
May 19, 2018
It is of far more importance that a man shall play something himself, even if he plays it badly, than that he shall go with hundreds of companions to see some one else play well. . . We can not afford to turn out of college men who shrink from physical effort or from a little physical pain. In any republic courage is a prime necessity for the average citizen if he is to be a good citizen.
May 18, 2018
The secret service men are a very small but very necessary thorn in the flesh. Of course they would not be the least use in preventing any assault upon my life. I do not believe there is any danger of such an assault, and if there were it would be simple nonsense to try to prevent it, for as Lincoln said, though it would be safer for a President to live in a cage, it would interfere with his business.
May 17, 2018
Art, or at least the art for which I care, must present the ideal through the temperament and the interpretation of the painter. I do not greatly care for the representation of landscapes which, in effect, I see whenever I ride or walk. I wish ‘the light that never was on land or sea’ in the pictures that I am to live with.