50 Inspiring President’s Day Quotes From U.S. Presidents

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During the wonderful three-day weekend that heralds President’s Day, let’s not forget to commemorate our country’s great leaders with these president’s day quotes.

Each of our Commanders-in-Chiefs have left their marks on our country through reforms, successful projects, and myriad achievements. History has also shown their weakness and flaws in various situations.

Today, let’s get to know the inner workings of their minds and the anecdotes that they are known for. Read these President’s Day quotes and get to know our leaders better.

So, first of all, 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. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right. – Lyndon Johnson

lyndon johnson quote

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron….Is there no other way the world may live? – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I would rather belong to a poor nation that was free than to a rich nation that had ceased to be in love with liberty. – Woodrow Wilson

presidential quotes

The consequences arising from the continual accumulation of public debts in other countries ought to admonish us to be careful to prevent their growth in our own. – John Adams

The greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes when you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes; because only if you’ve been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain… Always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember: Others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win, unless you hate them. And then, you destroy yourself. – Richard Nixon

I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts. – Ronald Reagan

president ronald reagan quote

The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson— and I am not wholly excepting the Administration of WW — The country is going through a repetition of Jackson’s fight with the Bank of the United Stated – only on a far bigger and broader basis. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

When one side only of a story is heard and often repeated, the human mind becomes impressed with it insensibly. – George Washington

presidential quote

He serves his party best who serves the country best. – Rutherford B. Hayes

If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable it is when it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence. – John Adams

Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education. – George H.W. Bush

quotes by presidents

Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters. Not only is their time and labor due to the government, but they should scrupulously avoid in their political action, as well as in the discharge of their official duty, offending by a display of obtrusive partisanship their neighbors who have relations with them as public officials. – Grover Cleveland

Being a politician is a poor profession. Being a public servant is a noble one. – Herbert Hoover

Mankind must put an end to war — or war will put an end to mankind. – John F. Kennedy

great presidential quotes

Peace is the best time for improvement and preparation of every kind; it is in peace that our commerce flourishes most, that taxes are most easily paid, and that the revenue is most productive. – James Monroe

Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation. – Calvin Coolidge

I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form. – Calvin Coolidge

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. – Barack Obama

most famous presidential quotes

In a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities, and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption. Human identity is no longer defined by what one does, but by what one owns. But we’ve discovered that owning things and consuming things does not satisfy our longing for meaning. We’ve learned that piling up material goods cannot fill the emptiness of lives which have no confidence or purpose. – Jimmy Carter

However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. – George Washington

We must teach our children to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons. – Bill Clinton

happy presidents day quotes

To waste, to destroy, our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed. – Theodore Roosevelt

If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy. – Thomas Jefferson

See Also: 20 Famous Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Liberty without learning is always in peril, and learning without liberty is always in vain. – John F. Kennedy

famous presidential quotes

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny. – Abraham Lincoln

See Also: 30+ Famous Abraham Lincoln Quotes & Facts

Let me warn you, and let me warn the nation, against the smooth evasion that says: “Of course we believe these things. We believe in social security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die! We believe in all these things. But we do not like the way that the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything! – Franklin D. Roosevelt

I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth or shapes it into a garment will starve in the process. – Benjamin Harrison

quotes presidents

War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed. – William McKinley

Although in our country the Chief Magistrate must almost of necessity be chosen by a party and stand pledged to its principles and measures, yet in his official action he should not be the President of a part only, but of the whole people of the United States. While he executes the laws with an impartial hand, shrinks from no proper responsibility, and faithfully carries out in the executive department of the government the principles and policy of those who have chosen him, he should not be unmindful that our fellow-citizens who have differed with him in opinion are entitled to the full and free exercise of their opinions and judgments, and that the rights of all are entitled to respect and regard. – James K. Polk

We the people tell the government what to do, it doesn’t tell us. – Ronald Reagan

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. – Ronald Reagan

ronald reagan quotes

While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government. – John Adams

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. – George Washington

inspirational presidential quotes

The diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety. – Thomas Jefferson

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. – Abraham Lincoln

president abraham lincoln quote

Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out! – Andrew Jackson

Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country. – Calvin Coolidge

president calvin coolidge quote

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. – Ronald Reagan

America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand. – Harry Truman

presidential speech quotes

Of course, there are dangers in religious freedom and freedom of opinion. But to deny these rights is worse than dangerous, it is absolutely fatal to liberty. The external threat to liberty should not drive us into suppressing liberty at home. Those who want the government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination. – Harry S. Truman

Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits. – Thomas Jefferson

president thomas jefferson quote

Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. – John Quincy Adams

If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

eisenhower quotes

In the history of mankind many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state; and in no way has this loss of power been so often and so clearly shown as in the tendency to turn the government into a government primarily for the benefit of one class instead of a government for the benefit of the people as a whole. – Theodore Roosevelt

A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil. – Grover Cleveland

president grover cleveland quote

The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly. – John F. Kennedy

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. – Abraham Lincoln

abraham lincoln quote

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. – James Madison

America is a Nation with a mission – and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace – a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman. – George W. Bush

The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people’s hands, that is, to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice. – John Adams

john adams quote

Far better it is 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 neither victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt

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