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.

Quote for August 30, 2014 :

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Let me recapitulate: the first 60 days I followed Mr. Wilson. I then become convinced that he was not merely wrong, but unpardonably wrong. I forthwith made a straight out fight to have this country take the proper stand for Belgium, for preparedness, for international justice, and for democracy against absolutism in the great war.

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In this popular letter, Theodore Roosevelt reflects on the development of his own views on World War I. He also evaluates President Wilson’s messages before and after U.S. entry.

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Previous Quotes:

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08/29/2014

As my horse shuffled forward, under the bright, hot sunlight, across the endless flats or gently rolling slopes of brown withered grass, I might have been on the plains anywhere, from Texas to Montana…

Theodore Roosevelt compared the East African landscape to the prairies, buttes, and mountains he had seen across the American West.

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08/28/2014

…I am able to do all the important work, like that affecting the coal strike, just exactly as well as if I were on two legs.

One month after an accident, President Roosevelt remains optimistic as he updates Senator Platt on his leg injury and recovery.

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08/27/2014

Merely to recall our ambassador if men, women and children are being continually killed on the high seas and to take no further action would be about as effective as the conduct of a private individual who, when another man slappe his wife’s face, retaliated by not bowing to the man.

During 1916, Theodore Roosevelt observed the continuation of German submarine warfare; he explained to the nation why preparedness was increasingly necessary.

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08/26/2014

One of the best and most beautiful features of our national life to-day is the acceptance by all our people, north and south, of the memories of the great deeds done alike by the men who wore the blue and the men who wore the gray, as part of the heritage of all Americans.

Theodore Roosevelt expressed these sentiments to Commander Edward Owen in a letter dated January 1, 1903. Roosevelt expressed regret that he would not be able to attend a dinner, presumably in honor of Civil War veterans.

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08/25/2014

As far as was humanly possible, the appointments and promotions were made without regard to any question except the fitness of the man and the needs of the service.

In Roosevelt’s An Autobiography, he celebrates the civil service reforms he made as Civil Service Commissioner and the opportunity to exercise such reforms as New York City Police Commissioner.

08/24/2014

Preparation for war is the surest guarantee for peace.

Theodore Roosevelt stressed the importance of preparation for war throughout his life. This statement comes from an address that Roosevelt gave to the Naval War College during his tenure as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and it echoes sentiments that he expressed before the United States entered World War I.

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08/23/2014

It is idle now to argue whether women can play their part in politics, because in this convention we saw the accomplished fact…

During the Presidential Election of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt commended Jane Addams for showing how women could be an active part of the Progressive Movement. He also requested her support in keeping women involved in the political movement across the nation.

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08/22/2014

I have another little son now; both of my boys will in the future make the acquaintance of Island Falls, and I hope will learn to trap muskrats and shoot ducks and partridges under the tuition of yours and Wilmont’s small sons.

In a letter to Bill Sewall, Theodore Roosevelt hopes that one day their sons will follow in their footsteps, camping, hunting, and experiencing the strenuous life of the Maine outdoors.

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08/21/2014

While the nation that has dared to be great, that has had the will and the power to change the destiny of the ages, in the end must die, yet no less surely the nation that has played the part of the weakling must also die; and whereas the nation that has done nothing leaves nothing behind it, the nation that has done a great deal really continues, though in changed form, to live forevermore.

Roosevelt spoke these words at the Minnesota State Fair on September 2, 1901. He could not know it at the time, but less than two weeks later he would be the President of the United States. His view of America, as of his own life, was heroic.

08/20/2014

All I could do in return was to give them some reading-matter – something for which the men in these lonely camps are always grateful.

When two cowboys returned some strayed horses, Theodore Roosevelt knew exactly how to return the favor.

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