On President’s Day We’re Sharing A Quote From Every One Of Our Presidents


On President’s Day, after we’ve bought our mattresses, we honor our presidents. It used to be just Washington and Lincoln that we remembered on this day but it’s grown to include them all. In that spirit, here is a quote from every single one of them. Yes, even Millard Fillmore.

  1. Thus while just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion affords to government it’s surest support. ~ George Washington
  2. 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
  3. It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own. ~ Thomas Jefferson
  4. Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government. ~ James Madison
  5. It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty. ~ James Monroe
  6. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. ~ John Quincy Adams
  7. Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error. ~ Andrew Jackson
  8. There is a power in public opinion in this country… which will not tolerate an incompetent or unworthy man to hold in his weak or wicked hands the lives and fortunes of his fellow-citizens. ~ Martin Van Buren
  9. There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power. ~ William H. Harrison
  10. I can never consent to being dictated to. ~ John Tyler
  11. One great object of the Constitution was to restrain majorities from oppressing minorities or encroaching upon their just rights. ~ James K. Polk
  12. It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe. ~ Zachary Taylor
  13. May God save the country, for it is evident that the people will not. ~ Millard Fillmore
  14. Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion. ~ Franklin Pierce
  15. The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men. ~ James Buchanan
  16. America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~ Abraham Lincoln
  17. Legislation can neither be wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many and varied interests. ~ Andrew Johnson
  18. There never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
  19. The President of the United States should strive to be always mindful of the fact that he serves his party best who serves his country best. ~ Rutherford B. Hayes
  20. If wrinkles must be written on our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should never grow old. ~ James A. Garfield
  21. Men may die, but the fabrics of free institutions remains unshaken. ~ Chester A. Arthur
  22. A government for the people must depend for its success on the intelligence, the morality, the justice, and the interest of the people themselves. ~ Grover Cleveland 
  23. I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process. ~ Benjamin Harrison
  24. Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not in conflict; and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war. ~ William McKinley
  25. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  26. No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people. ~ William H. Taft
  27. America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal – to discover and maintain liberty among men. ~ Woodrow Wilson
  28. America’s present need is not heroics but healing; not nostrums but normalcy; not revolution but restoration. ~ Warren G. Harding
  29. No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. ~ Calvin Coolidge
  30. It is a paradox that every dictator has climbed to power on the ladder of free speech. Immediately on attaining power each dictator has suppressed all free speech except his own. ~ Herbert Hoover
  31. Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
  32. It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out our differences. ~ Harry S. Truman
  33. Don’t join the book burners. Do not think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
  34. The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. ~ John F. Kennedy
  35. If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it. ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
  36. We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another – until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices. ~ Richard M. Nixon
  37. History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion. ~ Gerald R. Ford
  38. We have a tendency to condemn people who are different from us, to define their sins as paramount and our own sinfulness as being insignificant. ~ Jimmy Carter
  39. Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.~ Ronald Reagan
  40. America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle. We as a people have such a purpose today. It is to make kinder the face of the nation and gentler the face of the world. ~ George H.W. Bush
  41. I like the job. That’s what I’ll miss the most… I’m not sure anybody ever liked this as much as I’ve liked it. ~ Bill Clinton
  42. Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called ‘walking.’ ~ George W. Bush
  43. What Washington needs is adult supervision. ~ Barack Obama

*You’ll notice that there are only 43 quotes, that’s because Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th president, but we only listed one of his quotes.

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Some readers may wonder why I chose the quotes I did. I chose them because they revealed something of these presidents of which we may not have been aware. A bit of their souls. A view into their world. I steered away from the usual because I wanted to make this list something new, not the same old quotes we always see.

Every POTUS was fascinating in his own way. They have all contributed to the fabric of America. I like to remember them as the human beings they are and were.

Featured Image via USGS on Flickr

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