Speaking Loudly


“We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man. We must see that each is given a square deal, because he is entitled to no more and should receive no less. The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.”

New York State Fair, Syracuse, September 7, 1903


“Is America a weakling, to shrink from the work of the great world powers? No! The young giant of the West stands on a continent and clasps the crest of an ocean in either hand. Our nation, glorious in youth and strength, looks into the future with eager eyes and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.”

Letter to John Hay, American Ambassador to the Court of St. James, London, written in Washington, DC, June 7, 1897


“There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man's heart and soul, the man's worth and actions, determine his standing.”

Letter, Oyster Bay, NY, September 1, 1903


“If a man does not have an ideal and try to live up to it, then he becomes a mean, base, and sordid creature, no matter how successful.”

Letter to his son, Kermit, quoted in Theodore Roosevelt by Joseph Bucklin Bishop, 1915


“There are two things that I want you to make up your minds to: first, that you are going to have a good time as long as you live – I have no use for the sour-faced man – and next, that you are going to do something worthwhile, that you are going to work hard and do the things you set out to do.”

Talk to schoolchildren in Oyster Bay, Christmastime, 1898


“It is no use to preach to [children] if you do not act decently yourself.”

Speech to Holy Name Society, Oyster Bay, August 16, 1903


“The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name.”


"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

Chicago, IL, April 10, 1899


“Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.”

The Groton School, Groton, MA, May 24, 1904


“Women should have free access to every field of labor which they care to enter, and when their work is as valuable as that of a man it should be paid as highly.”

An Autobiography, 1913


“I have a perfect horror of words that are not backed up by deeds.”

Oyster Bay, NY, July 7, 1915


“This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.”

Chicago, IL, June 17, 1912


“I don't think any President ever enjoyed himself more than I did. Moreover, I don't think any ex-President ever enjoyed himself more.”

University of Cambridge, England, May 26, 1910


“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”

An Autobiography, 1913


“I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Des Moines, IA, November 4, 1910


“There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.”

Confession of Faith Speech, Progressive National Convention, Chicago, August 6, 1912


“The worst of all fears is the fear of living.”

An Autobiography, 1913


“There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to ‘mean' horses and gun-fighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.”

An Autobiography, 1913


“To borrow a simile from the football field, we believe that men must play fair, but that there must be no shirking, and that the success can only come to the player who hits the line hard.”

Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, NY, October 1897


“Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready.”

San Francisco, CA, May 13, 1903


“It is true of the Nation, as of the individual, that the greatest doer must also be a great dreamer.”

Berkeley, CA, 1911


“This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.”

Memphis, TN, October 25, 1905


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