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 October 18, 2017:
There are employers to-day who, like the great coal operators, speak as though they were lords of these countless armies of Americans, who toil in factory, in shop, in mill, and in the dark places under the earth. They fail to see that all these men have the right and the duty to combine to protect themselves and their families from want and degradation.
October 17, 2017
No other animal, not the lion himself, is so constant a theme of talk, and a subject of such unflagging interest round the camp-fires of African hunters and in the native villages of the African wilderness, as the elephant. Indeed the elephant has always profoundly impressed the imagination of mankind. It is, not only to hunters, but to naturalists, and to all people who possess any curiosity about wild creatures and the wild life of nature, the most interesting of all animals.
October 16, 2017
The longer I have lived the more strongly I have felt the harm done by the practice among so many men of keeping their consciences in separate compartments; sometimes a Sunday conscience and a weekday conscience; sometimes a conscience as to what they say or what they like other people to say, and another conscience as to what they do and like other people to do; sometimes a conscience for their private affairs and a totally different conscience for their business relations. Or again, there may be one compartment in which the man keeps his conscience not only for his domestic affairs but for his business affairs, and a totally different compartment in which he keeps his conscience when he deals with public men and public measures.
October 15, 2017
There is much less need of genius or any special brilliancy in the administration of our government than there is need of such homely virtues and qualities as common sense, honesty, and courage.
October 14, 2017
It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger.
October 13, 2017
I am not in the least surprised about the mental telepathy; there is much in it and in kindred things which are real and which at present we do not understand.
October 12, 2017
I urge you to have the widest toleration in matters of opinion, but to have no toleration at all when it comes to matters of the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.
October 11, 2017
The issue of valueless watered stock does not come in point of morality one whit above the issuing of counterfeit money.
October 10, 2017
I hope in the end to see legislation which will punish the circulation of untruth, and above all of slanderous untruth, in a newspaper or magazine meant to be read by the public; which will punish such action as severely as we punish the introduction into commerce of adulterated food falsely described and meant to be eaten by the public.
October 9, 2017
Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess it becomes foolishness.
October 8, 2017
He [the historian] must ever remember that while the worst offense of which he can be guilty is to write vividly and inaccurately, yet that unless he writes vividly he cannot write truthfully; for no amount of dull, painstaking detail will sum up the whole truth unless the genius is there to paint the whole truth.