Franklin Delano Roosevelt

(1882-1945 / Hyde Park, New York)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Quotes

  • ''The overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities—a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. The Wit and Wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt, On America, p. 5, eds. Peter and Helen Beilenson, Peter Pauper Press (1982).
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  • ''People who are hungry and out of job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. The Wit and Wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Government and Democracy, p. 35, eds. Peter and Helen Beilenson, Peter Pauper Press (1982).
  • ''[D]rilling and arming, when carried on on a national scale, excite whole populations to frenzies which end in war.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Letter to Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister of Great Britain. U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers: General, 1933, vol. 1, p. 210, Washington: Government Printing Office (1950).
  • ''It takes a long time to bring the past up to the present.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. William E. Leuchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940, p. 268, Harper & Row (1963). The President lamented the difficulty of initiating effective reform programs.
  • ''This nation asks for action, and action now.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. Ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 volumes, New York (1938-1950). FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's public addresses), side 1, the first inaugural—"Nothing to Fear," ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960). Eleanor Roosevelt commented later that the overwhelming ovation which greeted this statement in FDR's first inaugural was frightening and that if her husband had been less a democrat he could have assumed dictatorial powers with little opposition (interview with Eleanor Roosevelt, Hyde Park, N.Y., Summer, 1959).
  • ''I've fired my last shot. I think I should have another round in my belt.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. William Leutchtenburg, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal: 1932-1940, p. 292, Harper & Row (1963). This is what the President told a group of Senators when he was attempting to get the arms embargo legislation repealed. He wished to use the ability of the United States to produce weapons to provide defensive armaments to the European nations threatened by the Axis powers. His appeal fell on deaf ears as they did not believe there would be a war. Six weeks later Hitler attacked Poland.
  • ''Yesterday, December 7, 1941Ma date that will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 vols., New York (1938-1950). FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's public addresses), side 9, declaration of war—"Day of Infamy" (Dec. 8, 1941), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960).
  • ''No group and no government can properly prescribe precisely what should constitute the body of knowledge with which true education is concerned.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's public addresses), side 5, National Education Association (June 30, 1938), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960). FDR was opposed to external interference by government or private agencies in the content of curriculum.
  • ''The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's public addresses), side 12, undelivered address, Jefferson Day, given here by FDR, Jr. (April 13, 1945), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960). This was FDR's last appeal for Americans to remain united in pursuit of peace as they had remained united in search of victory.
  • ''Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.''
    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. president. FDR Speaks authorized edition of speeches, 1933-1945 (recordings of Franklin Roosevelt's public addresses), side 2, Young Democrats clubs (Aug. 24, 1935), ed. Henry Steele Commager, Introduction by Eleanor Roosevelt, Washington Records, Inc. (1960). FDR tried to get young people to realize that they could and should blaze new trails, but, though they might alter traditions, they should live by principles.

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