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 July 30, 2014 :


The Grand Canyon of the Colorado, where we spent a day, defies description. It impresses one as some wonderful and terrible sunset impresses one with awe and a sense of grandeur and sublimity, a sense of majesty of the work of the ages.


President Roosevelt stopped and spoke at the Grand Canyon while touring the west. Five years later, during his second term in office, Roosevelt used the Antiquities Act to establish Grand Canyon as a national monument.

View Document of Origin

Previous Quotes:

of 106 Page: 1051 articles:

Their trouble is that they are trying to take about 200 steps at once. I am in favor of taking two or three now and then, perhaps we shall see our way clear to taking two or three more when we can meet the next needs.

Roosevelt pointed out the trouble with hasty reformers. As a Progressive candidate, he proposed a more modest approach to solving the problems of the nation in 1912.

View Document of Origin


Kit Carson and his comrades were men of real marks, and their work was of the utmost consequence, and should not be allowed to be forgotten.

Roosevelt expressed admiration for the life and adventures of Kit Carson, as he asked whether or not a publication about Carson was in the works.

View Document of Origin


Nowhere else does one seem so far off from all mankind; the plains stretch out in deathlike and measureless expanse, and as he journeys over them they will for many miles be lacking in all signs of life. Although he can see so far, yet all objects on the outermost verge of the horizon, even though within the ken of his vision, look unreal and strange; for there is no shade to take away from the bright glare, and at a little distance things seem to shimmer and dance in the hot rays of the sun.

Roosevelt wrote these words in his 1885 book Hunting Trips of a Ranchman. Perhaps no one has ever captured the sleepy monotony of the badlands and plains country on a hot afternoon as well as Roosevelt.


In the principle involved there will of course be no compromise. The question is not in my judgment one in which it is possible for a moment to consider reconciling of conflicting claims by mutual concessions. It is to determine whether the theory…is right in its entirety or wrong in its entirety.

President Roosevelt instructed his most trusted advisors to serve as judges rather than advocates, using impartial judgment and historic precedence, to settle disputed borders in the Alaska Boundary Tribunal of 1903.

View Document of Origin


I am very anxious to see the squadron of iron clads maneuvering, and at gun practice.

In late summer of 1897, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt wrote to his brother-in-law, Captain Cowles, to plan a visit and review of the Hampton Roads Fleet.

View Document of Origin


May I ask that you have sent to Sargent the letter which has gone to him in your care? I was greatly pleased that he said he would paint my picture for the White House. He is of course the one artist who should paint the portrait of an American President.

Through letters such as this, to the Secretary of the U.S. Embassy in London, Roosevelt was able to arrange for artist John Singer Sargent to visit the White House and create Roosevelt’s official portrait.

View Document of Origin


The twilights were not long; and when the night fell, stars new to northern eyes flashed glorious in the sky. Above the horizon hung the Southern Cross, and directly opposite in the heavens was our old friend the Wain, the Great Bear, upside down and pointing to a North Star so low behind a hill that we could not see it.

Theodore Roosevelt described the East African landscape and unique night sky in chapter two of African Game Trails.

View Document of Origin


…as soon as a man ceases to improve he goes backward.

Wrapped up in World War I, Theodore Roosevelt was writing to his son about promotions within the army. However, his words serve as a reminder to pursue self-improvement and progress through all walks of life.

View Document of Origin


I think I should have had rather a rough time had I been obliged to put up with the hotel accommodation (in Mandan); for it was a vile building entered through an underground drinking saloon, and my room contained two beds, and two fellow boarders – one of them my old friend the horse thief Calamity Joe, now out on bail.

Roosevelt was in town for the business of indicting the boat thieves. To his luck, he met some familiar faces and was invited to stay with the Selmes family, a crowd much more elegant than that at the hotel.

View Document of Origin


We came upon their camp by surprise and, covering them with our cocked rifles, held them up and disarmed them in the most approved western fashion.

Like a scene from a western dime novel, Roosevelt and his “determined allies” travelled the icy Little Missouri River, located the thieves who had stolen their boat, and brought them to justice. Roosevelt described it all to his sister, Anna, in 1886.

View Document of Origin

of 106 Page: 1051 articles: