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 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.


Vice-presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt emphasizes the successes of the McKinley administration and campaigns for McKinley’s re-election.

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Previous Quotes:

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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.

Theodore Roosevelt was notoriously fond of rocking chairs. During the Holiday Season of 1910, his sister found the perfect gift to give him.

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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.

Roosevelt spoke these words at Carnegie Hall in New York City on March 12, 1912. He was suspicious of capitalists who responded to all suggestions of reform with the claim that their critics were engaged in class warfare.


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.

After a hunting trip, Theodore Roosevelt arrives in Deadwood, South Dakota and is swept into political campaigning.

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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.

Theodore Roosevelt sends greetings to the children of Sunday School Union, 1903.

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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.

In Hathaway, Montana, in September 1912, Theodore Roosevelt made clear he had no desire to be a king, stuck as kings seemed to be in a job combining the thankless role of the U.S. vice-president and the trussed-up, ostentatious showiness of the Four Hundred, the name given to New York's social elite in the late nineteenth century.


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.

President Roosevelt assessed the renovations completed on the White House in December of 1902.

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…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.

When TR arrived in Dakota Territory to hunt buffalo in the fall of 1883, he was impressed by the hardiness and agility of the ponies he and his party rode over the rugged badlands.

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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.

This was one passage in Roosevelt’s letter to the American Institute of Architects. It was read aloud at the 50th annual convention of the Institute in Minneapolis on December 7, 1916. Roosevelt was not only a nationalist in politics and armed force, but in culture, too.


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.

These are the opening words of Theodore Roosevelt's acceptance speech, presented to the Nobel Committee by Minister Herbert Pierce on December 10, 1906.

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