75 Inspirational & Timeless Quotes From U.S. Presidents

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While every politician is faced with scrutiny at some point during their leadership, what we can all agree on is that our presidents have shared a lot of wise words over the years of our young nation.

I mean we have a federal holiday dedicated to them: President's Day which was first established in 1885 in honor of George Washington's birthday, in 1971 the holiday was revised to create more 3-day weekends (woo!) and honor all of our nation's presidents who have given inspiring presidential quotes. 

According to historical rankings, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and George Washington are the most famous presidents of America.

And of course, we can't forget Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, JFK, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama, who so often moved the nation with their words.

Whether or not you have agreed with past presidents you can still appreciate some of the knowledge that they had.

The following presidential quotes are inspirational sayings from our nation's highest leaders.

1. "Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly." — John F. Kennedy

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2. "Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company." — George Washington

 

3. "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." — John Quincy Adams 

 

4. "The cynics may be the loudest voices — but I promise you they will accomplish the least." — Barack Obama

 

5. "To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do." — John Adams

 

6. "Believe you can and you're halfway there." — Theodore Roosevelt

 

7. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." — Abraham Lincoln

 

8. "The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money." — James Madison

 

9. "Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

10. "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try." — John F. Kennedy

11. "It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that [people] are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future." — James Monroe

 

12. "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." — Thomas Jefferson

 

13. "A leadership is someone who brings people together." — George W. Bush

 

14. "Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men." — John F. Kennedy

 

15. "We should never despair, our situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again." — George Washington

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16. "Without passion you don't have energy, without energy you have nothing." — Donald Trump

 

17. "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today." — Thomas Jefferson

 

18. "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." — Theodore Roosevelt

 

19. "Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer." — Ronald Reagan

 

20. "Always stand on principle... even if you stand alone." — John Adams 

21. "Never be satisfied with less than your very best effort. If you strive for the top and miss, you'll still 'beat the pack." — Gerald R. Ford

 

22. "Let us dare to read, think, speak and write." — John Adams

 

23."Great lives never go out; they go on." — Benjamin Harrison

 

24. "Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose." — Lyndon B. Johnson

 

25. "The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph." — George Washington

 

26. "If wrinkles must be written on our brow, let them not be written on our heart. The spirit should never grow old." — James Garfield

 

27. "There's good in everybody. Boost. Don't knock." — Warren G. Harding

 

28. "Try and fail, but don't fail to try." — John Quincy Adams

 

29. "Tell the truth, work hard and come to dinner on time." — Gerald Ford 

 

30. "Be patient and calm; no one can catch a fish with anger." — Herbert Hoover

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31. "If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress." — Barack Obama

 

32. "I walk slowly, but I never walk backward." — Abraham Lincoln

 

33. "The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money." — James Madison

 

34. "The object of love is to serve, not to win." — Woodrow Wilson

 

35. "It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't." — Martin Van Buren

 

36. "I can never consent to being dictated to." — John Tyler

 

37. "Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." — John F. Kennedy

 

38. "An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory." — Millard Fillmore

 

39. "Pessimism never won any battle." — Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

40. "In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins." — Ulysses S. Grant

41. "Every expert was once a beginner." — Rutherford B. Hayes

 

42. "In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest." — William McKinley

 

43. "Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds." — Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

44. "We must dare to be great, and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage." — William Howard Taft

 

45. "The object of love is to serve not to win." — Woodrow Wilson

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46. "If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month." — Theodore Roosevelt

 

47. "If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." — Calvin Coolidge

 

48. "Be patient and calm, no one can catch a fish with anger." — Herbert Hoover

 

49. "In the time of darkest defeat, victory may be nearest." — William McKinley

 

50. "If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity." — John F. Kennedy

51. "Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." — Thomas Jefferson

 

52. "I not only use all the brains I have but all I can borrow." — Woodrow Wilson

 

53. "It is better to be defeated standing for a high principle than to run by committing subterfuge." — Grover Cleveland

 

54.  "Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose." — Lyndon B. Johnson 

 

55. "Right reason is stronger than force." — James A. Garfield

 

56. "Remember 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

 

57. "Never be satisfied with less than your very best effort. If you strive for the top and miss, you'll still 'beat the pack.'" — Gerald R. Ford 

 

58. "You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can." — Jimmy Carter

 

59. "If you live long enough, you'll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you'll be a better person. It's how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit." — William J. Clinton

 

60. "I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better." — Abraham Lincoln

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61. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." — Barack Obama 

 

62. "An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory." — Millard Fillmore

 

63. "We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and Freedom will prevail." — George W. Bush

 

64. "No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit." — William J. Clinton

 

65. "Right reason is stronger than force." — James A. Garfield

 

66. "Times change and we change with them." — William Henry Harrison

 

67. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." — Barack Obama

 

68. "There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses." — Andrew Jackson

 

69. "I’d rather have lasting peace in the world than be president. I wish for peace, I work for peace, and I pray for peace continually." — Harry S. Truman

 

70. "There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power." —  William Henry Harrison

71. "There is something inherently wrong, something out of accord with the ideals of representative democracy when one portion of our citizenship turns its activities to private gain amid defensive war while another is fighting, sacrificing, or dying for national preservation." — Warren G. Harding

 

72. "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

 

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

 

74. "America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens." — George W. Bush

 

75."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

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Molly Given is a writer and lover of all things to do with mystery and magic in life. When she’s not writing her fingers off she can be found planning her next adventure in a new part of the world.