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 November 13, 2018:

High of heart, and with unfaltering soul, we must do our part in the grim work of toiling and fighting to bring a little nearer the day when where shall be orderly liberty throughout the world, and when justice and mercy and brotherly love shall obtain between man and man and among all the nations mankind.
President Roosevelt said this in an address on December 31, 1917, which touched up sacrifices both for those fighting abroad and those at home.


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November 12, 2018
To improve our system of agriculture seems to me the most urgent of the tasks which lies before us. But it cannot, in my judgement, be effected by measures which touch on the material and technical side of the subject; the whole business and life of the farmer must also be taken into account.
President Roosevelt made this statement in a report to Congress on his Country Life Commission which was tasked with studying and assisting rural American farmers. He emphasized in his report the dual role of the farm as home and business.
November 11, 2018
Far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Taken from "The Strenuous Life"
November 10, 2018
For many of us, life is going to be very hard. For each one of us who does anything it is going to have hard stretches in it. If he does not put himself in the way to encounter, to overcome them, he won't do anything that is worthy of being done.
While he expressed similar sentiments about the strenuous life throughout his career, this particular quote is from an address he gave to the Grand Lodge in Philadelphia on November 5, 1902. President Roosevelt spoke to the Grand Lodge of the State of Pennsylvania on the 150-year anniversary of the initiation of George Washington as a Freemason. Roosevelt, in his address, hails the Masons' commitment to the equality and brotherhood of its members, as well as the ideals of self-respect and self-help.

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November 9, 2018
Two of the evil elements in our Government against which good citizens have to contend are, 1. the lack of continuous activity on the part of these good citizens themselves and, 2. the ever present activity of those who have only an evil self-interest in political life.
Taken from Theodore Roosevelt's autobiography, from a chapter called, "Applied Idealism."
November 8, 2018
There has been a real growth of recognition of the fact that moral turpitude is involved in the wrongdoing of one nation by another, and that in most cases war is an evil method of settling international difficulties.
Excerpt from Chapter XV of Roosevelt's autobiography, titled, "The Peace of Righteousness."
November 7, 2018
A long experience in politics has taught me that one must never dismiss any accusations as impossible of verification, because both in public life as in private life a man of the very highest repute will occasionally go wrong.
Excerpt from a letter from Theodore Roosevelt to Ray Stannard Baker written on July 4, 1903. Roosevelt also knows the danger of the "utterly baseless" gossip along the frontier.

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November 6, 2018
I am accustomed to both work and worry and I manage to have a pretty good time in spite of everything.
In January of 1903, President Roosevelt writes to his son Kermit that he has his hands full with the Cuban reciprocity treaty, Army relief measures, dealings with the Philippines and other matters, but he is accustomed to the stress and schedule.

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November 5, 2018
I was just in time to see the last of the real wilderness life and real wilderness hunting.
Theodore Roosevelt laments to his friend, British explorer and naturalist Frederick Courteney Selous, that the American wilderness is dwindling, and he is sad that his children will not know the same hunting as he had known. Roosevelt writes that he is disappointed the hunting in America was not better for Selous on his recent trip.

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November 4, 2018
The more a healthy American sees of his fellow-Americans the greater grows his conviction that our chief troubles come from mutual misunderstanding, from failing to appreciate one another's point of view.
This quote is taken from a speech President Roosevelt gave on Labor Day in 1900 on "The Labor Question." Roosevelt goes on to talk about how his time through the years working alongside cowmen, farmers, ranchers, tradesmen and other working class folks gave him empathy and perspective for how others lived.
November 3, 2018
Ridicule is one of the favorite weapons of wickedness, and it is sometimes incomprehensible how good and brave boys will be influenced for evil by the jeers of associates who have no one quality that calls for respect, but who affect to laugh at the very traits which ought to be peculiarly the cause for pride.
Taken from a speech Roosevelt titled, "American Boy," which details qualities that a good boy should strive for. He goes on to say, "There is no need to be a prig... there is urgent need that he should practise decency; that he should be clean and straight, honest and truthful, gentle and tender, as well as brave.
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