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.
April 27, 2015
Colonel Goethals has succeeded in instilling into the men under him a spirit which elsewhere has been found only in a few victorious armies.
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I am of course in a perfect whirl of work and have every kind of worry and trouble—but that’s what I am here for and down at bottom I enjoy it after all.
The man who in times of crises develops heroic virtues is the man who does not wait until the crises comes before he develops any virtues at all.
It is to our discredit as a nation that our governmental buildings should so frequently be monuments of sordid ugliness. Only too often the Government does less to advance the standards of architecture, and therefore of public taste, than has been done by many big private corporations.
I am myself a believer in woman suffrage. I do not believe with those who feel that this would make women shirk their essential duties. My experience has been that many of those women who do shirk them are against the suffrage.
Surely our people do not understand even yet the rich heritage that is theirs. There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of giant sequoias and redwoods, the Canyon of the Colorado, the Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Three Tetons; and our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.
I do not believe there ever was any life more attractive to a vigorous young fellow than life on a cattle ranch in those days. It was a fine, healthy life, too; it taught a man self-reliance, hardihood, and the value of instant decision—in short, the virtues that ought to come from life in the open country. I enjoyed the life to the full.
I have no idea whether I shall be offered the Assistant Secretaryship of the Navy or not. If so, I shall probably take it, because I am intensely interested in our navy, and know a good deal about it, and it would mean four years work…
McKinley rather distrusted me, and Platt actively hated me; it was Cabot’s untiring energy and devotion which put me in; and Long really wanted me.
We live in a rough world and good work in it can be done only by those who are not afraid to do their part in the dust and smoke of the arena.