Quote of the Day

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 April 28, 2017:

It is enough to give any one a sense of sardonic amusement to see the way in which the people generally, not only in my own country but elsewhere, gauge the work purely by the fact that is succeeded.
Theodore Roosevelt tells Archie that he and Edith Roosevelt will be traveling west the next day. He assures Archie that he will speak to Gracie (Archie's wife) about Archie's service in the army and the importance of Archie's serving in a fighting role, not a staff position. He trusts Archie and Ted to decide whether to serve in the same regiment. Colonel Roosevelt expresses his pride in what he hears of Archie, and reflects on his own military service in Cuba, noting that he was "better than any colonel save one in the regulars before Santiago." He closes by lamenting the lack of preparedness of the American military, which he attributes to the "criminal misconduct" of President Woodrow Wilson.

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Quotes:

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April 27, 2017
…as soon as a man ceases to improve he goes backward.
Theodore Roosevelt tells Archie that he and Edith Roosevelt will be traveling west the next day. He assures Archie that he will speak to Gracie (Archie's wife) about Archie's service in the army and the importance of Archie's serving in a fighting role, not a staff position. He trusts Archie and Ted to decide whether to serve in the same regiment. Colonel Roosevelt expresses his pride in what he hears of Archie, and reflects on his own military service in Cuba, noting that he was "better than any colonel save one in the regulars before Santiago." He closes by lamenting the lack of preparedness of the American military, which he attributes to the "criminal misconduct" of President Woodrow Wilson.

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April 26, 2017
Alas! I am getting to the end of the Pigskin Library! Of course I’ll begin re-reading the volumes at once; but for the Uganda and Nile trip I wish I had another case of books, all in pigskin too.
Theodore Roosevelt describes his safari to his daughter Ethel. He praises Kermit Roosevelt's skills but says he is still too reckless. Roosevelt says he has become very attached to Edmund Heller, R. J. Cuninghame and Leslie Tarlton. He mentions how the porters amuse him as well. Roosevelt says he has read almost all the books in his pigskin library.

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April 25, 2017
About all I would say of myself is that compared with other Presidents, Prime Ministers and the like, I did some work worth doing!
Theodore Roosevelt thanks Vilhjalmur Stefansson for his letter and thanks him for what he has done to get Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon the recognition he deserves. Roosevelt writes that he himself does not belong in the "explorers class," but he was glad to have the opportunity to explore and put a new river on the map. Roosevelt also wishes Stefansson well with his project with the musk ox and discusses the status of several flora and fauna throughout the world.

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April 24, 2017
The principles for which Lincoln contended are elemental and basic. He strove, for peace if possible, but for justice in any event; he strove for a brotherhood of mankind, based on the theory that each man can conserve his own liberty only by paying scrupulous regard to the liberty of others. He strove to bring about that union of kindliness and disinterestedness, with strength and courage upon which as a foundation our institutions must rest if they are to remain unshaken by time.
President Roosevelt expresses his regret that he cannot attend the Lincoln Dinner at the Republican Club. Roosevelt comments on the importance of celebrating Lincoln's birthday and of the continued relevance of Lincoln's principles and actions.

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April 23, 2017
The particular problems which Lincoln had to meet have passed away; but the spirit, the purpose, the methods with which he met them are as needed now as they ever were, and will be needed as long as free government exists, as long as a free people tries successfully to meet its manifold responsibilities.
President Roosevelt expresses his regret that he cannot attend the Lincoln Dinner at the Republican Club. Roosevelt comments on the importance of celebrating Lincoln's birthday and of the continued relevance of Lincoln's principles and actions.

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April 22, 2017
Kit Carson and his comrades were men of real marks, and their work was of the utmost consequence, and should not be allowed to be forgotten.
Civil Service Commissioner Roosevelt inquires if anything on Kit Carson's life is to be published. Roosevelt describes Carson with admiration and writes that he should not be forgotten. He also suggests that Henry Cabot Lodge would write an article and makes several other suggestions regarding possible articles. Roosevelt promises to writes his three articles about hunting and expresses hope that the copyright bill will go through.

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April 21, 2017
Fond tho I am of hunting and of wilderness life I could not thoroly enjoy either if I were not able from time to time to turn to my books.
Theodore Roosevelt describes his hunting experiences, but notes that they are taking a brief break from the field to allow the naturalists to catch up with their hunting. Instead he is taking time to write home, as ordinarily his free time is filled with writing articles for Scribner's Magazine. He also mentions that he is reading his "pigskin library" and would not be able to fully enjoy the wilderness without his books.

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April 20, 2017
My theory has been that the presidency should be a very powerful office, and the President a powerful man, who will take every advantage of it; but, as a corollary, a man who can be held to accountability to the people after a term of four years, and who will not in any event occupy it for more than a stretch of eight years.
President Roosevelt writes to his sister about his decision to not run for re-election. He describes the presidency as a very powerful office, but one that should not be held for more than eight years.

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April 19, 2017
I suppose few Presidents can form the slightest idea whether their policies have met with approval or not-certainly I can not. But as far as I can see these policies have been right, and I hope that time will justify them. If it does not, why, I must abide the fall of the dice, and that is all there is about it.
President Roosevelt writes to his sister and describes the summer he has spent with Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt and their children in Oyster Bay. Roosevelt is unsure if he has enough support to overcome the opposition to his reelection, but hopes his policy making will justify itself.

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April 18, 2017
As for the political effect of my actions; in the first place, I never can get on in politics, and in the second, I would rather have led that charge and earned my colonelcy than served three terms in the United States Senate.
Theodore Roosevelt thanks Douglas Robinson for his letter and describes a battle near Santiago. Regarding the political effect of his involvement in the war, Roosevelt comments that he would "rather have led that charge and earned my colonelcy than served three terms in the United States Senate".

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