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 August 20, 2017:

So lovely is it that I am utterly unable to miss the White House, and though I miss the friends I used to see at the White House, I am very glad to be home.
Written to his sister Anna in March 1909, this statement reveals Theodore Roosevelt's feelings upon coming home at the end of his presidency.

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Quotes:

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August 19, 2017
I enjoy talking to the dear old fellow more than I can tell; he is such a modest high souled old fellow that I just love and respect him.
Theodore Roosevelt greatly admired his mother's brothers, James Dunwoody Bulloch and Irvine S. Bulloch, both of whom served in the Confederate navy during the Civil War. This passage from a letter to Martha Bulloch Roosevelt written while Theodore and Alice were on their honeymoon in 1881 refers particularly to James Dunwoody Bulloch, whom Roosevelt consulted regarding naval history.

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August 17, 2017
Self-government cannot be thrust upon nations from without.
Theodore Roosevelt described self-government in a speech named, "Democratic Ideals," which was delivered in Buenos Aires on November 7, 1913.

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August 16, 2017
I have just had to descend with severity upon Quentin because he put the unfortunate Tom into the bathtub and then turned on the water.
Theodore Roosevelt often related amusing incidents that happened with the family pets, such as this episode with young Quentin and a cat. Roosevelt was able to convey a great deal in a short statement.

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August 15, 2017
A nation should never fight unless forced to; but it should always be ready to fight. The mere fact that it is ready will generally spare it the necessity of fighting.
Theodore Roosevelt's belief in a strong military presence was emphasized in his address to the Naval War College in 1897.

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August 14, 2017
The old pioneer days are gone, with their roughness and their hardship, their incredible toil and their wild, half-savage romance. But the need of the pioneer virtues remains the same as ever.
Theodore Roosevelt valued the virtues of hard work and stressed these virtues throughout his life. He pointed out the need to work hard in his address at the opening of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1903.

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August 13, 2017
All the great masterful races have been fighting races, and the minute that a race loses the hard fighting virtues, then, no matter what else it may retain, no matter how skilled in commerce and finance, in science or art, it has lost its proud right to stand as the equal of the best.
The possession of a strong military was of utmost importance to Theodore Roosevelt. He expressed this theory many times as in this address to the Naval War College in 1897.

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August 12, 2017
The life that is worth living and the only life that is worth living is the life of effort, the life of effort to attain what is worth striving for.
Theodore Roosevelt was an advocate of the strenuous life, or living a life of effort. He stressed this many times as in this address to students of Groton School in 1904.

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August 11, 2017
So I believe heartily in physical prowess, in the sports that go to make physical prowess. I believe in them not only because of the amusement and pleasure they bring but because I think they are useful. Yet I think you had a great deal better never go into them than to go into them with the idea that they are the chief end even of school or college, and still less of life.
Physical prowess was very important to Theodore Roosevelt, and he continually worked on his own. At an address to students at Groton School in 1904, he points out that physical prowess is not the only important aspect of a person's life

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August 10, 2017
Be honest, and remember that honesty counts for nothing unless back of it lie courage and efficiency.
Honesty meant a great deal to Theodore Roosevelt, and he often stressed the importance of it as in this address to the students of Groton School in 1904.

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August 9, 2017
The same qualities that make a decent boy make a decent man. They have different manifestations, but fundamentally they are the same. If a boy has not got pluck and honesty and commonsense he is a pretty poor creature; and he is worse creature if he is a man and lacks any of those three traits.
Theodore Roosevelt had strong opinions on what it took to make a decent man, which he expressed on several occasions throughout his life, including this address to the students at Groton School in 1904.

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