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.
December 19, 2014
I do not claim that President McKinley’s admirable administration and the wide legislation passed by Congress which he has sanctioned are solely responsible for our present well-being, but I do claim that it is this administration and this legislation which have rendered it possible for the American people to achieve such well-being.
View Document of Origin
If you like the zebra skin one fourth as much as I like the rocking chair, I am more than pleased; I use it all the time. It is just the right shape and kind.
I have scant patience with this talk of the tyranny of the majority. Wherever there is tyranny of the majority, I shall protest against it with all my heart and soul. But we are to-day suffering from the tyranny of minorities. . . It is a small minority that lies behind monopolies and trusts.
Here, arriving sunburnt and in rough garb, I suddenly found myself a lion; the “leading citizens” all called on me instantly, in this rotten, shaky hotel, and I was forced to open the campaign here, by a speech last evening at a large and enthusiastic mass meeting, whither I was escorted by a noisy band. Afterwards I was taken up to the Deadwood Club, where I met the (roughly) gilded youth of this golden town; I liked them, and they gave me a breakfast this morning.
Sturdy, self-respecting morality, a readiness to do the rough work of the world without flinching, and at the same time an instant response to every call on the spirit of brotherly love and neighborly kindness – these qualities must rest at the foundation of good citizenship here in this Republic if it is to achieve the greatness we hope for it among the nations of mankind.
Other things I might like to be, but not a king. The constitutional monarch of the present time comes nearer to being a cross between a perpetual Vice-President and the leader of the four hundred than anything else I know. Mind you, I am not saying anything against the job of a king, but I just wouldn’t have it.
The changes in the White House have transformed it from a shabby likeness to the ground floor of the Astor House into a simple and dignified dwelling for the head of a great republic.
…it was a marvel to me to see how easily our mustangs scrambled over the frightful ground which we crossed, while trying to get up to the grassy plateaus, over which we could gallop.
To follow conventions merely because they are conventions is silly . . . We happen to have here on this continent, in the bison with its shaggy frontlet and mane and short curved horns, a beast which equally lends itself to decorative use and which possesses the advantage of being our own. I earnestly wish that the conventions of architecture here in America would be so shaped as to include a widespread use of the bison’s head.
I am profoundly moved and touched by the signal honor shown me thru your body in conferring upon me the Nobel peace prize. There is no gift I could appreciate more and I wish it were in my power fully to express my gratitude.