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.

Featured Quote for September:

We recognize in neither court nor Congress nor President, any divine right to overrule the will of the people expressed with due deliberation in orderly fashion and through the forms of law.

In his campaign address at Market Square Garden in New York City, on October of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt proved to Americans that he really was strong as a bull moose. Just ten days earlier he had left the hospital where he had been recovering from the assassination attempt. His sentiment was a familiar one, but received with cheers by his audience that day.

Quotes:

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September 2015

We owe it to future generations to keep alive the noble and beautiful creatures which by their presence add such distinctive character to the American wilderness.

President Roosevelt discusses conservation in his message to the fifty-eighth Congress.

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September 2015

I am a genuine lover of peace. I do not, like my militaristic friends, think war a necessity in order to maintain the virile qualities.

Theodore Roosevelt wrote these words while expressing his thoughts on pacifists and conditions in modern Turkey to Lewis Einstein, who was living in Constantinople in 1915.

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September 2015

Occasionally I talk pretty to the gentlemen; occasionally I thump them with a club; and by generally doing each the right time and in the right way, I have been able to get along better than could reasonably have been expected.

In a letter to his sister, Theodore Roosevelt explains how he was able to get things done while he was governor of New York.

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August 2015

I don’t think that any harm comes from the concentration of power in one man’s hands, provided the holder does not keep it for more than a certain, definite time, and then returns to the people from whom he sprang.

Roosevelt wrote these words to his favorite British historian George Otto Trevelyan, on June 19, 1908, during his last year as president. He had vowed in 1904 not to stand for re-election in 1908, and he spent a great deal of time explaining his decision to his friends (and to himself) as his second term wound down.

August 2015

We have some very friendly hounds with us; as I have petted them, they now feel distinctly hurt if I decline to hold their paws while I am shaving…

Because there are no bongo in the area, Theodore Roosevelt takes a few minutes away from the hunt to write to his daughter about life on his African expedition.

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August 2015

Under such circumstances, our duty is to do the best we can, and not to sulk because our leadership is rejected.

Theodore Roosevelt presents these words to the Progressive National Committee, 1916.

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August 2015

...unless we are Americans and nothing else, we are not a nation at all…

Theodore Roosevelt expressed this sentiment in a letter to the Congress of Constructive Patriotism, which was held by the National Security League in Washington in January of 1917. This congress met to promote national spirit.

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August 2015

I have now run up against an ugly snag, the Sunday Excise Law. It is altogether too strict; but I have no honorable alternative save to enforce it, and I am enforcing it, to the furious rage of the saloon keepers and of many good people too; for which I am sorry.

Police Commissioner Roosevelt adamantly enforced the less than popular Sunday Excise Law, a law that Roosevelt identified as a major cause of blackmail and corruption in New York.

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August 2015

All for each, and each for all, is a good motto; but only on condition that each works with might and main to so maintain himself as not to be a burden to others.

Theodore Roosevelt wrote these words in the foreword of An Autobiography, published in 1913.

August 2015

I think our citizens are more and more realizing that they wish to perpetuate the things that are of use and also the things that are of beauty.

President Roosevelt appreciates the growing support for resource conservation in his address to the people of Redlands, CA, 1903.

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