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 April 18, 2014 :

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I am myself at heart as much a westerner as an easterner; I am proud indeed to be considered one of yourselves, and I address you in this rather solemn strain today only because of my pride in you and because your welfare, morale as well as material, is so near my heart.

"

Theodore Roosevelt truly enjoyed his time in Dakota Territory; he believed that his experience there helped to create the man who became President of the United States.

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Previous Quotes:

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04/17/2014

I merely propose that we simplify machinery which, with the growth of the nation, has become hopelessly cumbersome and unwieldy.

In this statement from a speech that was given in Atlanta in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt refers to the national income tax.

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04/16/2014

I do not undervalue, for a moment, our national prosperity. Like all Americans, I like big things; big parades, big forests and mountains, big wheat fields, railroads – and herds of cattle too; big factories, steamboats and everything else.

This statement comes from a speech given at Dickinson, Dakota Territory, on July 4, 1886. While he begins with this statement about the enjoyment of big things, he goes on to say that “no people were ever yet benefited by riches if their property corrupted their virtue.”

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04/15/2014

We must remember that the republic can only be kept pure by the individual purity of its members, and that if it once becomes thoroughly corrupt it will surely cease to exist.

This warning suggests a consequence in which the United States failed to learn from the downfall of the Roman Republic. Roosevelt believed that the only way a government of the people would survive is if the people held themselves up to a moral code.

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04/14/2014

We only have the right to live on as free men, so long as we show ourselves worthy of the privileges we enjoy.

Roosevelt believed that American citizens not only have rights and freedoms but also responsibilities that should not be taken lightly. Only by acting responsibly and honorably can citizens prove themselves worthy of the freedoms that are often taken for granted.

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04/13/2014

…we all of us feel, most rightly and properly, that we belong to the greatest nation that has ever existed on the earth…

Theodore Roosevelt took great pride in being an American, and he showed that pride in many of his speeches and writings throughout his life. This statement is taken from the speech he gave on Independence Day 1886 in Dickinson, Dakota Territory.

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04/12/2014

Never again must we be caught so utterly unprepared as we have been caught this time. For myself personally I hold that there is but one efficient method, and that is to introduce as our permanent national policy, the principle of basing universal suffrage on universal service; on universal service in and universal service in war; and therefore on the military training of all our young men in time of peace so that they may be ready if the nation calls to perform the tasks of war.

Military preparedness was a theme expounded by Theodore Roosevelt throughout his life, but particularly during World War I. He spoke on this topic in many places, including this speech in Portland, Maine, on March 28, 1918.

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04/11/2014

It is not what we see, but what our children are to see and we, the people of today may not see Dakota in all her glory and grandness, but the people of coming years will witness the power and glory of this country in its fullness.

Theodore Roosevelt became enamored of Dakota Territory upon the occasion of his first trip to the location in 1883. This statement, which expresses his delight in the land, was included in his Independence Day oration at Dickinson, Dakota Territory, in 1886.

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04/10/2014

If you are in sympathy with the Progressive Platform, then I hold that it is your duty to yourself, your duty to your State, and your duty to the Nation, not merely to support the Platform but to give your share of the leadership of the new party which has brought forth that platform.

The Progressive Party campaign became very important to Theodore Roosevelt. He felt very strongly that if people supported the party, they should prove that support.

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04/09/2014
04/09/2014

If we are men and not children, if we have the right stuff of mankind in us, we will look facts in the face, however ugly they be, and profit by them.

Theodore Roosevelt was convinced that the United States was not prepared for World War I and that, furthermore, the administration mishandled America’s participation in the war. He felt that facing these facts was something that the American government needed to do.

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