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 May:

We are for all our spirit of progress essentially a conservative people. We believe in conservatism; but it is a conservatism not of timidity, not of mere stolidity, it is the conservatism of good sense. We do not intend to be spurred into rash action or to be frightened out of action that is needed by the circumstances of the case.

President Roosevelt speaks to the citizens of Indianapolis and thanks them for their greeting. He discusses his travels and expansionism. Roosevelt also discusses the character of the American people.

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Quotes:

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May 2016

Our nation must play a great part in the world. We cannot help it. All that we can decide is whether we will play that part well or ill, and I know you too well, my fellow countrymen, to doubt what your decision in that case will be.

President Roosevelt speaks to the citizens of Indianapolis and thanks them for their greeting. He discusses his travels and expansionism. Roosevelt also discusses the character of the American people.

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May 2016

I think all of you will realize that no tie can be quite as close as the tie which binds a man to the others with whom he has marched, with whom he has lain in the trenches, with whom he has shared hardtacks (and was mighty glad to get them) and who have a claim on him that no other can have.

President Roosevelt briefly speaks in Williams, Arizona.

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May 2016

Archaeologists, in order to reach the highest point in their profession, should be not merely antiquarians but out-of-door men, and above all, gifted with that supreme quality of seeing the living body through the dry bones, and then making others see it also.

Roosevelt deplored dry-as-dust academic history. He believed that history should be well-written and as entertaining as it was educational.

May 2016

It always seemed to me that the men who fought in the great war and the men who won the west by their courage and hardihood, their physical and moral daring, did feats that were fundamentally the same.

President Roosevelt greets a crowd in Moorcroft, W.Y. and remembers his days at the 101 ranch.

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May 2016

The welfare of a state depends upon the character of its citizenship.

President Roosevelt speaks to a crowd from his hotel balcony in Minneapolis. He speaks of citizenship and gratitude.

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May 2016

I believe in the stork and I want to keep it up.

TR ended a speech in Iowa with this statement that supports his view on big families.

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May 2016

In the long run that is what counts-the stuff the man has in him.

President Roosevelt briefly speaks to a crowd in Frederick, S. D. He thanks them for their greeting and discusses his time in the Dakota Territory.

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May 2016

All that any law can do is to give a man a decent chance; and then he will have to work out his own fate for himself, …

President Roosevelt greets a crowd in Tulare, S. D. He congratulates them on their prosperity, which he attributes to their character.

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May 2016

A strong and wise people will study its own failures no less than its triumphs, for there is wisdom to be learned from the study of both, of the mistake as well as of the success.

Theodore Roosevelt included these words in his Sixth Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1906. This was one of Roosevelt’s principles that most people find difficult to adopt.

May 2016

It is far better to try experiments, even when we are not certain how these experiments will turn out, or when we are certain that the proposed plan contains elements of folly as well as elements of wisdom. Better “trial and error” than no trial at all.

Theodore Roosevelt believed in action. He was not afraid to strive and fail, though he much preferred to succeed in the arena. He wrote these words a few years after he left the presidency.

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