Celebrate: Quotes from Our Best Presidents and Others Greats

Dan quotes on blackboard cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas
Cartoon by Mickey Paraskevas

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary…Uh. Uh oh. It’s gone.” —Thomas Jefferson

“Four score and seven years ago, our forefathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. I just put it down for a minute.” Abraham Lincoln

“We have met the enemy and they are ours. Look around. It’s here somewhere.” —Captain Oliver Perry

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Uh, bridge, we have to turn back.” —Admiral David Farragut

“You may fire when you are ready, Gridley. Didn’t I just hand it to you?” —Commodore George Dewey

“That these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. Look under the backseat on the passenger side.” —Abraham Lincoln

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for…It’s floating off. Can’t believe this.” —Neil Armstrong

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked… It better be in this last pocket.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. Just call my phone with yours. You don’t?” —Winston Churchill

“For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Uh, didn’t I give it to you to hold?”—Lou Gehrig

“I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together…. We’ll have to trace our steps.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your… Just right where you’re standing, nobody move.” —John F. Kennedy

“I only regret I have but one life to give for my country. Wait. I’ll be right back. I can climb down myself.” —Nathan Hale

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. Just look in the other pocket…” —Abraham Lincoln

“Et tu, Brute…shit.” —Julius Caesar

“This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…. Excuse me for a minute.” —Franklin Roosevelt.

“Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him…Holy crap.”—Hamlet

“Never in history have so many owed so much to so few. Just call it one more time. I’m close.”—Winston Churchill

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. Did you check the bathroom?” —Dwight Eisenhower

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! That’s not it. It has green rubber bumps on the case.” —Ronald Reagan

“I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that ‘old soldiers never die; they just fade away.’ And like the old soldier of that ballad… Last time I saw it, it was in my back pocket, where it’s supposed to be.” —Douglas McArthur

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death. Hold everything.” —Patrick Henry

“It is this fate, I solemnly assure you, that I dread for you, when the time comes that you make your reckoning, and realize that there is no longer anything that can be done. May you never find yourselves, men of Athens, in such a position. Yet in any case, it were better to die 10,000 deaths, than to do anything out of servility toward…We have to go back. It’s an order. Turn it around.” —Demosthenes

More from Our Sister Sites