Presidential quotes from American history can inspire us to be better, comfort us when we are fearful, and challenge us to pursue the American dream.
Some really great quotes by presidents can be found in every era in our history. Some of the most famous presidential quotes were first spoken during a time of great crisis:
...and acts of terrorism against the United States of America
If you have any favorite presidential quotes, please use the form at the bottom of this page to submit it.
Presidential quotes have always been some of the most famous American history quotes. From JFK's inspiring "Ask not" quote to Bill Clinton's "definition of is is" quote. Presidential quotes are sometimes humorous - "I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can't get my wife to go
swimming." - Jimmy Carter
...and often times presidential quotes are inspirational - "Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known." - Ronald Reagan
Fun Fact: The first
50-star United States flag was raised
over Fort McHenry in 1960. The historic fort was the
site of Francis Scott Key's writing of the
"Star Spangled Banner".
You can get a Presidential Quotes app on iTunes. Apps make it so easy to have a huge selection of presidential quotes handy at all times!
Below you will find some great Presidential quotes from American history.
"Precedents are dangerous things; let the reins of government then be braced and held with a steady hand, and every violation of the Constitution be reprehended: If defective let it be amended, but not suffered to be trampled upon whilst it has an existence." - George Washington
"Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder." - George Washington
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." - George Washington
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams
"We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." - Abraham Lincoln
"Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people." - John Adams
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams
"Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." - Thomas Jefferson
"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." - Thomas Jefferson
"A man's character is like a tree and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." - Abraham Lincoln
"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." - Abraham Lincoln
"You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time" - Abraham Lincoln
"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." - Abraham Lincoln
"I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow" - Abraham Lincoln
"Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself." - Abraham Lincoln
"My friends, I have detained you about as long as I desired to do, and I have only to say, let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man--this race and that race being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal." - Abraham Lincoln
"A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." - Theodore Roosevelt
"Actions speak louder than words." - Theodore Roosevelt
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." - Theodore Roosevelt
"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
"When you see a rattlesnake poised to strike you, do not wait until he has struck before you crush him." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry S Truman
"America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. The buck stops here." - Harry S Truman
"I never give them hell. I just tell the truth, and they think it is hell." - Harry S Truman
"America is best described by one word, freedom." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
"If we make ourselves worthy of America's ideals, if we do not forget that our nation was founded on the premise that all men are creatures of God's making, the world will come to know that it is free men who carry forward the true promise of human progress and dignity." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
"I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem-and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?" - Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty." - John F. Kennedy
"Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all. " - John F. Kennedy
"When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity." - John F. Kennedy
"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." - John F. Kennedy
"Don't let anyone tell you that America's best days are behind her-that the American spirit has been vanquished. We've seen it triumph too often in our lives to stop believing in it now." - Ronald Reagan
"Trust the people--that is the crucial lesson of history." - Ronald Reagan
"Every new day begins with possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with things that move us toward progress and peace." - Ronald Reagan
"The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become." - Ronald Reagan
"It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work--work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it." - Ronald Reagan
"Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known." - Ronald Reagan
"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." - Ronald Reagan
For more Ronald Reagan Quotations visit Ronald Reagan Quotes.
Presidential Quotes Video
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." - William J. Clinton
"It depends on what the meaning of the words 'is' is." – - William J. Clinton
"You know, when the framers finished crafting our Constitution in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin stood in Independence Hall and he reflected on the carving of the sun that was on the back of a chair he saw. The sun was low on the horizon. So he said this--he said, "I've often wondered whether that sun was rising or setting. Today," Franklin said, "I have the happiness to know it's a rising sun." Today, because each succeeding generation of Americans has kept the fire of freedom burning brightly, lighting those frontiers of possibility, we all still bask in the glow and the warmth of Mr. Franklin's sun." - William J. Clinton
"America is successful because of the hard work and creativity and enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy before September 11, and they are our strengths today." - George W. Bush
"The secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our government, but in the spirit and determination of our people." - George W. Bush
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer." - Barack H. Obama
"This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment." - Barack H. Obama
You can find more Presidential quotes from our Founding Fathers here.
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